July 21, 2023 –THE HAGUE – Teenagers are worried about the future after the fall of the Cabinet and the upcoming parliamentary elections. That emerged from a poll by the children’s rights organization UNICEF among over a thousand young people between the ages of 10 and 18.
Young people are afraid of delays in the field of education (53 percent), poverty (48 percent), youth care (41 percent), and climate change (31 percent.). Over a quarter of teenagers said they don’t trust that political parties think enough about what is important to them. Almost 40 percent have some confidence in this. “It is very often thought that children have no voice and opinion. But we are the future,” said one of the respondents.
Aacha Bökkerink of UNICEF Nederland finds the results worrying. “Young people do not recognize themselves in the policy and the discussions held in parliament, while 75 percent of young people in the poll indicated that political parties should pay attention and plan for their future.”
UNICEF has been seeing these signals for some time and has called on political parties to put children at the center of their party programs. “Only then will children and young people regain confidence in politics and their future.”
In the poll, young people listed the characteristics they’d like to see in a new Prime Minister. They must be reliable and honest, according to a vast majority of respondents. Decisiveness and intelligence are also essential qualities, about 45 percent said.
“These results show that children and young people are emphatically concerned with issues that concern themselves and their environment, and they do not consider waiting for a new government to address these issues to be an option,” said Bökkerink.