Skip to main content

Youth empowerment

We encourage youth participation in parliaments and empower young MPs.
children at climate change demonstration

Young people are the future of any democracy. Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders, and they can already bring new ideas to solving the world’s problems. However, with only around 2 per cent of MPs under 30, young people continue to be severely under-represented in parliament, which can compromise the legitimacy and effectiveness of the institution.

For the past decade, the IPU has been empowering young politicians to strengthen and rejuvenate democracies and make them more representative of all generations. In 2010, we set up an international framework for youth participation in democracy and the Forum of Young Parliamentarians to bring in fresher faces to the political process. The Forum makes sure the voice of young MPs from around the world is heard in global decision-making.

The IPU’s data on youth in parliament also helps to fuel reflections and promote greater youth participation in democracy.

In 2018, the IPU became the first international organization to introduce incentives to encourage more young parliamentarians to attend its meetings. For example, parliamentary delegations who bring young MPs to IPU Assemblies receive extra votes and speaking time.

MPs under 30
2.2
Global percentage of MPs under 30
MPs under 45
28.1
Global percentage of MPs under 45
Explore youth empowerment
More than half of the world population is under 30 years of age. Despite this high proportion, youth are vastly underrepresented in political institutions.
IPU’s research on youth participation in parliaments has produced a wealth of data. Image: ©IPU.
IPU’s research on youth participation in parliaments has produced a wealth of data and has generated a series of recommendations to enhance youth participation.
The participation pf youth in the prevention and resolution of disputes is essential for the building of sustainable peace.© Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters
Youth are among the first victims of radicalization and conflict. Their participation in the prevention and resolution of disputes is essential to build sustainable peace.
Latest news and stories on youth empowerment
Press releases
Youth at the IPU

Future Policy Award 2019 crowns eight best policies empowering youth

Policies from Rwanda, Estonia, United Kingdom, Nepal, South Africa and Senegal are among this year’s winners of the “oscars" for best policies.
Read more
News in brief
paraguay conference

Well-being of people and planet a priority for young MPs

Young parliamentarians meeting in Asunción, Paraguay, have called for the pursuit of happiness and well-being to be explicitly integrated into public policy.
Read more
Voices
Shahzaib Durrani

Three questions for Shahzaib Durrani, young MP, Pakistan

Voices is part of a new IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position. Shahzaib Durrani, young MP from
Read more
Voices
Rayya Al-Manthari

Three questions for Rayya al-Manthari, young MP, Oman

Voices is part of a new IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position. Rayya al-Manthari, young MP from
Read more
Voices
Marta Grande

Three questions for Marta Grande, young MP, Italy

Voices is part of a new IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position. Marta Grande, young MP from
Read more
Youth empowerment
Latest publications on youth empowerment
Infographics
Summary of 2018 facts and figures on the participation of young people in politics.
This annual report provides the latest data and information on young people in parliament.
Infographics
Summary of 2015 facts and figures on the participation of young people in politics.
Youth empowerment
Related events
Conference
-
Asunción, Paraguay
Achieving the SDGs and empowering youth through well-being The Conference will be based primarily on the sharing of policies and creative practices that promote well-being and happiness with a focus on how such policies and practices contribute to youth empowerment.
Sep 09 2019
Conference
-
Baku, Azerbaijan
Promoting sustainability, protecting the interests of future generations Read the outcome document Go to detailed programme Watch videos of the opening session and video message from panellists Go to the photographs
Dec 14 2018
Conference
-
Canada
Nov 17 2017
Youth empowerment