Young people are often sidelined from participating in political processes, and Filipino youth’s engagement in formal governance platforms is weak. Youth in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are particularly vulnerable and marginalized due to the region’s history of conflict.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, International IDEA has been supporting youth through online learning sessions designed to enhance their knowledge of democratic principles, institutions and processes and how they apply to their role in the Bangsamoro transition. The learning sessions’ content and format were inspired by the International IDEA’s Youth Democracy Academy. The region expects to hold its first parliamentary elections as early as 2022. Youth representation in the Bangsamoro legislature is possible with reserved seats allocated for non-Moro indigenous peoples and settler communities and sectoral representatives allocated for women, youth, traditional leaders and Islamic religious scholars.
Participants showed immense interest through discussions in each online session and shared their own experiences. They agreed on the importance of such learning opportunities and their role in political party building and strengthening the region’s democratic institutions and processes.