Young Bhutanese democrats have signed the Constitution for Children Parliament in Bhutan. The Bhutan Children’s Parliament will meet twice yearly, bringing Bhutanese youth together to discuss issues of common concern. Through this, children and youth will be able to submit their proceedings to the Prime Minister, Speaker of the National Assembly, the Opposition Leader and other senior officials. It is intended to mirror the original Parliament. Elections for this parliament were held on September 12 in which almost 293 students took part.
Besides school students, candidates from Sherubtse College in Trashigang, Gaedu College of Business Studies and Samtse College of Education also took part in elections. Children, according to the constitution of the BCP, include all school going children, trainees and degree college students who are not older than twenty-four years.
Christina Carlson, the Resident Coordinator of UN in Bhutan said, “Bhutan Children’s Parliament is an important platform to give voice to and engage the largest segment of the Bhutanese population in the democratic process. Youth population constitutes 50 percent of the total Bhutanese population.” Furthermore, discussions and debates from the children parliament will be used as an important input for the Bhutanese Parliament. All activities of the BCP are designed in a way to avoid any clashes with school activities.
The Children’s Parliament was developed by the Election Commission of Bhutan in collaboration with the National Assembly of Bhutan. The launch of the Constitution for the Bhutan Children’s Parliament was supported by UNDP Bhutan and the Swiss Development Cooperation through UNICEF Bhutan.