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Youth 2030 Movement

Ensuring young people's place in democracy

Youth 2030 Movement is a movement of young leaders, child rights activists and democracy activists who work to strengthen young people’s place in democracy. The goal is for all young people in Sweden to have power and influence over their own lives and the democratic structure of society.

Youth 2030 Movement is committed to the notion that children and youth are crucial actors in formulating and leading the world into a sustainable future. With innovative methods and with support from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, now also Swedish law, the organization creates opportunities for youth to participate in the democratic development.

Youth 2030 Movement is a movement of young leaders, child rights activists and democracy activists who work to strengthen young people's place in democracy. The goal of the movement is that democracy must be better at making use of young people’s engagement, that young people themselves should feel that their opinions matter, and that young people should have the same opportunities to influence regardless of where they come from or which group in society they belong to.

We need to redistribute power so that young people get more influence in areas where we are the target group.

The Convention of the Rights of the Child and youth's place in democracy

On January 1st, 2020, the Convention on the Rights of the Child became law in Sweden, which means a great adaptation of politics and society in Sweden. The law ensures that the rights of the child is strengthened through four core principles: all children have the same rights and value; the best interest of the child should be taken into consideration in all decisions that impact children; all children have the right to life and development; and all children have the right to express their opinion and have their view respected. The Convention requires children to have a place in democracy. But in Sweden, every other young person does not feel like a participant in society. Fewer than three in ten young people state that they have somewhat good or very good opportunities to present their opinions to the municipal decision-makers. Young people are not equally represented in organizations and entities with decision-making power and it becomes increasingly more difficult to recruit and organize young people in Sweden. At the same time, a lack of a child rights and youth perspective among many decision-makers means that children's perspectives are not taken into consideration when decisions are made.

We need to redistribute power so that young people get more influence in areas where we are the target group.

“We exist for nearly half of all youth who do not think they are important for society, and even more youth who do not feel included in society.” Marlene Claesson

“Adults, as a group, have discriminated children and young people politically, financially, and systematically. This is called the age-based power structure, and it has created a democratic deficit and exclusion of young people. Children and youth are all their own individuals and rights-holders. In order for children and youth to have power over their own lives, adults need to relinquish power and work actively to include children and youth”, says Marlene Claesson, Secretary General for Youth 2030 Movement. Youth 2030 Movement is an organization with a focus on the voices, perspectives, and leadership of children and young people. This means, among other things, that young people are on the board of the organization.

“I carried a great frustration, it mostly came from that I had lots of ideas and thoughts about how things should be, but no one did anything about it. My engagement in civil society had taught me to go from idea to action”, says Hamza Mostafa, Youth 2030 Movement board.

“In order for children and youth, to be able to make their voices heard on a structural level, Youth 2030 Movement supports the independent organization of young people, and helps adults to becomes allies in the fight for the rights of children and youth”, says Marlene.

Youth 2030 Movement is a movement of young leaders, child rights activists and democracy activists who work to strengthen young people’s place in democracy. The goal is for all young people in Sweden to have power and influence over their own lives and the democratic structure of society.

Youth 2030 Movement is committed to the notion that children and youth are crucial actors in formulating and leading the world into a sustainable future. With innovative methods and with support from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, now also Swedish law, the organization creates opportunities for youth to participate in the democratic development.

Youth 2030 Movement is a movement of young leaders, child rights activists and democracy activists who work to strengthen young people's place in democracy. The goal of the movement is that democracy must be better at making use of young people’s engagement, that young people themselves should feel that their opinions matter, and that young people should have the same opportunities to influence regardless of where they come from or which group in society they belong to.

We need to redistribute power so that young people get more influence in areas where we are the target group.

The Convention of the Rights of the Child and youth's place in democracy

On January 1st, 2020, the Convention on the Rights of the Child became law in Sweden, which means a great adaptation of politics and society in Sweden. The law ensures that the rights of the child is strengthened through four core principles: all children have the same rights and value; the best interest of the child should be taken into consideration in all decisions that impact children; all children have the right to life and development; and all children have the right to express their opinion and have their view respected. The Convention requires children to have a place in democracy. But in Sweden, every other young person does not feel like a participant in society. Fewer than three in ten young people state that they have somewhat good or very good opportunities to present their opinions to the municipal decision-makers. Young people are not equally represented in organizations and entities with decision-making power and it becomes increasingly more difficult to recruit and organize young people in Sweden. At the same time, a lack of a child rights and youth perspective among many decision-makers means that children's perspectives are not taken into consideration when decisions are made.

We need to redistribute power so that young people get more influence in areas where we are the target group.

“Adults, as a group, have discriminated children and young people politically, financially, and systematically. This is called the age-based power structure, and it has created a democratic deficit and exclusion of young people. Children and youth are all their own individuals and rights-holders. In order for children and youth to have power over their own lives, adults need to relinquish power and work actively to include children and youth”, says Marlene Claesson, Secretary General for Youth 2030 Movement. Youth 2030 Movement is an organization with a focus on the voices, perspectives, and leadership of children and young people. This means, among other things, that young people are on the board of the organization.

“I carried a great frustration, it mostly came from that I had lots of ideas and thoughts about how things should be, but no one did anything about it. My engagement in civil society had taught me to go from idea to action”, says Hamza Mostafa, Youth 2030 Movement board.

“In order for children and youth, to be able to make their voices heard on a structural level, Youth 2030 Movement supports the independent organization of young people, and helps adults to becomes allies in the fight for the rights of children and youth”, says Marlene.

“We exist for nearly half of all youth who do not think they are important for society, and even more youth who do not feel included in society.” Marlene Claesson

Youth 2030 Movement has brought to light how the situation for children varies across the country.

The Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (MUCF) notes that barely half, 46%, of youth in Sweden feel that they are included, and around half, 52%, feel that they are needed in the Swedish society. The numbers are lower among youth in rural communities and socio-economically vulnerable communities (MUCF Report “Fokus 18 – Vilka ska med? Ungas sociala inkludering i Sverige”, 2018).

Marlene describes how she sees a huge potential in the impact of the organization. “We exist for nearly half of all youth who do not think they are important for society, and even more youth who do not feel included in society. In order for democracy to work, we need to make use of the power that is found among youth, and in order to make sustainable decisions, we need to take into consideration the living conditions of future generations. Youth 2030 Movement is a movement based on our conviction that the participation and influence of young people can change our entire democracy.”

The organization also organizes summits between young people and people in power. At the summit, the roles are reversed compared to a traditional summit. The meeting is completely led by the young people – and the people in power have to get used to listening instead of speaking for a change.

“We need to redistribute power so that young people get more influence in areas where we are the target group. Too often, processes and decisions about young people take place without hearing even the voice of one single young person. It is easy to feel diminished and lose faith that society and the adult world want to include us in a serious way. The summit is done BY, FOR, and WITH young people”, says Kajsa Ahlström, one of six young people in the executive team of the summit.

Youth 2030 Movement has put together reform propositions to strengthen the rights of children and youth locally, the rights of children and youth nationally, and the rights of especially vulnerable children and youth. That is how the organization is providing a strong contribution to the implementation of the new legislation on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and will play a role in the sustainable development.

ALL PROJECTS