5.8 Raising political awareness among young people
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Several public authorities provide information about democratic rights to all people living in Denmark and to young people specifically.
Information for people of all ages:
Borger.dk: The National Agency for Digitalization, Danish Municipalities KL, and Danish Regions provide a portal for citizens in Denmark. Here, citizens can find information on all public services, rights and duties.
In the sub-section ‘Society and Rights’, citizens can read about citizenship, equal status, the electoral system, age of majority and guardianship and how to file a complaint.
Folketinget.dk: On the website of the Danish parliament, people can find information about the Danish parliamentary system and Danish democracy.
Information about democratic rights targeting young people in Denmark
Democracy Under Development (Demokrati under udvikling) Democracy Under Development is an educational campaign running in 2018 targeted at pupils in primary and lower secondary, general and vocational upper secondary, and adult education programmes. The teaching material is free. The programme is launched by the Ministry of Children and Education.
The Children’s Portal (Børneportalen). The Children’s Portal is a website run by the Children’s Council. The website targets children and young people in the 10-15 age group. The website provides information on children’s rights and how to get support.
The Children’s Telephone (Børnetelefonen). The Children’s Telephone is a counselling service via SMS, chat, in writing, and telephone run by the organisation
Children's Welfare (Børns vilkår) On the website of the Children’s Telephone, children and young people can find information about their rights.
The National Complaints Board Against Bullying (Den Nationale Klageinstans mod Mobning). Children and parents can complaint to the national complaints board when the school or the municipal council do not provide an anti-bullying strategy or do not prevent the bullying at school.
The Ombudsman’s Children’s Section (Ombudsmandens børnekontor). The ombudsman has a children’s section. Here, children can file a complaint if public authorities do not obey the rules or if children’s rights have been violated.
See general information initiatives above.
Denmark currently has no major, large-scale, youth-targeted information campaigns about democratic rights and/or democratic values.
Information to young first-time voters in Denmark
In connection with municipal/regional, European, and general elections, several public authorities run outreach initiatives targeting first-time voters.
Since 2005, the Danish parliament has sent the Danish constitution with explanations to first-time voters and new Danish citizens. The objective of the initiative is to inform them about democratic rights and obligations. Since 2013, the constitution was accompanied by a humorous cartoon. The message in the cartoon is: use your right to vote.
The target groups are:
- Young first-time voters
- People with migrant background
- Socially marginalised people
The timeframe of the initiatives is immediately before the election.
- Letters: formal letters with a copy of the constitution, letter in a youthful tone, cartoons
- SMS campaigns
- Debate meetings at youth education institutions
- Campaigns on websites
- Films on YouTube
- The Danish parliament
- The Ministry of the Interior and Housing
- The Ministry of Culture
- Danish regions
- TV2 and DR
- REM (the Council for Ethnic Minorities)
Young people’s voter turnout has increased since 2009. In the municipal and regional election in 2017, the voter turnout was 75.1% for the 18-year age group.
The Centre for Voting and Parties at the University of Copenhagen has produced several reports on outreach measures and young people’s voter turnout in Denmark and the European Parliament election:
See section 4.5 “intercultural awareness”
There is no national guideline for public authorities’ communication with the youth population in order to enhance transparency of their policies and decision-making.
There is no large-scale programme training policymakers in communicating with youth.