Ida Rieu’s inclusive Youth Parliament is a step towards our larger goal of nurturing a young generation of informed, open minded and responsible citizens who will be leading society and creating positive impact.
The world’s 1.8 billion youth, want a world free of strife and bloodshed, they want to thrive in an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful co-existence, they want to build a better world for the entire human race, and this is only possible through promoting dialogue, understanding and collaborative solutions. On this long journey towards universal peace, inculcating leadership qualities, communication skills, conflict resolution abilities and most importantly, a sense of compassion among our youth is a foundational requirement.
The tradition of holding Youth Parliaments began in the early 20th century with Sweden leading the way and holding the world’s first youth parliament in 1918. This concept soon spread to other European countries and the global Youth Movement started gaining momentum. Organizations like the Commonwealth Youth Parliament and the European Youth Parliament regularly host international events and foster collaboration among young people interested in political participation and civic engagement. The first Youth Parliament in Pakistan was held in 2007 with the objective of training our youth in the norms of politics and democracy.
I congratulate the Ida Rieu Youth Parliament Team for providing this valuable learning opportunity for our young people and wish them enlightened deliberations with rewarding outcomes.
The journey of empowerment and inclusion of persons with disabilities is laden with challenges, however, through the commitment and efforts of all those who believe in social justice and equity, progress is underway.
Having served the cause of the Blind and Deaf members of society for over a century, Ida Rieu Welfare Association has taken the initiative of launching an inclusive Youth Parliament to ensure that the views of young people regardless of their physical abilities are heard and considered in the legislative process of the nation. We firmly believe that inclusivity is not only a moral imperative but also a driver of social progress and unity.
The Ida Rieu Youth Parliament seeks to bring together young people and help them transcend barriers, dismantle discrimination and move forward with a shared vision for the progress of Pakistan.
Ida Rieu’s Youth Parliament wants to unify the diverse voices of our youth so that they transcend all differences and work for an inclusive and equitable society where every young person regardless of physical challenges is a valued member, an informed advocate and an agent of positive change. We aspire to break down barriers, eliminate disparities and ensure equal access to opportunities, resources and platforms for personal and collective growth of the nation’s youth.
Promote inclusive decision-making by representing diverse abled and disabled youth voices in the youth parliament
Actively engage with government bodies, legislators stakeholders to advocate for policies promoting disability rights and inclusion across all societal dimensions.
The Youth Parliament will facilitate member engagement with legislators, bureaucrats, and community leaders to encourage active participation in decision-making processes at all levels
Draft legislation for equal opportunities and protections for people with physical disabilities
Promote inclusive education and raise awareness about the challenges faced by disabled youth, while highlighting their strengths and contributions
Conduct research and provide evidence-based solutions for addressing challenges faced by individuals with physical disabilities
To become a member of IRWA’s Youth Parliament, you must be:
• A citizen of Pakistan
• Aged between 16 to 29
• Committed to attending all parliament sessions on the given dates
• Interested in policy advocacy, driving positive change and breaking down barriers to foster a more inclusive society.
• Committed to observing decorum during sessions and adhering to our code of conduct.
• Our applications for IRWA’s 1st Youth Parliament open on 21st September 2023 at 11:00 AM PKT.
• Fill in the application form before the deadline on 24th October 2023 at 11:00 PM PKT.
Youth parliament provides a platform that gives our diverse youth an opportunity to learn and understand the workings and procedures of Pakistan’s parliament and democratic system. Becoming a member can help pave the way for them to be a part of the National or Provincial assemblies in the country, work on future policies, and contribute to other institutions of Pakistan.
The IYP can help individuals gain experiences and exposure in parliamentary affairs, encourage political discourse and advocate for a more inclusive society.
For the 1st IYP, the key themes will be aligned directly with sustainable development goals, currently relevant to the political climate in Pakistan.
Enhancing accessibility and equality is vital for tackling social disparities, fostering fairness, and justice. This involves reviewing policies and strategies to ensure equitable access to resources, opportunities, and rights, addressing inequality comprehensively.
Quality education drives a brighter future, promoting innovation, equality, and global progress. In developing nations, inclusive education empowers all, irrespective of abilities, for fulfilling lives, workforce participation, and societal contributions, advancing personal and national prosperity.
Learning about climate action involves grasping climate science, renewable energy, and sustainability to empower informed choices and foster positive environmental change.
In times of economic uncertainty and high inflation, prioritizing economic growth is essential. It stabilizes livelihoods, helps address inflation challenges, and fosters a sustainable, equitable economic future.
Studying law and justice involves exploring legal systems, governance, conflict resolution, and human rights, nurturing the capacity to advance justice, equality, and peace globally. This understanding is crucial for stable societies, conflict resolution, and human rights protection.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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).
Code of Conduct:
Advocacy and Outreach:
Respect for Diversity:
Guest Speakers and Experts:
Safety and Security:
Compliance with National Laws:
Complaints and Grievances:
Termination of Membership:
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.