More than half the world’s population is under 25. Yet we – the young people of the world – are significantly under-represented in decision-making at all levels, from local government to global politics.
Internationally, 87% of young people surveyed by Restless Development feel that they have a role to play in shaping global development priorities. However, the majority of these young people say they are unsure how they can have a real say in development debates.
Here in the UK, the majority of young people are interested in politics . However, 56% of 17 to 24-year-olds were not registered to vote in the last general election (according to the Electoral Commission). Perhaps this is because only 8% of young people believe that politicians care about their views … How many young people do you think David Cameron has really listened to about their opinions on the EU, for instance?
In the run-up to the G8 summit to be hosted by the UK in June 2013, more than 100 NGOs are uniting in a campaign to end world hunger. This is good, important, and necessary: IF we don’t act, then 937 million young people’s life chances will be permanently damaged by childhood hunger by 2025.
We at Generation Development agree with these 100 NGOs that aid, land, tax and transparency are all crucial issues in the campaign to end world hunger. But young people are not just hungry for food. We have fire in our bellies, and we are hungry for change.
The dinner table is all well and good, but young people must also have a proper seat at the decision-making table. For too long, development has been seen as something that is done to or for young people, rather than with and by young people. We will inherit the decisions that are being made without consulting us. So we dream of a world where global leaders listen to the voices of young people across the world, and where young people can shape the future of international development.
If you share this dream, then tell your friends about Generation Development, and watch this space to learn how you can be part of a global conversation about young people’s needs, wishes and goals.
WE ARE: Generation Development
 63% of the 1000 18-year-olds surveyed by the BBC in 2012 said they were interested in politics.
 A poll by the Children’s Society found that only 8% of 11 to 25-year-olds believe that politicians care about young people’s views.