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Youth Parliament Toolkit launched for Commonwealth Parliaments

Youth engagement has been an important long-term passion and commitment of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). It is firmly embedded in the CPA Strategic Plan 2022-2025 which states that:

“We pledge to prioritise the role and interests of young people within the CPA’s work and operations. We will uphold and promote youth participation in politics.”

One of the many ways that the CPA seeks to pursue this pledge is through our biennial Commonwealth Youth Parliament programme. For over 27 years, the CPA has been a leader in its field, with its first Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP) delivered in 1997. Over 600 young Commonwealth citizens have participated in the Commonwealth Youth Parliament to date. The programme is aimed at young people aged 18 to 29 who gain experience being young Parliamentarians.

Participants experience life in the political spotlight and gain practical experience of the parliamentary system. Formal parliamentary practice adapted from several Commonwealth countries is followed and the proceedings are observed under the watchful eyes of experienced parliamentary officials. The Commonwealth Youth Parliaments’ alumni have progressed into a wide variety of careers including several participants who are now current Speakers and Members of Parliaments.

It is with these ideals in mind that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have developed this latest resource on Youth Parliaments, coinciding with the Commonwealth Year of Youth in 2023/2024 - a year dedicated to youth-led action for sustainable and inclusive development. As the publication highlights, the shape and scope of a Youth Parliament or its equivalent youth engagement programme can vary from place to place, nevertheless whatever approach is taken, its need cannot be underestimated.

Download the Youth Parliament Toolkit

Latest Issue:

CPA/UNDP Toolkit on Youth Parliaments:

The CPA/UNDP Youth Parliament Toolkit contains expert advice on establishing, planning, running and promoting a Youth Parliament with additional case studies and evaluation methods. You can also view the handbook on our ISSUU platform click here >

UNDP is committed to enhancing young people’s political participation which includes partnering with Parliaments and supporting mechanisms such as Youth Parliaments as important platforms for meaningful and sustained youth engagement in all aspects of policy- and decision-making worldwide.

The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg said:

“The political participation of young people has the potential for tremendous impact. To avoid tokenism, young people’s right to participate fully should be taken seriously and the voices of young people heard. Young people have a vital role to play in public discussion about how best to meet the social, economic, technological and political challenges of the future.
We hope that this new CPA/UNDP Toolkit on Youth Parliaments will provide comprehensive advice and support stakeholders in establishing and strengthening Youth Parliaments as effective platforms for young changemakers and future leaders.”

The Youth Parliament Toolkit contains expert advice on establishing, planning, running and promoting a Youth Parliament with additional case studies and evaluation methods.

To download the new CPA/UNDP Youth Parliaments Toolkit please click here or email hq.sec@cpahq.org to request a copy.

-ENDS-

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance.
For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org

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The CPA/UNDP Youth Parliament Toolkit contains expert advice on establishing, planning, running and promoting a Youth Parliament with additional case studies and evaluation methods.