Why are we doing this?
When the Assembly was established in 1999, one of its first acts was to set up a dedicated Education and Youth Engagement Service.
The aim was to provide a way for young people to learn about the Assembly and encourage them to get involved in the democratic process.
Since 2000, the Assembly’s Education and Youth Engagement team has worked with tens of thousands of children and young people across Wales.
We have discussed a variety of issues, including the things that matter to them about their communities, who their local representatives are and what they think about some subjects the Assembly has considered.
A range of educational programmes take place in the Assembly’s education centre, Siambr Hywel, to help learners engage with the Assembly’s work and how they can influence what happens in their local area.
The education outreach team offer activities and opportunities to discuss political issues in schools and colleges across Wales, including targeting young people outside the school environment.
The National Assembly for Wales is everybody’s Assembly. To make sure that young people have the opportunity to express their opinion and be listened to, the National Assembly for Wales, led by the Presiding Officer, signed up to a Youth Engagement Charter in 2014. You may not be able to vote until you are 18, but all children and young people are citizens and have rights today.
The Charter outlines the commitment made by the Assembly to make sure it listens to, respects and acts on what young people from across Wales tell them.
It also outlines a commitment to make it easier for young people to find information about the work of the Assembly, take part in debates and find out how their contributions made a difference.
Since then, many young people have told us they would like to have a Welsh youth parliament of their own.
Now, the Assembly Commission wants to know what everyone thinks about this idea.
What’s happened so far?
In 2013, the Campaign for a Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales (CYPAW) was established to campaign for an independent, youth-led, democratically elected youth parliament for Wales.
During the summer of 2016, CYPAW consulted as widely as it could, and the results of the CYPAW consultation helped the Assembly agree to support the establishment of a Welsh youth parliament.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is an expert group which looks at the way children’s rights are applied. They have listened to children and young people from Wales, and have also recommended there should be a Youth parliament for Wales.
Youth parliament Steering Group
The role of the Steering Group is to provide advice to the Llywydd on the following:
- the purpose, membership and structure of a Welsh youth parliament;
- what the consultation will include, how they can help to raise awareness and promote the consultation far and wide within their organisational networks, and further afield.
The steering group is made up of:
Children’s Commissioner for Wales
- Urdd Gobaith Cymru
- Children in Wales
- NUS Wales
- Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People
- The Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS)
- Scouts Cymru
- GirlGuiding Cymru
- The Wales Federation of Young Farmers Clubs
- Principal Youth Officer’s Group
- Campaign for the Children and Young People Assembly for Wales (CYPAW)
- Youth representative from the Assembly at the 8th Commonwealth Youth parliament in Canada