Not Too young To Run Bill: The challenges of it’s implementation and the way out


At the first United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law, which is now taking place in United Nations Geneva, the global campaign Not Too Young to Run was officially launched today. The campaign was initiated by a partnership that includes the Office of the United Nations Secretary-Envoy General’s on Youth, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the European Youth Forum (EYF), and the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth, and Advancement (YIAGA),

is to increase awareness of young people’s rights to run for public office and to encourage them to do so.

dealing with the widespread problem of discrimination based on age


Youth account for one-fifth of the total population of the world. In the meanwhile, their involvement in the political discussions is quite limited. The average age of a member of parliament in the world is 53. (Bruter and Harrison 2009). In order to be eligible to run for a seat in parliament, a candidate must be at least 25 years old. The participation of young people in political domains and processes is called into question as a result of this. The young people have been praised for the creative abilities and forward-thinking concepts they have demonstrated. When one takes a close look at the significant political shifts and the ensuing dynamism, one sees that young people are at the center of the fulcrum. In most cases, they play the role of catalysts in the process of undemocratic governments and political systems being overhauled. The Arab Spring in 2011 and 2012 is a good example of this. Their participation and positions in the political arenas were, however, highly limited due to unfavorable legal structures, poor economic situations, and a variety of policies that discriminated against them in many ways. As a direct consequence of this, their participation in the political process is unofficial and has not been adequately documented. The youth of Africa are not included in significant decision-making processes because the continent is still in its early stages of democratic development and its political institutions are not well developed. Youth participation in Africa’s official political systems is, by and large, met with reluctance from the continent’s governments and those who formulate policy. In modern times, however, there has been some evidence of a slight improvement in Africa. This is partly attributable to an increased awareness on the part of state governments as well as the influence of external pressures such as globalization and democratization, both of which place a greater emphasis on the participation of young people in political and economic spheres of influence. Scholars have suggested that this may be a reaction to the marginalization as well as the social and economic exclusion that they have experienced. According to recent findings published by the World Bank and the UNDP, more than seventy percent of Africa’s population is comprised of people under the age of thirty. Nevertheless, despite the significance of their numbers and the fact that


historical relevance throughout the region, they have been neglected from political arenas. They are disorganized, jobless, and susceptible to radical views as a result of the absence of political participation of young people on the continent, which leaves them prone to things like leading rallies against the decisions made by the government. This has been witnessed in Sierra Leone, where young people who were disillusioned and unable to find work played a significant role in the formation of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), as well as in Rwanda, where young people were at the center of the genocide.

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