Are The Voices of Young People Being Heard? Still A Long Way to Go…

Following the successful conclusion of the London Youth Now programme, IARS is pleased to announce the release of its evaluation report “Youth Voices Matter”. The report is the output of the 5-year Big Lottery funded the “London Youth Now” programme. London Youth Now proved to be successful in developing tailored youth-led awareness and skills development activities that engaged young people and reportedly increased volunteers’ knowledge and confidence to participate in issues that affected their daily life. . Moreover, the programme benefited hundreds of youth organisations by promoting best practices. London Youth Now inspired youth organisations to involve young people by adopting genuine youth-led practices and replicating youth -led models such as the IARS Youth Advisory Board. Drawing on the experiences of involving more than 500 young people and 300 youth organisations across London, the report presents key recommendations of best practices for organisations that work directly with young people in areas such as social inclusion, equality, and social policy. The report contains details how to work in partnership with young people at all stages of their work in governance, service provision, and evaluation. One key finding is that despite the good intentions of youth organisations for youth- led involvement; there is a “long way to go” before an organic inclusion of young people’s voices is achieved both in our society and in the structures of the youth organisations. Cooperation, networking, and an exchange of best practices, experiences, and ideas are crucial in achieving genuine youth involvement that will overcome the barriers of youth social inclusion and will further enable young people to participate in society as equal members independent...
The Media Debate at the Houses of Parliament

The Media Debate at the Houses of Parliament

On Monday the 25th of March, the Youth Media Agency in collaboration with Bite the Ballot campaign held a debate at the Houses of Parliament. Bite the Ballot, is a national campaign created by young people, which encourages fellow young people to use their democratic right to vote and Youth Media Agency (YMA) is a youth organisation that uses their social media website to promote youth media platforms including magazines, radio stations and television. For YMA, their ‘Press4change’ campaign has been at the forefront of their work, in which a call for a fair representation of young people within the national press, and a submission into the Leveson Inquiry was only the start. The main issues of the debate revolved around how far the regulation of the media and the press should go, whilst discussing the issue of censorship and freedom of speech in the context of culture and ethics of the British Media. First Part: Introduction Highlights of the beginning of the evening included the reading of a poem called ‘Nowadays’, written by Deanna Rodger, a spoken-word artist, who raised crucial political and philosophical questions through her performance. Her passionate piece included the essence of politics, human interaction and communication, the lack of emotion and connection between individuals and the increased sense of ego and competition in today’s life. She claimed ‘who cares about politics nowadays? Who cares about truth?’ Deanna’s performance was emotional and powerful and made a difference to the whole evening, as she used her talent to get a very important message across, through the help of art and not through political arguments. Shortly after...
Justice and Security Bill Discussion: Will This Be Passed?

Justice and Security Bill Discussion: Will This Be Passed?

On Tuesday 5th March 2013, Portcullis House as the location set the stage for a meeting arranged by Amnesty International UK. Currently in its final briefing waiting for consideration of amendments at Parliament on the 26th, the Justice and Security Bill which first emerged in 2012, has claimed to provide for oversight in relations to national security and intelligence matters, ‘closed material procedure’ in relation to certain civil proceedings’ with the prevention of making ‘certain court orders for the disclosure of sensitive information’. To summarise the Bill will allow ‘closed material procedures’ (CMPs), which is relevant information kept from the public, lawyers, press, and even the defendant in their own cases. Initially it was proposed for national security but it will also take place in civil trials. Within this meeting Karla McLaren advocacy co-ordinator of Amnesty International UK, was joined by two members of the Labour Party, Karen Buck MP and Andrew Slaughter MP. Members of the public were the majority of the audience who attended including a small amount of members of local Amnesty International groups. Amnesty International Perspective Amnesty International claimed that the extension of CMPs to civil cases has led to a violation of human rights, if the defendant is not aware specifically what type of information the judges have been told or have used for their prosecution due to blocked access, this procedure becomes unethical. Secret courts have taken place where material is saturated, a special advocate can see the evidence but cannot converse the information to their client, whilst the final secret judgement remains hidden forever while those condemned will partly see the reasons....
C.R.I.M.E

