Young People, Parliamentarians and Internet industry talk about youth engagement in House of Commons

Posted on 21 January 2010

Childnet today hosted a reception in the Strangers Dining Room in the House of Commons, to celebrate the inclusion at the voice of youth at the Internet Governance Forum.

Hosted by Rt. Hon Alun Michael, the event included 26 children and young people from Guernsey, Liverpool, London, Devon and Plymouth representing the 1,500 plus children and young people engaged with over the project. The youth delegates were given the opportunity to mingle with and talk to MPs and representatives from the online services that they use including Google, Club Penguin, MySpace, Skype and Facebook. The event was covered by Radio 4 who spoke with many of the young people.

During the speeches, youth delegate Liam McLear, 16, shared with those present his experiences of the project and attending the Internet Governance Forum as well as his hopes for the future including the greater participation of both young and older people in the IGF process.

Will Gardner, CEO said:

“Today has been a fantastic celebration of project that has truly engaged with children and young people and listened to what they have to say about the Internet. Taking their thoughts, opinions and dreams for the future to the IGF has been a rewarding experience and we were delighted with the positive reception from the other delegates to listening to the voice of youth. This is an important area of work and we are committed to continuing to listening to young people and championing their positive online engagement.”

Rt. Hon Alun Michael MP, who chairs the UK Internet Governance Forum, said that everyone should be very proud of the mature and incisive way young people were seizing the opportunity to engage with the IGF process.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the highlight of the world-wide event in Sharm el-Sheikh was the Childnet session – where children from the UK joined with young Egyptians from the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement to show what the engagement of young people means at its best. Wednesday’s subsequent report back reception in the House of Commons was a brilliant opportunity to show MPs and Industry representatives that our young people aren’t there for a token presence – they are now at the heart of the mainstream.”

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