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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
2.6
Global percentage of MPs under 30
MPs under 45
30.2
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
Voices
Radu Marian

A conversation with...Radu Marian, MP, Republic of Moldova

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 Radu Marian, MP from the Republic of
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News in brief
say yes

I Say Yes to Youth in Parliament!

Half the world’s population is under 30 and yet only 2.6% of MPs globally represent this age group. The IPU has identified six ways to change this. Discover our campaign here and take two minutes to pick one or more
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Voices
David McGuinty

A conversation with...David McGuinty, MP, Canada

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 the Honourable David McGuinty, Member of the
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Press releases
youth report

Parliaments are getting (slightly) younger according to latest IPU data

The global proportion of MPs aged under 30 has edged up to 2.6 per cent, according to the latest IPU report on Youth Participation in National Parliaments. This represents an increase of 0.4 percentage points compared with two years ago
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Voices
Cynthia Lopez

A conversation with...Cynthia López Castro, MP, Mexico

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 Cynthia López Castro, Member of the IPU
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Youth empowerment
Latest publications on youth empowerment
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.
Infographics
Summary of 2018 facts and figures on the participation of young people in politics. Learn about the IPU's work on youth empowerment.
Youth empowerment
Related events
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To build intergenerational solidarity and support, and to mobilize parliamentarians of all ages for youth empowerment, this seventh edition of the Conference is open to both young and senior parliamentarians.
Apr 28 2021
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Asunción
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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
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Baku
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Young MPs from all corners of the world will come together with youth organization and other stakeholders to reflect collectively on “outside the box” sustainable solutions to key issues of today that will have a significant impact on tomorrow.
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Youth empowerment