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Votes for 16 year olds wins youth campaign

Published Tuesday, 26 November 2013

On Friday 15 November, Enfield’s two UK youth parliament members, Jake Orros, 17 and Giles Abban,19, went to the House of Commons to take part in a debate in the national youth ‘Takeover Day’.

They were part of the 300 strong parliament representing the views of half a million young people who had selected five issues for discussion.

One issue would become the 2014 campaign that the nation’s youth want to see on the national political agenda.

Chaired by the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, MP, the quality of debate was both lively and well informed, fuelled with passion and humour.

The five topics for discussion and voting were: ‘A curriculum to prepare us for life’; ‘Zero tolerance to bullying in schools’; ‘Combating youth unemployment’; ‘Better work experience and careers advice’; ‘Votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections’.

‘Votes for 16 and 17 year olds in all public elections’ was finally selected as the 2014 campaign issue for young people across the nation.

Jake Orros, said, “Voting at an earlier age will influence politicians who will need to work harder for our votes. Our campaign to lower the voting age starts now and we are determined to gather support for this much needed change to the electoral system.”

Giles Abban, added, “The youth are entangled in the shackles of negative stereotypes and the fact that we are taking an active role is proving that young people are passionate about their future and community.”

Cllr Ayfer Orhan, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, said, “Our young people are contributing to national debates and ensuring that our borough is represented. Jake and Giles are helping to influence government and the council so that we can take decisions that benefit young lives.”

Events at the ‘Takeover’ were broadcast on the BBC Parliament Channel and reported in national newspapers.
The UK Youth Parliament will again work in partnership with BBC 3’s ‘Free Speech’ programme to promote the topics to schools and the public.

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