5.4 Young people's participation in policy-making
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No formal mechanisms of consultation exists between central authorities and young people. The Youth Council, appointed by the Minister of Education, serves as an advisory board for central authorities on youth affairs, but the council is not occupied by young people.
However, The National Youth Act no. 70/2007 states that local governments should actively pursue the foundation of local youth councils occupied by young people. These local youth councils do not have the capacity to directly affect national youth policy, but they can, through cooperation, usually in the form of meetings and conferences with local authorities and/or between themselves, impact local youth policies and influence the dialogue nationally.
According to a report published by the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities, the number of municipalities which have local youth councils has increased from 14 in 2008 to 33 today. Representatives from all local youth councils meet regularly at a conference held by The National Youth Organization (UMFÍ) where important topics in youth affairs are discussed. Additionally in recent years, various non-governmental organizations in Iceland have appointed young people to their own youth boards, including UNICEF, UN-Women, Save the Children, and other organizations such as The Ombudsman for Children.
No information or data on young people’s level of participation is collected.
Through participation in local youth councils, young people can advocate their views on youth policy, usually by defining goals and objectives they believe are important.
Public availability of outcomes:
The consultation of young people are usually made available in local government minutes and online news bulletins.
No documents exists which describe any initiatives for dialogues between public institutions and young people.