Media release: Young people make history in Scottish Parliament

OVER 100 members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs), aged 14-25, will make history as they provide evidence to the Public Petitions Committee in the first committee meeting held in this chamber.

These young people are set to take over the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament this weekend to make policies and discuss topical issues.

The meeting also represents the first time the committee has convened to receive petitions exclusively from young people.

In March 2010, members of the Scottish Youth Parliament passed two motions identified by individual MSYPs to become SYP policy and be taken forward to Scottish Government as petitions.

The two petition topics being presented:

1. ‘Ban Mosquito Devices Now’: Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce legislation to ban use of the ‘Mosquito’ and other such devices which emit a loud, unpleasant, high-pitched noise designed to be heard only by those under-25. Lead petitioner: West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine MSYP, Andrew Deans, aged 17.

2. ‘Political Education for All’: Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure that political education is provided to all school pupils and is given prominence within the framework of the new Curriculum for Excellence. Lead petitioner: Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber MSYP, Rowena Carlton, aged 17.

At the same time as the Scottish Youth Parliament’s sitting being held in the Scottish Parliament’s debating chamber, the UK Youth Parliament’s (UKYP) members will similarly be debating on a variety of contemporary issues in the House of Commons debating chamber over the same days.

Derek Couper, MSYP and SYP chair, said:  

“This is a profound event for the young people of Scotland, and their elected MSYPs. This weekend provides the opportunity for debate and discussion on some of the most important issues facing the youth of Scotland, and allows the Scottish Youth Parliament to take these issues straight to the decision makers themselves”


Notes for editors:

1.  For further information, interviews or interest in attending the petition contact Kate Bouchier-Hayes, Events Co-ordinator on 0131 313-2488/078 2533 5489 (

2.   The SYP is a youth-led organisation, all Trustees are aged under 25.  SYP’s vision is of a stronger, more inclusive Scotland that empowers young people by truly involving them in decision making processes

3.  Young people from the UK Youth Parliament will similarly be debating on a variety of contemporary issues in the House of Commons Debating Chamber over the same days.

Other highlights of the two day programme include:

  • A third petition by South Ayrshire Youth Forum will be presented. Their petition aims to give a voice to young people in matters concerning changes to leisure and cultural facilities.
  • MSYPs participating in workshops alongside the Scottish Parliament’s Education team and Futures Forum
  • Deputy Presiding Officer, Alasdair Morgan MSP, chairing debating session in the Chamber on Saturday, Debates on: A Big Society and National Citizen Service; Organ Donation- an Opt-Out system; Coal, oil and gas phased out in favour of nuclear power.
  • Responses from their latest youth consultation ‘Picture the Change’ announced
  • Speech from Tam Baillie, Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People

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Contact: Kate Bouchier-Hayes