House of Commons – UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting

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House of Commons – UK Youth Parliament Annual Sitting

On 11th November 2016 we had the privilege of going down to London to debate in the House of Commons, where Mr Speaker (John Bercow) chaired.

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Vanessa Attipoe 11.11.16

The different topics that were debated in the House of Commons came from the Make your Mark consultation carried out which had a great turnout from young people.

We picked out the top 5 campaigns that young people voted for across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as they were the topics that young people felt was most important.

We debated about these topics in the House of Commons in order for us to choose the next 2 topics that we will be campaigning for in the year 2017.

The top 5 topics that were picked from the consultation were:

  • Cuts to the NHS
  • Votes at 16
  • Transport
  • Tackling racism and religious discrimination
  • Curriculum for life

Many young people got the chance to speak their views about each of these topics, either taking the for side or the against or simply speaking from their experiences.

One of the most memorable debates, and highly effective and most passionate debates, was the tackling racism and religious discrimination campaign.

Many people spoke (1 from each region) and one of the speakers was brave enough and bold enough to give us a quick summary of her story of being discriminated against because of her race and I believe that this is despicable. No human being should have to feel marginalised because of their race.

From this marvellous experience, and once in a lifetime experience, I learnt that you should take it as it comes. I was very inspired by all the speeches as they were very passionate and were well prepared.

Being in the House of Commons has inspired me to want to do more for young people.

It has shown me that the government are definitely doing something with the information that they gather from young people and are interested in what we have to say and want to help us to help others make that change that we believe will better our society.