Youth Parliament chooses subjects for debate

08 October 2010

The Youth Parliament will hold debates on five subjects when it sits in the House of Commons Chamber later this month.

The subjects will be debated by over 300 young people on Friday 29 October following a decision by the House to allow the Youth Parliament to hold sittings in the Chamber annually for the life of this Parliament. 

The topics chosen were whittled down from an original list of 23 by a vote involving more than 2500 11-18 year olds from around the country.

The full list will be:

  • Job opportunities – Is enough being done to create jobs for young people? Should there be more work experience opportunities for young people in school and college?
  • Sex Education – Is it good enough? What age should it be taught? Does sex education lead to the sexualisation of young people? Do young people learn about sex from TV?
  • Transport – Is public transport too expensive for young people? At what age should you be charged an adult fare?
  • University – Are fees too high? Is it even worth going to university? Are there enough places for those who want to go?
  • War – Should UK troops be brought home from Afghanistan? Was the conflict in Iraq a costly mistake? Is war ever justified?

On the day, each debate is expected to last around half an hour. Three lead speakers will address each topic followed by questions from delegates. The debates will be chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.

Commenting on the subjects chosen, Speaker Bercow said:

"We saw when the Youth Parliament held their first debate in the House of Commons last year that young people have strong views on issues that affect them. I look forward to the same sort of robust debate on an equally varied range of issues this year."

Alex Huston, 16 years-old, Member of Youth Parliament Northern Ireland, added:

"On 29 October the House of Commons will be bustling with young people passionate about politics. Young people from every background discussing real problems that they truly care about - sex education, transport, jobs, uni fees and war."

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright

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