Young members of parliament meeting in Tokyo, Japan have called for radical policies to end the alienation and radicalization of young people, including new education policies and employment quotas.
The more than 220 young MPs made the call at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Global Conference of Young MPs jointly organized by IPU and the Japanese Parliament.
The MPs made a series of recommendations on addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the world’s 3.5 billion youth which include unemployment, discrimination and conflict.
During the two-day conference which closed on 28th May, 2015, the young MPs affirmed their belief that despite disillusionment, apathy, political disengagement and unrest, the world’s youth aspired to democratic, peaceful and prosperous societies and their inclusion into decision-making was critical.
According to a statement from the Leader of Uganda’s delegation, and Mawokota South MP Hon. Kiyingi Bbosa Kenneth, the Conference underlined the need for a comprehensive rights-based framework of action against radicalization, such as guaranteed free education, including anti-violence and conflict-management programmes, laws to criminalize hate speech, and involving young people in all decisions relating to counter-terrorism.
“There should be policies to curb the alienation of young people, including the creation of targeted opportunities to contribute to campaigns, programmes and projects at the community level,” the statement read.
The Conference called for parliaments to shape pro-employment policies which help create good jobs for young people, and to hold governments to account for their action on youth employment.
“The young MPs should act as advocates for youth-friendly policies, and there is need to work together across party lines to achieve the best outcomes for young people,” the MPs agreed
The Conference emphasized the need to include young people in UN peacebuilding missions, cut military budgets, and invest in young people’s participation in peacebuilding to ensure that they are a key part of the solution to the conflict and are not seen as perpetrators.
The Conference also reiterated previous calls for measures to increase youth participation in formal politics, including the use of quotas, aligning the voting age with the age of eligibility to stand for parliament, and including young people in decision-making at national and local levels.
The Conference also marked the fifth anniversary of an IPU resolution on youth participation in the democratic process, which recommends many practical steps which States, parliaments, political parties and other relevant groups can take to get young people more formally involved in politics.
The Parliament of Uganda was also represented at the conference by Hon. Brenda Nabukenya(Luwero District), Hon. Monica Amoding (National Female Youth MP) and Hon. Proscovia Alengot (Usuk County).