As well as the Young Democracy Project which is currently being explored in Coventry, there are a number of other projects involving young people in democratic activity within the United Kingdom. We also include those that are based in the UK but work abroad.
UK Youth Parliament
The UK Youth Parliament provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning.
UK Youth Parliament
49-51 East Street,
London, N1 6AH
020 7250 8374
We should be working together to combat racism and religious discrimination, according to the UK Youth Parliament, which has chosen ‘reducing racism and religious discrimination in our communities’ as its national campaign for 2016. Mental health was also chosen as the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaign for England for a second time.
Working together to combat racism and religious discrimination which secured 155 votes against 117 for ‘a living wage for all’; and mental health became the priority campaign after securing 176 votes against a curriculum to prepare us for life 110.
A total of 279 Members of Youth Parliament aged 11-18 took part in the debates, the subjects for which were voted for by over 968,000 young people across the UK.
The top five topics were:
Tackling racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim or Jewish. All young people should work together to combat racism and other forms of discrimination, and ensure we know the dangers of such hatred.
Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all.
Mental health. Services should be improved with young people’s help and mental health education should be compulsory and challenge stereotypes.
British Youth Council
We empower young people aged 25 and under to influence and inform the decisions that affect their lives. We support young people to get involved in their communities and democracy locally, nationally and internationally, making a difference as volunteers, campaigners, decision-makers and leaders.
£500 for Youth Voice membership
£54 for Local Associate Members or Full Member with < 100 members or Local Youth Council
List of members
Westminster Foundation for Democracy
Westminster Foundation for Democracy shares the full breadth of the UK’s democratic experience by bringing together UK expertise on parliaments, political parties and elections. After 25 years cultivating relationships and evolving its programming, WFD has the institutional access and robust methodologies to strengthen democracies around the world.
WFD was established in 1992 after the fall of the Berlin Wall as an arms-length non-departmental public body which operates closely with, but is independent of, the UK Government.
Our vision is of the universal establishment of legitimate and effective multi-party representative democracy. We can contribute to this by supporting inclusive governance which strengthens policy-making, accountability, representation and citizen participation.
Many countries around the world are keen to engage with WFD because they want to hear about the British experience. Rather than engaging in large, one-size-fits-all programmes with expensive components, we tailor bespoke programmes which makes small but significant improvements to that country’s democracy – and pave the way for bigger changes.
By operating in more countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East and North Africa, WFD is now leaving a bigger footprint than ever before.
Young people need democracy – and democracy needs young people
Well-functioning democracies can help young people tackle the biggest problems they face – and Westminster Foundation for Democracy is working to help them do so.
But across all kinds of democracies, the disconnect between young people and those that represent them seems to be growing.
Just look at the recent EU referendum vote in Britain. Despite being a decision which would impact on young people’s future for decades to come, fewer people aged between 18 and 24 turned out to vote than did those aged over 65.
Across the Atlantic, both the Democrat and Republican parties have seen popular anti-establishment candidates driven in part by dissatisfied young voters.
And in the Middle East and Africa, young people out of work are demanding to know why youth unemployment is not being tackled – and increasingly using social media to make their dissatisfaction heard.
Young people need effective and inclusive governance because policies in areas like education, climate change, healthcare and job security will have a fundamental impact on their futures. The young face huge debts, inadequate services and a planet whose natural resources are quickly running out. Engaging in politics is key to ensuring that what they care about is addressed.
At the heart of much of WFD’s programming is an effort to involve young people. Their representation and involvement in the political process lies at the core of an effective democracy.
So this International Youth Day we wanted to highlight some of the ways we’re supporting young people’s engagement in politics. Here are five examples which show what WFD does for young people around the world.