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Youth participation and democracy

Published on 27.12.2020 at 23:21

Youth participation promotes and advocates for the idea of a free democratic and inclusive society in which the youths have access to justice, education and freely participate in all social, cultural, political and economic activities. This is an idea that relies on good governance that supports fundamental freedoms, the free flow of information and equal opportunities and rights for all citizens which cannot be upheld without a functioning democracy since democracy cannot be reached without the respect for and realisation of human rights.

 

We think democracy as a system of government with four elements: A political system for choosing-replacing the government through free and fair elections; Active participation of citizens in all aspects of politics and civic life; Protection of human rights of citizens; and A rule of law under which laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens. Thus, democracy is a means for citizens to choose leaders and hold them accountable for their policies and conduct in office.

 

Hence, the key role of youth in a democracy is to participate in public life. That is, the youths have a right and an obligation to become informed about public issues, watch closely how their political leaders, and their representatives use their powers and express their opinions and interests. Further, in a democracy, all citizens have certain basic rights that the state cannot take away from them that are guaranteed under international laws, but everyone has an obligation to exercise these rights peacefully with respect for the law and rights of others.

 

Moreover, democracy is a system of the rule by laws, but not by individuals. In a democracy, the rule of law protects the rights of all citizens, maintains order, and limits the power of government. That is, all citizens are equal under the law and no one should be discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, or gender. However, if democracy is to work, citizens must not only participate or exercise their rights; they must also uphold principles and rules.

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