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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
Global percentage of MPs under 30
MPs under 45
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
News in brief
Blas Llano and Patrick Kemper

Do you say yes to youth? 1 year of the IPU’s campaign

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News in brief
Sahar Albazar

Young MPs for climate action: Eighth IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians

On 15 and 16 June, some 200 young parliamentarians from 60 countries convened in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt for the Eight IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians. The conference was jointly organized by the IPU and the Parliament of Egypt. This year’s
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5 years of impact at the IPU

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News in brief
Guyana speaker

Guyana Parliament reaches out to youth

In a good example of parliamentary outreach to young people, the second edition of the Guyana National Youth Debating Competition takes place on Friday, 8 April. Some 16 youth groups will participate in the event with the objective of connecting
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Vincent Tsvangirai

A conversation with...Vincent Tsvangirai, MP Zimbabwe

As part of the IPU series called 'A conversation with...', we interview parliamentarians from all over the world to find out who they represent and what motivates them. In this edition, we discover Vincent Tsvangirai, MP from Zimbabwe.
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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


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.
Mar 15 2022
Youth empowerment