C.R.I.M.E

At the BAFTA venue last weekend, a second screening of the short film ‘IF ONLY…’ was shown to a public audience. In this film the depiction of young gang culture in London was realistically shown against a gritty background with an unexpected twist. However the main highlight of this piece in comparison to similar genres such as ‘Kidulthood’ or ‘Top Boy’ was that this was completely produced by young people between the ages of 13-28 and importantly ex-offenders who otherwise may have been excluded from society. Fredi Nwaka, an ex-gang member, rapper, film director and also entrepreneur has created a voluntary scheme called C.R.I.M.E (Creating Role Models in Media Enterprise) which provides a platform for troubled young people who want to pursue a career within the entertainment industry either through media or music. Using individual life experiences, including his, such as gang membership, incarceration or even the victimisation of those involved within the project, there lies the inspiration for the creation of his short films and documentaries. Sessions were given over a ten week course which taught film making skills including camera techniques, creative writing and casting. Professionals within respective divisions of the industry provided valuable advice to the young people involved within the project. As the course continues, those who are still in a gang or have removed themselves from one, gain confidence in their creative abilities, interacting with strangers, but also in their self-esteem. There are programmes in terms of mentoring young ex-offenders, providing meditation sessions and various support whilst assisting their reintegration as active citizens who wish to be employed. However if you need only one reason to...
A day at the Houses of Parliament: the UK Youth Parliament Annual Debate

A day at the Houses of Parliament: the UK Youth Parliament Annual Debate

For 307 Members of the UK Youth Parliament Friday 23 November 2012 will be marked up as a day they will never forget. The UK Youth Parliament held their annual debate at the House of Commons chamber. Members of the UK Youth Parliament aged 11-18 debated five crucial issues chosen by a ballot of 250,000 young people before voting for the campaign they wanted to become the Youth Parliament’s main campaign for 2013. The day was eventful, electric and vibrant. It was an event never to be forgotten and never to be overlooked. Stefania: The five topics discussed in the five debates were: ‘Making public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all’, ‘Getting ready for work’, ‘Marriage for all’, ‘An equal national minimum wage for all’ and ‘A curriculum to prepare us for life’. For each debate, there were two speakers representing two opposite positions-for and against-. After each speech, young members of the parliament had either the right to defend, support or argue against each issue. I was there from the early morning with my fellow 99% blogger, Ruth. We were both excited as it was the first time we entered the Houses of Parliament! After having a nice breakfast at the Westminster Hall – choosing from a massive buffet of delicious treats- we made our way to the House of Commons chamber, where the Members of Youth Parliament would debate. After seating at the gallery reserved for the media, we decided that Ruth would cover the ‘against’ views and I would focus on the ‘for’ arguments in each debate. “Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for...
A Year In Review

A Year In Review

As the end of 2012 approaches, the first year of the 99 Percent Campaign Blog has almost arrived. Our current efforts to challenge the negative stereotypes of young people would not have been possible without the help of our amazing volunteer journalists who have each contributed to the blog. So before the year ends, we will take a look back at some of the many great articles that not only represented the experiences and issues concerning young people in 2012 but also displayed the talent of our young journalists. ‘Art by Offenders’ by Isabel Chapman ‘Police Stop and Search: What About Young People’s Voices?’ by Monique Lane ‘Not Giving Up On The Job’ by James ‘Youth Crime Levels Fall Yet Fear of Youth Crime Rising’ by Dave Rublin ‘Unpaid Internships Do Nothing For Social Mobility’ by Manon ‘The University Dilemma’ by Sakib ‘Trying To Choose An Ethical Career Path? Maybe It’s Not The One You Think’ by Ben ‘Should 16-17 year olds Be Allowed To Vote?’ by Hana ‘Abda Kazemi: Life as a Member of Youth Parliament’ by Abda Kazemi ‘Freezing Minimum Wage, Leaving Youth In The Cold’ by Aaron We look forward to what 2013 will bring for the 99 Percent Campaign Blog, wishing you all a Happy New...