Social policy, Planning Advocacy and Communication


Youth parliament




Youth parliament

UNICEF Malawi/2014
© UNCIEF Malawi/2014

A strategy to make children’s voices heard is the Youth Parliament, the successor to the Child Parliament which was established in 2002. The Youth Parliament coming under the umbrella of the National Assembly, supported by UNICEF, will continue to be a key forum through which children and young people will make their views and opinions known. Outcomes of the debates will be included in the reports of the Parliamentary Committee on Social Services for debate on the floor of the House.

Key Result

The goal of the youth parliament is to ensure that young people play a constructive role in the development of the country. Children’s voices cannot be left out if meaningful democracy and development are to be achieved.


Malawi is a young country. Over half its population is aged under 18 years, and the young people aged 19 – 24 years swell the numbers to 60% of the total population. From 2002, Malawi held the Children’s Parliament annually. In 2011, the country decided to transition to a Youth Parliament in line with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s action plan. This move was also in line with the Malawi Parliament’s own strategic plan of 2010 – 2015. The key challenge faced by the Children’s Parliament was the lack of linkage with the Malawi Parliament. This institutionalisation of the Youth Parliament in the National Assembly is therefore key to ensuring that resolutions follow the proper legal processes and are implemented via the main Parliament. Through the Youth Parliament, young people from all 193 constituencies are given the opportunity to take part in the decision making of Malawi.

Strategies and Actions

  1. Support the strengthening of the Youth Parliament.
  2. Provide financial and technical support to the Youth Parliament.
  3. Support both Government and Civil Society in the preparation of reports to the core human rights treaty bodies, including those under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The NGO Coalition on Child Rights will be supported to produce the alternative report.
  4. Establishment of equitable forums for child participation at community, district and national levels, allowing children to directly influence the national budget and the legislative framework.



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