The government of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) says its youth policy is a model for the Caribbean, stating that the policy gives the youth a “solid foundation” on which they can grow as individuals and as responsible citizens of the British Overseas Territory and the world.
The BVI is one of seven countries in the region with an updated Youth Policy following the launch of the Virgin Islands National Youth Policy and Strategic Framework earlier this week.
“I am pleased that in giving our youth a voice, the National Youth Policy includes the creation of the Virgin Islands Youth Commission, the National Youth Council and the National Youth Parliament,” said BVI Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. D. Orlando Smith.
“We envision that through these three bodies, the Territory’s next generation of leaders and parliamentarians will be trained on the guiding principles of democracy, good governance, advocacy, human rights and the law”, he added.
Minister for Education and Culture, Myron V. Walwyn said that he was looking forward to the institutionalization of the National Youth Commission, the National Youth Council and Youth Parliament.
“As early as July, the youth of this Territory will have the opportunity to take ownership of this Youth Policy as we prepare them to be a part of the sitting of the Commonwealth Youth Parliament at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s meeting, which will be held here in the Virgin Islands”, he said.
Walwyn said the Youth Parliament will enable young people across the Territory to develop their skills and to advocate meaningfully on different platforms and themes that impact them.
He said the parliament contributes to a strong and secure Territory by developing young people; and by their participation, “allowing them to mature as politically accountable and responsible citizens, grounded in a civic consciousness, national identity, democracy, and the rule of law and respect for rights and diversity.”
“The Virgin Islands National Youth Policy and Strategic Framework is a policy in place to provide strategic vision and direction to ensure better lives, livelihoods and success outcomes for the Territory’s youth,” the statement said.