Value of the Voice of Youth
There is a lot of talk that youth involvement and education are essential for shaping the future, so more and more institutions are trying to introduce a youth perspective. If we are speaking not only regionally but also internationally, several organisations also offer different programmes to young people, such as the UN Youth Delegate programme, the various initiatives of the European Union, as for example EU Youth Dialogue, etc. In Latvia, one of the largest youth involvement projects of this kind is the Youth Saeima. Nevertheless, do young people feel that their views are appreciated, and do they feel heard? Are these types of projects and programs more meant to educate young people or to provide them with a platform to influence decisions in some way? What could be done differently? What is the real motivation for youth to be civically, socially, and politically active?
For this episode of our podcast, Elīna Smetaņina, Student of International Relations in Rīga Stradiņš University, Natālija Knipše, the Latvian Youth Delegate to the United Nations, and Selma Levrence, Human Rights and Environmental activist, youth organization “Protests” chairwoman, try to answer these challenging questions.
The interview is part of a series developed in the context of the annual Rīga Conferences organised by the Latvian Transatlantic Organisation in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. This episode is dedicated to The Rīga Conference Future Leaders Forum, which is an event that bring together young leaders that are interested in security, defence and transatlantic matters. The purpose of the series is to keep discussions alive in between consecutive conferences.