KNŻ welcomes the vote taken tonight in parliament in favour of marriage equality. The Maltese Society has moved on to grant everyone equal rights before the law, which is beneficial to all members of our society irrespective of their gender and/or sexual orientation.

It is also in this spirit that KNŻ encourages the relevant authorities to keep educating our youths on the various realities of our society, and it is with such education that we can move forward, and become a truly inclusive society.

Il-ġimgħa l-oħra l-Kunsill Nazzjonali taż-Żgħażagħ sejjaħ laqgħa tal-Kumitat tal-Għaqdiet. Il-Kumitat tal-Għaqdiet isservi bħala spazju għall-għaqdiet tagħna biex jiġu flimkien, jiddiskutu u flimkien mal-Kunsill ikomplu jwettqu l-ħidma tagħhom għall-benefiċċju taż-żgħażagħ kollha li nirrapreżentaw.

Waqt din il-laqgħa xi wħud mill-membri tal-għaqdiet li huma membri fi ħdan il-Kunsill, qajmu l-punt dwar il-kundizzjonijiet fl-iskejjel tagħna. Bħala parti mid-deċiżjonijiet li ttieħdu f’dan il-kumitat, il-Kunsill Nazzjonali taż-żgħażagħ flimkien mal-għaqdiet li kienu preżenti għal din il-laqgħa qegħdin isejħu biex ikun hemm diskussjonijiet bejn il-gvern, l-MUT u anke mal-organiżazzjonijiet studenteski biex flimkien naslu għal soluzzjonijiet biex b’hekk il-kundizzjonijiet fl-iskejjel tagħna jitjiebu. Diskussjoni bħal din isservi biex issib dak li hu l-aħjar, kemm għall-għalliema kif ukoll għall-istudenti. B’hekk kulħadd iħossu rrappreżentat u parti mis-soluzzjonijiet li jinstabu.

The National Youth Council of Malta (KNZ) wishes to express its disappointment towards the fact that youths between the ages of 16 and 17 years of age would not be given the right to vote in this upcoming general election.

KNZ reignited the Vote 16 debate last September, where a motion was also tabled into parliament to attempt to give youths this right. The motion was publicly supported by all youth and student political organisations. (ADZ, FŻL, MZPN, Pulse u SDM).

It's high time our politicians showed true, tangible faith in our country's youth, instead of embellishing them with empty words.

The National Youth Parliament is an annual activity organised by the National Youth Council (KNZ). Year after year various youths have applied, came together and participated in this  activity which simulates the Maltese Parliament in its procedures and format.The aim of the National Youth Parliament is to bring youths together , where they would work in groups based on themes chosen by the National Youth Council. The participants are then to research, discuss, write a resolution and eventually debate their resolutions in a parliamentary session in which votes will be taken on their resolutions. Youths aged between 13 - 35 are divided into two groups, those aged between 13 - 18 years and those aged between 19 - 35 years old. The themes chosen for those aged between 13 - 18 years are the following; culture and innovation in Malta, Climate Change: Is there a solution? and Working Youths. Furthermore, the themes chosen for youths aged between 19 - 35 years are ; decentralisation and devolution of power in Gozo, migration and humanitarian protection, sexual health and reproductive rights in Malta.

Jasmine Farrugia, KNŻ’s National Officer, this morning in a press conference announced that the applications are now open. KNŻ shall be organising a number of events aimed at encouraging youths to participate in this year’s edition of the National Youth Parliament. This will include a number of workshops, information sessions and a live-in. This will be done to help the participants gain skills and confidence for the final session which will take place in parliament in September. The National Youth Council encourages all youths impassioned on an aforementioned topic to participate and contribute to the formulation of recommendations which will be later on presented to politicians and policy makers.

The National Youth Council together with its member organisations agree that the minimum wage should be increased. The increase in the minimum wage should be paid by the government for the first five years, so as not to negatively impact the employers until they adjust to the increase, the KNŻ and its member organisations have recommended. After the five years have elapsed, private business owners can provide the difference between the current wage and the increase.

The National Youth Council encourages unions, employers and the government to step up their efforts so as to reach an agreement on the amount by which the minimum wage should increase.

The National Youth Council and its member organisations are therefore joining the call which was put forward by other organisations, activists and political parties who have called on for an increase in the minimum wage so as to reflect today's needs and  ensure that everyone is paid an adequate amount for work performed.

Last September, KNŻ President along with the Presidents of ADŻ, FŻL, MŻPN, Pulse and SDM asked for a parliamentary debate on the right to vote for 16 and 17 year olds to be extended to all elections prior to the election which will take place in 2018, in a joint letter.

Since then, the KNŻ has written to all Members of Parliament to inquiry what are their thoughts on the motion which was presented late last year by Hon. Marlene Farrugia and Hon. David Agius so that youths aged 16 will be eligible to vote in all elections.

KNŻ has received an answer from both parliamentary groups and Hon. Giovanna Debono (the independent MP) on how they shall be voting once the aforementioned motion is presented in parliament and a vote is taken. Both the Nationalist parliamentary group and Hon. Giovanna Debono said that they shall be supporting the motion once it is tabled and a vote is a taken. Whilst Labour Whip answered in the name of the Labour parliamentary group saying that this year there will be a consultation process with the aim to analyse the extension of granting voting rights to 16 year olds to MEP elections and General Election.

KNZ calls once again, like it did last September together with all youth and student political organisations, for an immediate discussion on the subject in Parliament and for this proposal to be implemented before the next general election in 2018.

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