UK Youth Parliament To Campaign Against Religious And Racial Discrimination

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Sophie Giltinan from the Bristol City Youth Council talks about the upcoming campaign priorities for the UK Youth Parliament.

These topics were two of five issues discussed in the House of Commons chamber.

Last month, the UK Youth Parliament held their annual House of Commons sitting to decide on campaigns for the next year. Working together to combat racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim or Jewish, was chosen as the UK-wide campaign and mental health was chosen as the priority campaign for England.

These topics were two of five issues discussed in the House of Commons chamber. The five issues (racism and religious discrimination, living wage, mental health, curriculum for life, transport) received the most votes in the Make Your Mark ballot that took place this summer, involving 969, 992 young people nationwide.

The debate, chaired by the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, heard from a wide variety of people. UKYP boasts an extremely diverse community with 29% of the Members of Youth Parliament being from a black and minority ethnic background compared to 6.6% of MPs and 51% being female compared to just 23% of MPs.

The Members of Youth Parliament for Bristol are Ella Marshall and myself, Sophie Giltinan. MYPs are the only people, other than MPs, who are permitted to sit on those famous green benches in the chamber of the Commons. With 279 MYPs in attendance not everybody could have the chance to speak. Luckily, I was given the opportunity to speak on the topic of Living Wage. We are both extremely honoured to have attended the debates that have received much praise from politicians nationwide and we are looking forward to the next year of campaigning.

You can watch the event at parliamentlive.tv or on BBC iPlayer.

  1. The Morning Session

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The Afternoon Session

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Think this should be the priority? What other issues are concerning you at the moment? Let us know: @rifemag and Facebook