The National Youth Council calls for more investment to encourage youths to participate and attend cultural activities.

As of this month, the Culture Pass will be rolled out replacing the Culture Card, as a Youth Council we feel that such a scheme should not be limited to those under the age of 16 but should be extended to all youths as to encourage attendance and participation in cultural and artistic activities.

Given the Strategy 2020 and that Valletta will become the European Capital of Culture in 2018, it is of great importance that such initiatives are promoted and extended so as to bring youths closer to arts at an early age. We call on the government to find ways and means which help our local art and cultural scene as well as to encourage youth to actively participate and support the scene.

To show its support for more investment in this sector the National Youth Council will be allocating €2000 of its annual budget towards the 'KNŻ Cultural Fund' which will serve in encouraging youths to participate and / or attend cultural activities.

Whilst welcoming the recent proposals which are part of the National Children's Policy that of extending vote 16 to all elections and improving civic education; KNZ would like to reiterate its stand that it fully agrees that voting rights for 16 year olds should be extended to all elections. Furthermore, necessary measures should be taken so that our education system includes civic education to help in a better formation of our youths.

If at 16 years of age a person can work and contribute in NI and is mature enough to vote in local council elections, there is no need to wait until 2024 for full voting rights to be granted. We call on both the Government and the Opposition to extend voting rights for youths before the general election of 2018.

KNZ believes that the Transgender Day of remembrance is an annual day where one honors and stands with those who suffered and still suffer from transphobia. It is an international day which puts the realism that is transphobia in the limelight; abstract for some but a reality to others.

KNZ celebrates diversity as the holistic representation of different individuals that form a stronger society. As part of a European community, the Maltese Islands are open to different cultures and peoples which give our children and youths a firsthand experience of acceptance and belonging for them to grow even more as individuals.

However, one must understand that such progress is done only when one remembers what history has shown us. In the last years, the legislation for human rights in Malta boomed extensively, but unfortunately, no practical and parallel educational curriculum has followed to enhance a direct understanding of what the reality is showing us. Ample cases of both Transphobia and homophobia happen on a day to day basis, and whilst some make the news, other may suffer in silence.

The National Youth Council pushes for the need for an educational campaign and not only on legislation as a support for the need to learn how to live with one another, accept our differences and help each other flourish as individuals.

Malta is the leading country when it comes to LGBTI+ legislation, a good practice taken by European countries. The council recognizes such hard work and advocates for others states to reach forward in a practical effort for a more open society. KNZ will be installing gender neutral bathrooms at their offices in the near future and invites other businesses, organizations and public offices to follow suit.

As the umbrella organization for youth NGO’s and young people the council is fully committed to represents all facets of the society will continue to fight transphobia while remaining have an open door for all of those who want to voice their opinion and share their ideas.

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