By: World Vision Canada National Youth Council
Advocacy amplifies individual perspectives, informs government bodies, and educates decision-makers about the most effective solutions to problems in order to create the most effective solutions. The advantages of youth in politics are immensely positive, with youth being a highly diverse group of individuals with varying backgrounds, skills and ideas. Along with youth participation in elections, youth engagement in politics in Canada through advocacy can improve transparency, accountability and integrity in government, and allow youth to actively participate in policy making.
Many frameworks currently published are from the perspective of the government on engaging youth in politics. There are also guides to lobbying created for professionals and their organizations. But there is not a simple guide available discussing how youth can take the initiative and advocate for the causes they are passionate about. The Youth Political Advocacy Framework is designed to lower youth entry barriers into politics and help young leaders start their advocacy journey.
Additionally, this framework looks to mitigate youth voter apathy. Youth ages 18-24 consistently have the lowest voter turnout compared to other age groups. In 2019, voter turnout in the Federal Election in the 18-24 age group was only 54%. Through this framework, we seek to address challenges of youth participation in politics and bridge gaps between youth and politics through providing youth-centered resources.
What is the framework?
The Youth Political Advocacy Framework covers the basics of how youth can engage in social activism, political participation, and decision-making processes. It provides youth with a step-by-step guide on how to use their advantages and influence legislation through communicating with government representatives. This guide walks through what advocacy looks like in Canada’s parliamentary system and how youth can help create change. The sections in this framework outline the steps to a meeting with a Member of Parliament (MP), including initial contact, how to plan the meeting, how to act during the meeting and how to follow up after the meeting. This framework also discusses general etiquette and provides a tool kit with email templates, checklists, and worksheets to start youth on their advocacy journey.
Youth political participation is critical in shaping the future of Canada through impacting government decisions with bright and innovative ideas. The Youth Political Advocacy Framework aims to lead in the movement of increasing youth engagement in politics through youth empowerment and tools for advocacy.
DOWNLOAD THE FRAMEWORK
Framework initiated, lead, and written by: Ashlyn Nguyen - Chairperson, Negin Amini - Editor, Grace Zhou - Advocacy Coach, Ann Lee - VP of Finance, Katherine Dibbon - Research Coordinator, Vicky Ruan - VP Internal, Amy Spearman - Regional Leader (Prairies), Camille Zhou - Secretary, Lauren Dibbon - Content Creator, Kristina Babiakova - VP of Marketing
Hero image photo by Clement Allard