On the 10th-12th of September LiJOT coordinator of International affairs Rita Jonušaitė was in Estonia where she was participating in a conference organized by Estonian National Youth Council about various forms of youth participation as well as in a workshop organized by European Youth Forum representatives in relation to newly launched campaign “YouthUP”.
In the conference three main areas were covered: media and how youth by using opportunities it provides could actively contribute to well-being of their communities, IT and application of newest technologies on a work with young people and direct political participation, especially on local level, and how to encourage political participation by using youth friendly methods.
“YouthUp”, an open-source campaign powered by the Youth Forum and the League of Young Voters, is working toward creating a more youth-inclusive politics. Workshops are being held across Europe, asking young people, activists and experts one key question: how can politics “youth up”? What changes can be made to make politics more inclusive, and how can young people advocate to make them a reality?
During the workshop, participants discussed how implementing mandatory citizenship education in schools would encourage higher rates of turnout for the new voters. Often, young people do not turn out to vote because of the feeling that their single vote does not affect real change. Participants talked about measures to counteract that feeling by increasing the direct role of citizens in the decision-making process. The workshop also covered how digital technologies like online voting could further engage young people in the democratic process.