UK Youth Parliament to campaign against race and religious discrimination 13th November 2015

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Working together to combat racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim and Jewish, has today been chosen the issue as its national campaign for 2015 and Mental health was chosen as the UK Youth Parliament’s priority campaign for England.

These motions were two of five debated by the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons chamber this afternoon, Friday 13 November, chaired by Speaker of the House of Commons the Rt Hon John Bercow MP.

The votes cast were:

UK Wide:

  • Working together to combat racism and religious discrimination: 155
  • Everyone should be paid at least the Living Wage: 117

Devolved:

  • Mental health services should be improved with our help: 176
  • A curriculum to prepare us for life: 110
  • Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all: 33

A total of 279 Members of Youth Parliament aged 11-18 took part in the debates, the subjects for which were voted for by 969,992 young people across the UK in the annual UK Youth Parliament Make Your Mark ballot.

Speaking on the topic of ‘working together to combat racism and religious discrimination’, Shamim Miah, 18, Member of Youth Parliament for Leeds, said: “My motion on race and religious discrimination was just passed as the new national campaign for UK Youth Parliament 2016!  From growing up in a community constantly belittled and stifled by limitations, today’s success makes me feel I have achieved a landmark and represented my community to the absolute fullest.”

On the topic of ‘improving mental health services with our help’ Namir Chowdhury, 17, Member of Youth Parliament for Walsall, said: “Again, MYPs have realised just how important mental health is; raising awareness and the provision of school counsellors are examples of invaluable asset with the potential to benefit so many lives. The fact that one in every four are directly affected by a lack of mental wellbeing and millions more indirectly, as well as increasingly limited funding,  shows how big our task is, but I have faith that this inspirational group of young people will champion this movement. It’s a proud day for UK Youth Parliament, mental health awareness, and this entire generation!”

The Speaker Rt Hon. John Bercow MP, who presided over by the debates said:“Welcoming the Youth Parliament for their annual sitting in the has become one of the House of Common’s most pleasant traditions.  Almost a million young people across the United Kingdom participated in this year’s vote, and I am pleased that they are taking advantage of the opportunity to make their voices heard in the heart of democracy in ever increasing numbers.”