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Activists advocate for youth participation in the constitution-making process

Activists advocate for youth participation in the constitution-making process

South Sudanese youth advocates begin the campaigns for young people representation in the ongoing constitution-making process.

The advocate has call for recognition and allocation of affirmative action 35% like women in the revitalized agreement saying the youth are also among the marginalized groups in the country.

Kenyi Emmanuel Moses, an Advocate, and a member of the five youth activists working on the design of the permanent constitution process, says his group lacks access to fundamental and other basic rights for participants in state affairs.

“We want to participate in the political affairs of our country. We want the youth to participate in the upcoming election. Lower the age and make it possible for the youth to participate in parliamentarians and governorship elections. Lower the age to 35yrs so that we can contest for the presidency.” Kenyi said

He says the youth need their representatives in the parliament and other processes include the permanent constitution-making process which is ongoing to add their voices.

Hon. Nyayang Lok Riek, the deputy chairperson for the specialized committee on youth and sports in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly acknowledged that young people not reflected in recent political parties, bill parliament passed.

She called on the youth to speak up about their rights before the constitution-making process period elapses and pressure policymakers to pass the bill.

Mrs. Lok stated that the youth bill is in the parliament, but it has not been prioritized in the assembly programming.

“The youth policy is within the parliament in the committee of youth and sport, but it has not yet been table because the parliament has priorities related to the agreement. Youth is just like any other human beings; they are as women and children. If our constitution gives a bill of rights where everybody has their right, then the youth are inclusive.” Nyayang said.

Hon. Nyayang encouraged the youth to be united and organized in whatever they want to achieve.

Fernanda Paul, the deputy chairperson of the National Youth Union, says many voices within the constitution-making process are of the young people.

She said the youth leadership through the youth ministry is working hard to ensure that the youth bill of rights is passed.

“In the constitution-making process, the youth are the biggest voice, and we have been trying to push for the bill in the parliament to be made through the help of the ministry {and} it’s our collective right as the youth to push for this bill, knock at the doors and let our voices be heard.” Fernanda Stated.

Nyalony Gatwang Riak believes youth can only achieve their rights and be strong if they unite themselves, put aside their political and tribal differences and advocate as one voice.

Let us put aside the political affiliations, tribalism, racism, and the issue of class. So, if we put all these and so much more aside, we can achieve whatsoever thing we want.

Meanwhile youth David Pitya Jada says there is a need for government to focus on youth and empower them since they cover the bigger number of the population in the country.

The youth expressed their demand during the youth symposium that brought together 35 youth activists from various institutions to dialogue constructively with elders and policymakers on youth rights, vital government framework, and governance on the status of the constitution-making process.