The Slovenia Times

President for Lowering Voting Age to 16


The event, discussing participation by children and youth, was addressed by representatives of children's parliaments, student communities, NGOs, government officials and MPs.

One of the speakers, Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec underscored the importance of ensuring the rights of children and youths in all major documents.

Participants called for participation of children and youth in the education process and legal procedures, among other things, with the role of the child advocate in legal proceedings highlighted.

A separate debate on children's and youth's participation in social and political rights was moderated by Pahor and also featured a vote in which a majority backed reducing the voting age to 16.

Those in favour argued that lowering the voting right would encourage young people's interest to follow political developments and thus increase youth turnout in elections.

The opponents maintained that 16-year-olds often did not know what they wanted and raised the risk of political battles moving onto the territory of education.

Most agreed about the complexity of the issue with some suggesting reducing the voting age for local elections as an experiment.

Pahor assessed the debate as mature and tolerant, expressing surprise at how well the arguments were grounded. He too raised his hand in support of reducing the voting age.

Erjavec said it was important for children and youth to speak out about their rights and to express their views. He advised adults not to forget about the right of children and youth to play and leisure.

Held at the National Assembly, the conference was organised in cooperation with the children's charity the Association of Youth's Friends, Human Rights Ombudsman and the Secondary Students' Organisation.

The conclusions will be formulated in more detail by the organisational group and then sent to those in charge for consideration.


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