Topics on the national political agenda have been discussed by youths in the course of two special Parliamentary sittings. The youths, aged between 13 and 35 years, occupied the seats in the House and raised issues ranging from civic education to equality, the use of plastics, sustainable development and others.
With Parliament presently suspended for the summer break, two sittings of the Parliament for Youths were held, during which youths in the 13 to 35 age group raised issues to which they are closely connected. Feminism and equlity between the sexes stood out.
The debate among youths in the 13 to 18 age group focused on three themes: civic education, equality between the sexes, and the use of one-time plastics.
They also spoke about the pink tax, this being a tax paid by females on products only used by females. The youths also noted that the morning after pill in Malta costs nearly double what it costs in other countries.
The youths suggested harsher penalties for anyone filing false claims of rape. They also asked for students to be allowed to meet with psychologists, so that those needing therapy cn start at a young age.
In light of the fact that 88% of suicides are males, the youths proposed the opening of centres for males encountering diverse problems. They also suggested the opening of child care centres at night, for mothers on night shifts.
Another issue raised was that of child custody when the parents split up.
“The mother and the father should be considered as having the same opportunities to bring up their children if both parents are in a position to do so in instances of separation and divorce. This resolution was penned as in the majority of cases preference in child custody is given to the mother”.
The youths also asked for civic education, saying it is not enough to be given the vote at 16 without the necessary tools for active citizenship.
With the aim of reducing the use of plastics, the youths are suggesting the installation of water fountains in different locations and the distribution of multi-use bottles to students and tourists.
Older youths, in the 19 to 35 age group, discussed other themes: the education system in Malta, use of technology, sustainable development and artificial intelligence. The youths called on Parliament to announce a National State for Climate Emergency.