How to promote the role of youth in political and democratic spaces – this is the central question that has articulated the 2023 Summit For Democracy, co-hosted by Costa Rica this year. As we know, there is no magic formula for engaging and empowering young people to participate more actively in public affairs. Nevertheless, the Youth Democracy Cohort urges leaders to take action to place this issue at the centre of the political agenda in every participating country of the Summit for Democracy.
The general youth disinterest in public affairs is not an isolated phenomenon and has been surging in many well-established democracies. Many historical, social and economic factors impede any meaningful engagement by youth in public life, especially in political life.
And although each national context has its own specifics and sensitivities, it is time to act and take responsibility. To that end, the Youth Democracy Cohort has created several tools to both inspire and honour those who are making a commitment today.
The Youth Participation Handbook, which was officially presented during this summit on March 30th at 2PM, gathers 25 stories from different types of organisations (governments, intergovernmental organisations and civil society across the globe). Its ambition? To guide and galvanise young generations and provide ideas of proven methods to improve youth participation from around the world.
“The handbook contains many examples the creative energy, which young people already have and often want an outlet to express, is harnessed to inspire youth participation in democracy. With this deliverable for the Summit for Democracy, we are excited to showcase the full range of really inspiring stories of how governments, civil society organizations and democracy movements have helped make democracy work better for youth.”Ellen Leafstedt co-writer of the Handbook of the Youth Participation.
With the right tools and strong commitments from policy makers, as well as organisations that ensure that these commitments do not go unheeded, we can empower and engage youth around the world.
Looking for inspiration? Click on the cover: