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November 5, 2009 – Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, said that the launch of the National Youth Parliamentary Watch Committee will help put an end to the traditional notion that ‘youth must be seen and not heard’.
Speaking at the launch of the committee this afternoon (Thursday), Senator Newby said:
“We recognise that there has been a mindset in Jamaica that youth should be seen and not heard. And even though they are our largest constituent, it is very seldom that they are engaged in the policy making process. That must change. And that can only change through advocacy by the young people themselves.”
The Youth Parliamentary Watch Committee was a recommendation of last year’s National Youth Parliament. The Committee is to review bills before Parliament and to see that there is follow-up and action on decisions made.
Senator Newby said:
“The Committee should ensure that the bills not only reflect the tenets of the Youth Policy but ensure that there is sustainability encoded in these pieces of legislation.”
The Committee, which is chaired by Kamal Powell, will include members of other established youth organisations, such as the Jamaica Youth Ambassadors Programme, Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students, National Secondary Students’ Council, National Youth Parliament, Norman Manley Law School Students’ Association, Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network and the National Youth Council.
Senator Newby said that while the Committee is not an agency of the National Centre for Youth Development, but independent, the Ministry is committed to doing whatever is required to ensure the success of the committee.
“Whatever support you desire to fulfil your mandate, please feel free to call us and it will be done without prejudice because your voice must be unbridled in order to effect the changes we all desire,” he said.

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