Despite making up more than half of the population in many countries, young people (ages 18-30) often find themselves marginalized from mainstream politics and decision making. They struggle to gain the respect of public officials and are seen as lacking the skills and experience to engage in political activity and lead positive change in their communities. This exclusion, combined with limited educational and economic opportunities, can leave young people both idle and frustrated with the status quo.
Today’s youth need real opportunities to participate in political processes and contribute to practical solutions that advance development. When given an opportunity to organize, voice their opinions and play a meaningful role in political decision making, young people consistently demonstrate their willingness and ability to foster positive, lasting change. They also become more likely to demand and defend democracy, and gain a greater sense of belonging.
NDI supports young people to channel their energy, creativity and aspirations and become political leaders and activists. Programs build young people’s skills, knowledge and confidence while helping them more effectively express their voices, build relationships with political leaders, and break down sociocultural and institutional barriers to participation. To learn more about NDI’s approach to supporting youth political participation, see the Youth Political Participation Programming Guide, displayed below.
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NDI's work upholds the idea that democracy is a human right – a principle enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But it's a human right that many around the world still struggle to attain. You can be part of the solution. Join the movement for democracy.