After six months of working with thousands of young people we finally managed to put together our manifesto. The UK Youth Voice manifesto consists of young people's future hopes for our country, shares what young people genuinely believe in and most importantly the manifesto truly represents the voices of young people across the UK. After Brexit negotiations, young people have felt shut down and suppressed by Parliament. All 16 and 17 year olds did not get a say on EU membership and now young people are being excluded from crucial Brexit negotiations. Our manifesto is based on the principles that all young people should be entitled to a say in how our country is governed and the way in which it is governed. Many young people feel that their local MP does not accurately represent their needs and therefore this manifesto is a chance for all young people across the UK to unite and voice what they truly believe in. We've engaged with young people from around the UK through organisations in our network including Youth Scotland, Youth Action Northern Ireland, Youth Work Ireland, Youth Cymru and many more. By working with these organisations, we have been able to source the views of thousands of young people and this is why we consider this manifesto to be the most accurate representation of young people's thoughts on local and global issues.
On Monday 19 June, I was lucky enough along with four other members of UK Youth voice to go along to 10 Downing Street and present our youth manifesto to Theresa May. It was an amazing feeling to know that we were presenting something of great importance to our Prime Minister. Personally, I felt proud that I was exercising my democratic right to stand up for young people and hopefully influence future policy making. The most important thing is that as young people we should not be afraid to voice our opinions and stand up for what we believe in.
The manifesto tackles five areas young people consider are the most important:
• Make youth services a priority service
• Enable every young person to take an active role in democracy
• Provide accessible, high quality education for all young people
• End discrimination, prejudice and hate crime towards young people
• Enable future generations to live in a clean, safe and sustainable environment
We are calling Theresa May and the rest of Parliament to address these issues and act upon them accordingly. The young people of our country should no longer to be forced to live in a society that does not acknowledge the importance of their voice. Young people are considered to be the future and therefore the Government need to start negotiating with them in order to build a fair society for all future generations. Incorporating the views of every person within society is one of the fundamental principles of democracy and therefore I am thoroughly looking forward to hearing the Prime Minister's reply and how she will act in accordance to our demands. As a member of UK Youth Voice, I believe it is essential that young people are involved in decision making and our voices are heard throughout Parliament.
Aycha Di Adamo is the UKYV Rep for South West