Dear Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, Nicola Sturgeon, Paul Nuttall, Jonathan Bartley, Leanne Wood, Caroline Lucas,
On behalf of the young people of the IARS International Institute’s Youth Advisory Board and the 99% Campaign, I submit the 99% Campaign Young People’s Manifesto.
With the General Election fast approaching, we are calling on you to take this pivotal moment to engage young people and ensure their voices are heard.
Brexit signalled a significant absence of young people at the polls, many of whom are dissatisfied and have lost their trust in the political system. The decisions taken by the next government will spell out the UK’s departure from the EU as well as future policies, legislation and practices. Such policies will be felt most keenly by young people as they just begin to embark on their adult lives.
True democracy is predicated on the idea that every individual, irrespective of their background or personal circumstances, should have an equal opportunity to have a say in decisions about their country’s future and formation of policies, legislation and practices that affect them. The 99% Campaign was set up in 2010 as a youth led initiative to empower young people from all walks of life to engage with civic life and our charity is proud to have supported it since it’s inception. I hope that you will do the same.
We know that in reality, some groups of young people are less likely than others to exercise their democratic right to vote; less likely to attain elected office; less likely to feel they can influence decisions in their local area; and less likely to take part in other forms of political or civic activity.
We want a society more inclusive, fair and responsive to young people’s views and realities. That is why the young volunteers of the 99% Campaign developed this Manifesto: a compilation of views, thoughts and learnings from young people’s active involvement in the IARS International Institute’s peer research and educational programmes. By engaging with hundreds of young people across the UK and beyond, we have identified the main concerns of young people about their future.
On behalf of our young people, we urge you to take into account their voices and address the issues outlined in their Manifesto in your own manifestos and future policies. The election offers an opportunity to make a clear commitment to young people across the UK, that they are valued and their voices matter.
IARS Founder and Director