The British Youth Council have announced today (Tuesday 22nd March) that racism and religious discrimination will be the topic of focus for the 2016 Youth Select Committee’s inquiry. Racism and religious discrimination was chosen as the UK Youth Parliament’s 2016 priority campaign following the Make Your Mark campaign, which took place in late 2015, where the issue was placed as one of the most important issues by 95,000 young people.

The Youth Select Committee is a British Youth Council initiative where the eleven committee members, aged 13-18, mirror the UK Parliament Select Committee. It will consist of two Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYPs), two youth councillors, a Young Mayor, one elected representative from each of the devolved nations and three reserved seats.

Last year, the inquiry delved into young people and the issue of mental health. TheYouth Select Committee inquiry highlighted issues of mental health services for young people being critically underfunded as well as resolving the stigma associated with mental health problems. The report, published in November 2015, saw the Committee offering recommendations in three vital areas: funding and the state of services, a role for education and awareness and stigma and digital culture. The Government’s response to the inquiry stated that mental health and wellbeing were a ‘top priority in the Department for Education and Department of Health’ and that they would take on board a number of the committee’s recommendations.

Applications to join the 2016 Youth Select Committee are now open.