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Children and young people

Stephanie takes debate to House of Commons

Lambeth’s Member of Youth Parliament Stephanie Harb, 17, will be joining over 300 young people from across the country to debate in the House of Commons chamber on Friday 29 October.

Members of Youth Parliament, aged 11-18, will debate issues including the cost of university, sex education in schools and war. The subjects were chosen by 2,500 young people aged 11-18.

The event follows on from a UK Youth Parliament debate in the House of Commons last year. It was the first time anyone other than MPs had used the chamber itself. Earlier this year, MPs voted by a majority of 499 to 21 to allow Members of Youth Parliament to debate in the House of Commons chamber every year for the life of the Parliament.

Stephanie commented: “It’s fantastic that Parliament has voted to let us use the House of Commons to debate young peoples’ issues. It shows that young people are really being heard and taken seriously. There are a lot of important issues that will be discussed on Friday and I am looking forward to really representing Lambeth young people”.

The five issues being debated are –

1. Job opportunities – Is enough being done to create jobs for young people? Should there be more work experience opportunities for young people in school and college?

2. Sex Education – Is it good enough? What age should it be taught? Does sex education lead to the sexualisation of young people? Do young people learn about sex from TV?

3. Transport – Is public transport too expensive for young people? At what age should you be charged an adult fare?

4. University – Are fees too high? Is it even worth going to university? Are there enough places for those who want to go?

5. War – Should UK troops be brought home from Afghanistan? Was the conflict in Iraq a costly mistake? Is war ever justified?

The UK Youth Parliament is now calling for young people across the country to submit views on the debate topics, via the UK Youth Parliament website http://www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk.

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