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Demonstration against climate change in South Africa. © Phill Magakoe / AFP

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
2.66
Global percentage of MPs under 30
MPs under 45
29.89
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.
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News in brief
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Guyana speaker

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Youth empowerment
Latest publications on youth empowerment
The third Global Parliamentary Report examines public engagement in the work of parliament. The information, findings and recommendations in this report set out a road map for enhanced public engagement by parliaments and parliamentarians, working collaboratively with the community to
Summary of facts and figures on the participation of young people in politics based on 2020 figures. Learn about the IPU's work on youth empowerment.
This report is the fourth biennial IPU review of youth participation in national parliaments. It builds on the previous 2018 report by adding new data from the last two years, using age data from 148 parliamentary chambers, as well as other quantitative and qualitative data from 258 chambers.
Youth empowerment
Related events
Virtual event
To shed light on these issues of concern and mobilize young parliamentarians on solutions from a policy-making perspective, the IPU will dedicate its third online briefing for young MPs to the question of Youth empowerment and political participation.
Aug 12 2022
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Sharm-el-Sheikh
Egypt

Young MPs for climate action
Jun 15 2022
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The IPU is organizing an online briefing on policies to empower young women. This briefing is part of the IPU’s Empowerment Series for young parliamentarians.
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Youth empowerment