Young people are missing from public life, they need to be seen and be heard.
Every day, policy-makers around the world make important decisions about the future of our communities, countries and even our planet. Yet young people continue to be routinely excluded from these decision-making spaces, despite being the generation that will disproportionately inherit the consequences of the choices we make today. While nearly half of the world’s population is under 30, only 2.6% of parliamentarians are under 30 and the average age of our political leaders is 62.
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
Be Seen Be Heard : Global Youth Report
Did you know that 67% of people believe in a better future, with 15 to 17-year-olds being the most optimistic? Or that more than two-thirds (69%) of people agree political systems would be better if there were more opportunities for younger people to have a say in policy development and change?
The Be Seen Be Heard Global Youth Report, unpacks the structural barriers young people face in accessing their right to political participation and explores how we can all contribute to removing such barriers. It examines the ways in which young people are already engaging and contributing to our world, while also interrogating the basis for their exclusion.
The Global Youth Report aims to outline how and why young people engage in political decision- making, and the challenges that sometimes prevent them from doing so. It puts forward policy and legislation recommendations for advancing the needs and rights of young people, ensuring their voices are meaningfully heard in public life and decision- making. The research from The Body Shop International and the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth supports the Be Seen Be Heard campaign. Launching in 2022, this global campaign aims to increase young people’s participation in political arenas and help make their voices heard across all spheres of public life.
Providing space for young people to safely express their views and opinions is imperative when embarking on journeys towards social and environment justice and peace. We urgently need a forum in which young people can engage with each other, and those in power, in structured discussions to establish long- term and meaningful solutions.
About The Collaborators
Office Of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy On Youth
In 2017, the UN Secretary-General appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his Special Envoy on Youth and as the youngest senior official in the history of the organization. Ms. Wickramanayake’s mandate is to harmonize the UN system efforts on youth development, enhance the UN response to youth needs, advocate for the development needs and rights of young people, as well as to bring the work of the United Nations on youth closer to them. The Envoy on Youth also acts as the advisor to and the representative of the Secretary-General on youth related matters.
For more information, follow @UNYouthEnvoy on social media and visit our website at un.org/youthenvoy.
The Body Shop
At The Body Shop we seek to create change where and when we believe it is needed. We have always operated outside of the beauty industry, going beyond to address change where other brands don’t go. We are not afraid to challenge the status quo to find the right solutions. We have a vast and successful history of activism and campaigning, from Save the Whales to Stop the Burning and Stop Sex Trafficking.
Campaigning for change is in our heritage. It’s what we do. Find out more by visiting thebodyshop.com.