Organisations join forces to push for youth involvement in international decisions

To mark the launch of the first International Year of Youth, five youth organisations are calling for young people to have more of a say in international decisions that affect their lives.

The British Youth Council (BYC), Funky Dragon, Scottish Youth Parliament, Northern Ireland Youth Forum and UK Youth Parliament want to ensure young people represented at international meetings and forums are taken seriously.

Throughout the year, BYC and its partners will be providing opportunities for young people from across the UK to get involved in representing others on an international level, through BYC’s Young Ambassadors programme for 16- to 25-year-olds.

Alex Delaney, BYC chair, said: “So much of our lives is influenced by what happens in Europe, at the UN and around the world, and young people have a right to have a say on the issues that matter to them. We are simply trying to make that right a reality.”

Young people across the country are marking the launch of the Year of Youth today (12 August) including Brent’s Youth Parliament, which is holding a media summit as part of its campaign to achieve a more balanced image of young people in the borough’s media.

Young people aged 10 to 19 will challenge a panel made up of children’s minister Sarah Teather; Andy McCorkell, news editor of the Willesden and Brent Times; Roxanne Mashari, co-chair of Brent Youth Parliament; Matt Gardner, Brent borough commander; and Andy Hamflett, chief executive of the UK Youth Parliament.

Kishan Parshotam, UK Youth Parliament and Brent Youth Parliament representative, said: “After years of criticism, young people finally have the opportunity to actively change perceptions. This is a breakthrough for young politics and democracy.”