Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cameroon to establish national youth council

Elections will begin October 15 for a new Cameroon National Youth Council. Only members of organizations that have registered with the Ministry of Youth Affairs will be eligible to vote or stand for election. Candidates may run for election at the municipal, divisional, regional and national levels. Elections will run through the end of October.

Last January the government released the electoral code for the election of the Council's executive bureau. Concerns were raised at that time by youth organizations about the registration requirement and about a requirement that organizations intending to present candidates pay levies for the privilege of doing so. Fako Divisional Delegate of Youth Affairs Isaac Ikombe Mbua responded that the levies provide a way to discourage candidates who were not serious about standing for election. The fees run from FCFA 5,000 for an office at the local level to FCFA 50,000 for candidates running for President of the Executive Bureau.

The levies and registration requirement are a genuine concern as they will certainly limit the pool of candidates, and thus may lead to the election of a council that is not truly representative of the youth of Cameroon.

National Youth Council Set for Takeoff

Youth Counsellors Elections - Preparations Underway

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sri Lanka establishes National Children's Council to involve children in policy

In honor of Universal Children's Day 2009, Sri Lanka is establishing a National Children's Council to provide Sri Lankan children with a means to share their ideas and views on issues that concern children. Sarath Abeygunawardana, the government's Probation and Child Care Services Commissioner, promises that the council will have a significant impact on policymaking.

According to Abeygunawardana, what happens is adults taking all the decisions for children and making policies on behalf of them without consulting the children. Children's ideas should be given a space in all policies related to them. It is one of their rights. Children's Councils have already been set up at Divisional Secretariat division level and district level, he said.
Children in policy-making

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Australian Youth Advisory Board guides government's Internet safety policy

Five members of the Australian government's Youth Advisory Group met today at Parliament House in Canberra with the government's minister in charge of broadband communications to offer suggestions on how the government can support cyber safety. The YAG members also met with the Consultative Working Group on Cyber-Safety.

The broadband minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, noted that since May of this year nearly 8,000 posts have been made to the advisory group's online forum, y@g Online. The Youth Advisory Group includes some 300 members.

Some examples of the advice received from advisory group members:

“We need an anonymous online chat facility up for kids to talk about their problems with a professional.”

“Really promote the website so kids just know where to go.”

“Help us to understand the differences between different social networking sites and help us to understand how to use them safely.”

Young Australians advise Government on cyber-safety