Here Youth Time Magazine publishes two of the most interesting and informative youth related news items of the past week. Our weekly news roundup is published every Monday and Friday and contains just some of the most important developments in the world of global youth. Follow, like and submit comments on Facebook and other Youth Time media.
Youth climate protests spread
A student strike that has seen thousands of young people refuse to attend school in protest against climate change policy has expanded across Europe. After teenagers in Belgium and Germany launched an unprecedented protest in the streets following the Davos conference in January, an estimated 10,000 British teenagers took part on Friday February 15.
The Youth Strike 4 Climate protests took place in 60 British towns and cities and was inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg – a green activist who took the world by storm when she condemned political leaders at Davos.
Thunberg, 16, said that she welcomed the youth protests in the UK, telling the Guardian: “I think it’s great that England is joining the school strike in a major way this week. There has been a number of real heroes on school strike, for instance in Scotland and Ireland, for some time now.”
The movement has been accused of being led by adult activists with a political agenda by some newspapers. It has issued a series of demands which it wants governments to respond to, or they will keep refusing to go to school. The demands are as follows:
- The government should declare a “climate emergency”
- It should also inform the public about the seriousness of the situation
- The national curriculum should be reformed to include “the ecological crisis”
- The age of voting should be lowered to 16 so younger people can be involved in decision-making around environmental issues.
In addition to the protests in Germany, Belgium and the UK, a worldwide school student strike s being planned for March 15 2019 in approximately 40 countries.
European Prize for Eloquence
A French student has won the European Prize for Eloquence – a prestigious public speaking competition. Simon Derieux-Billaud won for his speech entitled “Can we still have dreams of Europe?”
The competition is a French-language affair but open to students and young people across Europe. In second place was Alina Marchenko of Ukraine, and in third place Ellen O’Rourke of Ireland.
A total of 12 students competed, coming from France, Italy, Ireland, Holland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine. They discussed a wide range of issues in French using speeches and debate technique. Issues included whether Europe should have armies or be a military-free zone of pacifism and whether European countries can be truly free while in the EU.
The annual event is organised by the School for Young Orators of the Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies. It was founded in 2009 and holds multiple events and competitions each year, along with workshops on oratory. MOre information can be found here.