UK Youth Parliament marks International Youth Day with the largest consultation of young people’s views in the country. Everyone aged 11-18 years old is invited to ‘Make their Mark’ on the ballot to shortlist what is debated in the House of Commons by the Youth Parliament on 11th November 2016.
The ballot will contain 10 policies voted for by Members of Youth Parliament including mental health, and lowering the voting age, which reflects their election pledges in local elections across the UK earlier in the year. The campaign will see Members and volunteers across the country, invite young people in schools and youth clubs to take this opportunity to have their say and to inform and influence Government and decision makers in their communities.
This year’s campaign, supported by the British Youth Council, NCS (National Citizen Service), Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health, and #iwill Campaign aims to beat last year’s record of 969,992 young people taking part.
The aim of the exercise is to bring priority issues to the attention of Government Ministers, including the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, with responsibility for youth policy, Rob Wilson MP who will attend the UK Youth Parliament’s House of Commons Sitting and reply on behalf of the Government.
The Commons debate will take place on 11th November, and be chaired by The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, who recently spoke at the UK Youth Parliament’s Annual Sitting in York. Young members will then walk through the division lobbies to vote on what should be a become their priority campaigns for 2016/17. In recent years they prioritised “Mental Health” and “Tackling Racism and Religious Discrimination”.
Young people can take part in the consultation by visiting: www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk/makeyourmark
Connor Hill, 16, Member of Youth Parliament for Dudley said: “Make Your Mark is the biggest youth consultation in the country. It enables us to properly represent the young people within our constituencies across the whole of the nation. Time and time again decision makers just don’t pay attention to young people because they tell us we are not engaged or that we don’t understand. Make Your Mark gives us as MYPs a huge mandate to say we represent young people’s views, young people do want a say and I can’t wait to see the House of Commons chamber this year packed full of passionate young people debating the issues that have been selected by the public.”
This year’s Youth Parliament, which itself was elected in local elections by 100,000’s teenagers, is expected to be one of the most diverse groups of representatives, with a gender balance, young people from ethnic minorities and different faiths all sitting on the green benches. The young elected reps, aged 11-18, include many facing the day-to-day challenges that their campaigns seek to address.
Media spokespeople are available on request at various points throughout the campaign. To organise interviews please contact the British Youth Council’s press office.