Youth Engagement in Politics

Youth Can Be the Leaders of Tomorrow - If We Procrastinate.

Around the world there is a growing interest in youth and politics. Some political groups are changing to respond to the growing number of young people who want to affect the political system. Political ideologies appealing to youth that were once considered “fringe” beliefs are becoming mainstreamed, and more young people are associating themselves with non-popular political parties.

More young people than ever before are actually becoming engaged in local community campaigns and other political activities. Youth can change the world through politics by becoming actively, meaningfully and substantially involved throughout political parties and beyond.

Ways Youth Engagement in Politics Happens

Youth Mainstreaming — Advocating for youth mainstreaming can allow young people to change the world by creating new awareness, opportunities, policies, systems and cultures that foster youth engagement. In political parties, youth mainstreaming could allow for children and youth to affect democratic representation even in parties that would deny them the right to vote or otherwise become engaged.

Running for Office — Whatever age they are, young people can run for office anywhere in the world as an act of protest; to make a stand; or to draw attention. Building momentum for single candidates requires they remain committed to the causes that get them elected; pushing a political party or platform requires staunch champions for youth in politics.

Youth as Voters — Fighting for youth suffrage and demanding youth rights is a platform for youth voters. Another avenue for youth as voters is a protest vote. Going to a voting place and casting a blank ballot can show youth dissatisfaction with the current political system. Youth as voters can also vote for a youth candidate who may be foreign to the political system, but young and capable of sharing youth voice.

Needs for Youth Engagement in Politics

Education — In order to become engaged in politics in the most effective ways, young people can learn about political systems, political actions, political issues and other realities within and around the political system. They can also conduct action learning oriented activities that allow them to gain credit for their involvement.

Training — Training young people to change the world through politics means teaching them the skills they need to become involved. These include communication, problem-solving, change management and conflict resolution skills. It also means participating in knowledge-sharing activities designed to build their capacity for powerful action.

Inspiration — After 12, 14, 17 or 21 years of being told their voices don’t matter in politics, young people may need inspiration to become engaged. Never in history have children and youth been seen or treated as serious political actors; given the opportunity, they will be. Inspiration from stories, parables, biographies and other sources can help prepare and sustain youth in politics.

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Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth involvement in politics in your community or organization, contact us.

22 responses to “Youth Engagement in Politics”

  1. Leadership should be inclusive by involving the youth

  2. Hi, I really need some help.

    My son is 13 and very enthusiastic about politics. His dad and me are not academic so I don’t know where to start with his journey and dream of being an MP

    1. I assume you’re in the UK? If I were there, I’d suggest he research online for how to become an MP–there is a lot of information from the government and other organizations. A good place to start is at

      Let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like more information about.

  3. Youth can definitely bring a positive change in the political system of any country. In fact, our youth should be more aware of the political scenario of their country as well as the outside world because society is gonna have future leaders from the youth itself. When youth will be familiar with the actual political scenario, they can also help others to make the right political decisions by making other people aware and they can also question the incumbents.

  4. Am in search of literature review and reliable research relating to viable curriculums for training high school students (future politicians and voters) on being better in:- campaigning, political leadership, informed voting, etc. There is opportunity in my country Kenya to introduce Political Clubs in High Schools for reasons in line with the above forum’s foregoing discussion. Our high schools have Science clubs, Press clubs, etc as extra-curricular activities. As well I feel ”Parliament” Clubs in high schools as mentorship school activity is a first step towards providing our society with an alternative to the ever recurrent tribal, self-centred, and materialistic political breeds in my country. Although I expect the less objective heads of schools to be against such a club, I am developing a program proposal that proposes introduction and facilitation of a simulated Parliament in high schools of elected students and school groups representative. Kind of controlled short-term political environment. This will also involved relative training to all including faculty. The main objective is to mentor youthful politician (and voters) and direct them away from the individualism rather policy based politics as we have always witness here in Kenya.

  5. Youths should be well educated about the importance of participating in politics today. I think that today’s teens are the backbone of future America and without participation who knows who will be our next leaders.

  6. The fact is, we can never eliminate politics from our world today. But there is a big question about who is proficient enough to use political ideas to increase developments and the lives of people. The youths today are learning leadership roles from our political leaders and we pray they adopt ‘corrupt-free’ practices.

  7. It is interesting that you say young people are becoming more involved in politics than ever before and that they can change the world by becoming actively involved in political parties. My son is currently researching politics to choose a party to campaign behind and I am glad that there will be so many benefits for him! The fact that my son’s voice matters and that he really can make a difference is something I will share with him.

  8. I met a teacher today that asked me that did u think these kids will not b diverted by discussing politics with them? That they’re not even serious b4 then would that not complicate d issue? Pls I need useful answers. Thanks and God bless.


  10. Peter Mutombwa

    I am from Zimbabwe…I like it everything here, m inspired ,motivated and feeling equip ed by all the stuff currently as youth running to campaign as a member of Parliament in the all time great opposition party ….. Arise youth Arise.

  11. I’m impressed knowing that people are concern about youth.
    In Nigeria where I am from, youths are seen as opposition for saying the truth. Elders deliberately oppressed the youth and take away our ideas and initiatives because they are financially powerful than us.
    Matching the youth education and awareness campaign with actions like sponsorship for political positions will go a long way to help out.
    Nice work I must commend.

  12. I definitely agree that teenagers get looked over when it comes to politics. I think as the new generation, we have the media outlets and we can make things go viral within minutes. I think the worst part is that we do not really have any classes where we get deep into politics. We all have our civics classes but we do not have a class where we can get deep into politics.

    1. sitting in a 4*4 and commenting on politics is very easy. if you really have the burden of doing something for country then please get out of your room and get into politics.

  13. 11th grade Propel Braddock Hills students

    Dear Adam Fletcher,
    We believe that youth and politics are two important things in today’s world and this article is very inspirational. Everyday, we attend high school and don’t learn that much about politics. This article really shows how much you care about the youth and our opinions. You confirm our belief that our voices matter and can make a change despite being 16 years old. Thank you for being an inspiration and emphasizing the importance of youth in today’s world.

    1. Youth voice is one of the most important things in our society’s activities, whether they’re politics, entertainment, education, technology or the economy. Unfortunately, there’s still a LOT of struggle to make youth voice heard! Working together, youth and adults can make space for young people everywhere, all of the time.

      Thanks for your note! Let me know if there’s anything I can do to support YOU!

  14. With the sudden effects of a change coming about the world, we will never be able to be the change we honestly want to see. However, if our generation wants to see a change in this nation, in this world, we can’t continue to be a burden on ourselves; our voices were meant to be heard, and our minds are to be dignified and be on a standard that all “children shouldn’t have a say because they’re to young”. We are not to young, our votes, our say matters just as much as older voters. For the life that we have to live and the difficult situations we have to go through it is in no fault that we come together as a teenagers and as young votes to use the right that you have to vote, and vote seriously. Not out of the side of your neck, make sure you understand who you’re voting for before you vote. Be politically sound in your judgement for all areas of your political life.

    1. love what you said, very inspiring

  15. […] on earth other than the internet where the youth are more engaged in and more familiar with. Bring politics to the youth through the internet and they will definitely take a stand. The internet and social media on the internet has time and […]

  16. […] candidates as well as others worldwide, politicians have put on a huge encouragement to get the younger generation involved. And not simply to look good, but to actually bring a change to our country and to get […]

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