There are more young people today than ever before. More than half of the world population is under 30 years of age, and one-fifth of it is made up of youth aged 15-25. Despite this high proportion of the world population, youth are vastly underrepresented in political institutions.
Young people are a key part of any democracy. We believe that it is not only their right to be included in political decision-making, but also that their perspectives, ideas, talents and energy are key to addressing many challenges faced by people of all ages.
One of our goals, therefore, has always been to strengthen youth participation through promoting increased youth representation in politics and decision-making, and enhancing the integration of youth perspectives in parliaments. We have thus succeeded in shifting the discourse from promotion of youth “consultation” to youth “representation”, an important step in the wider engagement of young people in democracy.
Working with parliaments, international organizations such as the United Nations, youth parliaments, civil society organizations and academia, we encourage youth participation by:
- Monitoring youth representation and participation, and issuing policy and legislative guidance to boost it. We also support parliaments in facilitating the access of youth to political decision-making, empowering young MPs and young people in general, and including a youth perspective in legislation and policies.
- Providing networking and capacity-building platforms at global, regional and national levels for young MPs to come together and galvanize action and influence.
- Organizing campaigns to raise awareness and motivate action to enhance youth participation.