Aiming to Reignite Political Engagement Among Youth National virtual session “Does Democracy Really Matter?” to tackle alarming decline in faith in democracy

Next National virtual Session is 4:00pm-5:30pm, Thurs 13th June 2024

Register here: childrensparliament.uk/events/does-democracy-really-matter/


The next Sir David Amess UK Children’s Parliament session, backed by Wakelet and Microsoft 365 aims to shift the apathy and disillusionment in young people around politics through a nationwide virtual debate entitled “Does Democracy Really Matter?”. 

It’s being held between 4:00pm and 5:30pm on Thursday, 13th June 2024. Co-Parliamentary Champions are Anna Firth MP, who replaced the late Sir David Amess and Baroness Uddin. Peter Spencer-Lane is the headteacher champion and headmaster of Saint Pierre School and will be chairing the session.

The event is in response to mounting evidence that young people across the UK and worldwide are switching off from politics and democracy at an alarming rate.

 A 2022 report by the UK Parliament found 60% of 18-25 year olds think politicians don’t care about them or their issues. Youth turnout in the 2019 general election was just 54% – the lowest of any age group.

Separate findings from the British Youth Council revealed 71% of young people don’t feel that political parties speak directly to young people in the lead-up to elections about the issues that impact them. 

These disconnects have contributed to an overarching crisis of political apathy, lack of civic literacy, inability to relate to politics, and deep mistrust in the political system among youth.

“Democracy is important because no one gets left out. People feel part of a country, if they’ve had a say in who runs it. It’s about fairness. And it’s about equality.” 

Child Prime Minister Clark Dearson, 11

“Young people must remain engaged in politics if we’re to create great leaders of the future who truly understand the issues facing our generation. By reigniting that engagement, Children’s Parliament can inspire more young people to take an active role.”

Child Deputy Prime Minister, Naila Seetal, 10

Child Deputy PM, Naila Seetal (10); Child PM, Clark Dearson (11) and Child Chancellor of the Exchequer, Aryan Shekar (11)

“Democracy matters because it maintains balance without coups or chaos. It represents the majority of the population’s opinions and helps uphold freedom and human rights. Democracy provides an equal view of everyone’s perspectives and respects everyone’s goals. It is the army of peace”.

Child Chancellor of the Exchequer Aryan Shekar, 11

“The evidence is clear – we are facing a crisis of political disengagement among young people that poses an existential threat to the future health of democracy in the UK and beyond,” said Andrew Fox, Executive Director of the Children’s Parliament. “We simply cannot afford to have an entire generation switch off from the political process.”

According to Executive Director of the UK Children’s Parliament, Andrew Fox

“The Children’s Parliament intends to be at the vanguard of efforts to reinstill faith and interest in democracy by empowering young people with the skills, knowledge and forums to truly make their voices heard and drive change on the issues that matter most to them”.

According to Leadership Chair for the UK Children’s Parliament, Bernie Muir

The virtual national session “Does Democracy Really Matter?” will take place between 4:00pm and 5:30pm on 13 June. Registration details and more information can be found at www.childrensparliament.uk

The session will tap into the energy and ideas of Members of Children’s Parliament from across the UK. It will feature different perspectives to explore why youth political apathy has risen so dramatically. More importantly, it will ‘crowdsource’ concrete solutions directly from young people on how to rebuild trust and make politics more accessible, relevant and compelling.

Posted: 3rd June 2024