Advisory Council on Youth Elections 2023

Advisory Council on Youth Elections 2023

We’re hereby nominating a candidate to join the Advisory Council on Youth as our representative – Marharyta Vorykhava, a President of the Belarussian National Youth Council RADA.

About the Advisory Council 

The Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ) is the non-governmental partner in the co-management structure which establishes the standards and work priorities of the Council of Europe’s youth sector and makes recommendations for future priorities, programmes and budgets.

It is made up of 30 representatives from youth NGOs and networks in Europe and its main task is to advise the Committee of Ministers on all questions relating to youth. Specifically, the Advisory Council helps to ensure youth policies are mainstreamed into the Council of Europe’s programme of activities by providing opinions and proposals to all of the Organisation’s bodies. It also ensures that young people are involved in other activities of the Council of Europe and promotes the policies beyond the Organisation.

The Advisory Council on Youth promotes the co-management system in decision-making processes at all levels as a good practice for youth participation, democracy and inclusion, whilst preparing and encouraging
young generations to take responsibility for building their desired society.

In practice, the tasks of the Advisory Council on Youth are to:

  • contribute to the effective mainstreaming of youth policies in the Council of Europe programme of activities by formulating opinions and proposals on general or specific questions concerning youth in the Council of Europe; where appropriate, address these opinions and proposals to the Committee of Ministers or other bodies of the Council of Europe. The Advisory Council on Youth may also be invited by the Committee of Ministers to formulate opinions on general or specific questions concerning youth policy;
  • formulate opinions and proposals concerning the priorities, expected results and budget for the youth sector;
  • promote the Council of Europe’s youth policies within the Organisation and beyond;
  • designate, for two years, the CCJ members who shall be invited to represent it in the Programming Committee on Youth (CPJ), the co-management body in charge of establishing the programme of activities of the youth sector.

Why is it important for Belarus?

Belarus has been facing a political crisis since the presidential elections in August 2020. The government’s response to peaceful protests and demonstrations has been marked by violence, repression, and human rights violations. In this context, young people in Belarus have been particularly affected, with many facing intimidation, harassment, and arrest for their activism. RADA and our member organizations have been deprived of registration, with some even proclaimed “extremists” or “terrorists” for their rights of assembly and freedom of association.

In addition, the Belarusian government has severely restricted youth participation in society: political parties and organizations representing youth interests have been either co-opted or banned, making it impossible for young people to organize and advocate for their concerns in this sphere.

As a result, it is more important than ever for young people to have a representative on the Advisory Council on Youth who can speak on their behalf and ensure that their perspectives are taken into account. The Council’s work can help to provide a platform for youth voices, facilitate dialogue with government officials, and push for policies that prioritize the needs of young people.

By appointing a representative from RADA, we would be sending a clear message that young people in Belarus deserve to be heard and that their participation in decision-making is essential for the future of our society.

If you are interested in learning more about the application of Marharyta or discussing the needs of young people in Belarus, please feel free to reach out to her via email at [email protected] or send a direct message on Instagram.

Through her experience working with RADA and other youth organizations in Belarus, Marharyta has seen firsthand the power of youth participation and its positive impact on our communities. She is committed to continuing this work through her role on the Council, and is confident that together we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people in Belarus and beyond.

We hereby appeal to you to consider her application to join the Council as a representative of RADA and join us in advocating for the rights and needs of young people!