Plans are underway to create Jersey’s first Youth Parliament and young people are being invited to get involved.
The parliament, to be called Jersey Youth Connect, will see the formation, development and ongoing support of a representative group of young people aged between 12 to 18 years old. It will aim to provide meaningful input into Government of Jersey policy and legislative developments as well as assisting children and young people’s voices be heard by the scrutiny process.
While Jersey Youth Connect is in a development phase, work is underway on the development of procedures and processes by which the States of Jersey Assembly and the Government of Jersey should be required to consult with children and young people on any issues that will have an impact on them, as part of the policy-making process.
From September, staff from Jersey Youth Service, who are leading on this development in partnership with the States Greffe, will start engagement with young people through secondary schools and youth organisations to promote Jersey Youth Connect and how they can get involved.
To ensure that young people are involved in the process, a logo competition is to be launched over the summer.
Young people have a month to design a logo and at the end of August, a group of youth ambassadors will select their five favourite logos. This will then go out to public vote.
Children’s Minister Senator Sam Mézec said: "I am delighted that we are a step closer to launching Jersey’s Youth Parliament. This is a vital initiative for the implementation of Article 12 of the UNCRC and responding to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, which called for young people to be heard.
"States Members, Ministers, senior officials and Islanders have signed a Pledge to Jersey’s Children and Young People. Putting Children First is the ambition of the Children and Young People’s Plan that children and young people should be heard, valued and involved in the decisions that affect their everyday lives, regardless of where they live or the school they go to. Only by listening to children’s experiences of growing up in Jersey will their achievements and challenges be understood."
Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois said: "I would like to congratulate all those involved in the plans to launch Jersey’s Youth Parliament, which will play a key role in the development of more effective political education of young people as well as supporting and developing their understanding of democracy
"I am pleased that children and young people are being involved from the beginning of the process and that it will link in with other current initiatives, such as our School Councils, that help to give children and young people a voice."
It is hoped that the Youth Parliament will be launched by March next year.
Government of Jersey News Release.