Iraq has a population of 36.4 million and GDP US$180.0 billion. While unemployment rate is 16%, unemployment among female youth (26.8%) is higher than that among male youth (13.7%). The average educational attainment in Iraq is 6.4 school years. Both youth political and civic participation are above average at 0.616 and 0.692 respectively. Around 67.1% of youth participated in the last Iraqi elections.
The Youth Parliament in Iraq, comprised of 275 members, is one of the strategic youth projects established by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to make positive changes in the reality and future of young people (15-28) in Iraq. The project aligns with the philosophy of the new state in establishing democracy and the principles of dialogue, transparency, citizenship and acceptance of opposing opinions.
Implementation of programme/ initiative:
Iraqi Youth Parliament is an initiative by the Ministry of Sports and Youth in Iraq. The Youth Parliament, a democratic youth organization, aims to develop the talents and skills of all Iraqi youth, regardless of race, race, language, religion or social origin, and to enable youth to play an effective and distinguished role in the political, cultural and social fields. More specifically, it aims to activate youth participation in social, cultural and political life by increasing their ability to express themselves, by identifying their problems and issues, and by participating in the management of youth facilities, and to encourage their participation in the representation of Iraqi youth in the internal, regional and international forums and activities.
The parliament was representative of Iraqi youth by adopting a quota system as follows:
- 20% from middle school students, selected in the transitional period in coordination with the directorates of education in the provinces
- 40% from college and institute students, selected in the transitional period in coordination with the Iraqi universities and institutes in all governorates.
- 10% from civil society organization members, selected in coordination with the Ministry of State for Civil Society Affairs
- 5% from athletes, selected by the Executive Committee.
- 5% from active student and youth federations
- 10% from the youth and sports committees in the provincial councils and districts
- 10% from youth advisory committees in youth forums.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Youth Parliament launched development programs and projects to strengthen the national identity of youth instead of secondary identities, and represented Iraq in international forums despite the financial crisis. The Youth Parliament and the Minister of Youth and Sports held several meetings to discuss youth problems and prepare for National Day of Iraqi Youth. The Youth Parliament organized a workshop entitled “The Impact of Psychological War on Youth”, provided by the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior. The Youth Parliament participated in World Sports Day Marathon.
The third session of the Youth Parliament will last two years (2017-2019) and will be accompanied by the launching of the final draft of the Youth Parliament Act. Unlike the previous two sessions, the number of members of the parliament in each governorate will be the same as that of the House of Representatives and not the half, the president will be elected by the members themselves and not by nomination, and 25% of the parliament seats will be designated for females to increase their effective participation. In addition, nomination will now take place through a smart online forum, posted on the ministry’s website, while will short-list the candidates based on pre-identified criteria. A neutral committee and a technical committee will then assess and select applicants.
World Bank, 2016
International Labor Organization, 2016
Common Wealth Youth Development Index, 2016
Iraq Human Development Report, 2014
Date: October 10, 2017