Frequently Asked Questions
An inclusive youth parliament is a platform where diverse youth, including those with disabilities, come together to engage in dialogue, advocate for positive change, and ensure equitable representation in decision-making processes.
The IRWA inclusive youth parliament will be prioritizing persons with disabilities by being more accessible and inclusive for them. It allows individuals with disabilities to participate without any barriers, making it easier for differently abled individuals to hone their skills and gain experience in parliamentary affairs. Youth Parliament provides an opportunity to the youth to voice their concerns over ongoing regional and national issues and share their opinions on the current challenges faced by our country. For differently abled youth, it is an opportunity to raise awareness about challenges and limitations faced by them.
The parliament will entail the development of comprehensive policy proposals addressing a wide range of issues, with input from diverse youth, including those with disabilities. Standing committees will work collaboratively to craft innovative solutions, and guest speakers will offer expertise to inform debates. Advocacy efforts will be multifaceted, encompassing grassroots campaigns, awareness initiatives, and engagement with policymakers to ensure lasting impact on society’s inclusivity and equity.
The first batch of IRWA’s 1st Youth Parliament will induct a maximum of 80 members of whom will be no special needs persons, members of the blind and deaf community, and persons with physical challenges.
The membership term of a parliamentarian will be 6 months with a total of 5 days of in-person sessions.
The IRWA YP welcomes persons with physical disabilities and persons without disabilities too. If you are aged between 16 to 29, are a citizen of Pakistan, and agree to our terms and conditions, you can apply!
This Youth Parliament is being organized and executed by Ida Rieu Welfare Association, with the help of our learning partners and donors.
The 1st IRWA Youth Parliament will host 80 members, comprising a mix of persons with special needs as well as no special needs. Members of the youth parliament will be trained on how our country’s parliamentary system functions, democratic processes and policy drafting.This platform offers individuals an opportunity to engage in discourse about current social, economic and political challenges faced by Pakistan. Moreover, members will be given assignments on developing committee reports with solutions and implementation details, and proposing policies in the 5 days of session.
There is no stipend or salary for members of this parliament. Membership of IRWA Youth Parliament is not an internship or employment.
There is no registration fee for joining the parliament.
IRWA YP will not provide any accommodation to members of parliament. Members must arrange for their own accommodation, lodging and travel expenses.
After submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation email verifying your submission, please contact us on: email@example.com
All citizens of Pakistan aged between 16 to 29 as of December 1st 2023, are eligible to apply to the IRWA Youth Parliament. While the application form will ask you to submit your recent academic qualifications, no bar will be placed on your educational qualifications. The IRWA YP holds the final authority to accept your application.
There will be no interviews during the selection process of the 1st IRWA YP. However, exceptions may be made if the secretariat deems it necessary. In the case of special interviews, these will be conducted online via Zoom or Google Meet.
The 1st IRWA YP will be held in Karachi, Pakistan. Details of the location will be shared with members closer to the session.
All selected members are expected to attend the 5 days of session and the 6th day of our closing ceremony. If you are unable to attend the sessions on our given dates, please inform the secretariat at the time of your selection. Emergency notices can be emailed to the secretariat after selection, and the leave may be granted on legitimate grounds.
Members of IRWA YP are expected to wear formal attire for all sessions.
The IRWA YP sessions will have a visitors’ gallery for non-members to observe the sessions. However, due to the limited seating and accessible spacing, members need to inform the secretariat a day in advance if they wish to bring observers.
The 1975 UN Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons (the Declaration) defined a “disabled person” as anyone “unable to ensure by himself or herself, wholly or partly, the necessities of a normal individual and/or social life, as a result of deficiency, either congenital or not, in his or her physical or mental capabilities.”1 This definition stresses the inabilities of persons with disabilities and their dependence on assistance. Since the Declaration was adopted, attitudes towards disability have shifted. For instance, the term “disabled person” has been largely replaced in common use by “persons with disabilities,” since the latter places emphasis on the person rather than on the disability.
Although the CRPD uses the term “persons with disabilities,” it is not included in the definitions section. The absence of a formal definition reflects the fact that there are different conceptualizations of disability, and recognizes, as noted in the preamble, that “disability” is an “evolving concept.”2 To provide some guidance, however, the Convention states in its “Purpose” section that the term “persons with disabilities” includes “those who have long‑term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others” (Article 1). This wording recognizes the diverse types of disabilities, or “impairments,” that a person may have. Perhaps most importantly, it emphasizes that a person with a disability is only limited in their ability to participate in society as a result of their interaction with barriers that society permits to exist, which may be physical obstacles, policies, legislation, or discriminatory behavior and prejudicial attitudes.3 The Convention requires states parties to identify and eliminate these obstacles and barriers.4
This language is also reflective of the rights‑based approach, which views persons with disabilities as rights holders and active members of society.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has also given clear direction to “ensure that the word “disabled” is not used and instead Persons with Disabilities or persons with different abilities is put to use.” (cp_2045_2019).
Terms and Condition
- Participants must be between the ages of 16 to 29.
- Open to youth of all backgrounds, abilities, and regions in Pakistan.
Code of Conduct:
- All participants are expected to uphold respectful and inclusive behavior, refraining from any form of discrimination, harassment, or harm towards others.
- Disruptive or offensive behavior may result in immediate expulsion from the youth parliament.
- Participants shall maintain the confidentiality (if deemed necessary by the Secretariat), of sensitive information discussed during parliamentary sessions, meetings, or deliberations.
- Regular attendance at parliamentary sessions and committee meetings is mandatory.
- A minimum attendance threshold (e.g. 95%) will be required for active participation.
- Participants are encouraged to actively engage in committee work, including policy proposals, research, and discussions.
- Committee assignments will be made based on skill training given to participants.
Advocacy and Outreach:
- Participants may be required to engage in advocacy efforts and community outreach initiatives to promote the mission and goals of the youth parliament.
Respect for Diversity:
- The youth parliament embraces diversity in all its forms and promotes inclusivity.
- Discrimination or prejudice based on gender, religion, disability, or any other factor will not be tolerated.
Guest Speakers and Experts:
- Participation in sessions with guest speakers and experts is encouraged to broaden participants’ knowledge and perspectives.
Safety and Security:
- The IRWA Youth Parliament is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all participants during events and activities.
Compliance with National Laws:
- All activities and initiatives conducted by the IRWA YP must comply with the laws and regulations of Pakistan.
Complaints and Grievances:
- A mechanism for addressing complaints and grievances will be in place, with a designated point of contact for dispute resolution.
Termination of Membership:
- The organizers reserve the right to terminate the membership of any participant who repeatedly violates the terms and conditions or disrupts the youth parliament’s activities.
- These terms and conditions may be amended or updated as needed, with prior notification to all participants.
By participating in the IRWA Youth Parliament, participants agree to abide by these terms and conditions, upholding the values of inclusivity, respect, and dedication to the betterment of society. Failure to comply with these terms may result in the removal of a participant from the youth parliament.