Malawi will from next week launch a youth parliament which is aimed at giving the youth a platform to voice their views and concerns on critical issues affecting them. The youth parliament is within the Commonwealth Parliament agenda of giving the youth time to debate and agree on resolutions so that governments should take appropriate measures to address their (children’s) concerns.
Many countries in the commonwealth countries have already adopted the practice. However, in Malawi the youth parliament is expected to start meeting next week in a three day session.
According to Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda says this year’s youth parliament will have a 50:50 representation in line with the promotion of the gender equality. He pointed out that the parliament will consist two sides of the house namely government and opposition and will also see the youth coming up with office bearers like leader of the house, leader of opposition, and chief whips.
According to the speaker, resolutions that will be debated in the youth parliament will be binding and shall be reported to the main parliamentary committees of the national assembly for endorsement. The speaker, therefore, said the launch of the youth parliament is in line with the national assembly strategic objectives to increase the outreach work of parliament of taking parliament to the people.
The introduction of youth parliament in Malawi has underscored the international recognition on promoting child rights through article 12 of the United Nations (UN) Convection on the Rights of the Child and Article 11 of the Youth Charter of the African UNION (AU).
It is the initiative of Malawi National Assembly with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children, Plan International and Timveni Child and Youth Organization