What is SYP?

What is the Scottish Youth Parliament?

The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) is the democratically elected voice of Scotland's young people, providing those between the ages of 12 and 25 with a platform to be heard on issues affecting them.

The charity holds an election every two years, in which young people from all across Scotland stand as candidates to become Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs).

MSYPs range in age from 14 to 25 and represent constituencies in all 32 local authorities throughout the country, and in several national voluntary organisations.

SYP was established on 30th June 1999, making it one day older than the reconvened Scottish Parliament.

What is SYP’s vision?

SYP’s vision is to see Scotland become a nation which actively listens to, and values, the meaningful participation of its children and young people. Its goal is to make this vision a reality, in order to ensure Scotland is the best place in the world to grow up. 

What is SYP’s mission?

SYP is a fundamentally rights-based organisation. Its mission, vision, and values are grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).  In particular, SYP’s purpose embodies Article 12: that young people have the right to express their views freely and have their opinions listened to in all matters affecting them.

As a completely youth-led organisation, the words and sentiment of Article 12 have profound importance for SYP’s work.

SYP’s democratically elected members listen to, and recognise, the issues that are most important to young people, ensuring that their voices are heard by decision-makers.  SYP exists to provide a national platform for young people to discuss the issues that are important to them, and campaigns to effect the change they wish to see.

What are SYP’s values?

SYP has four core values at the heart of everything it does.

DemocracySYP is youth-led and accountable to young people aged 12 to 25.  Its democratic structure, and the scale of its engagement across Scotland gives SYP a mandate which sets the charity apart from other organisations. 

RightsSYP is a fundamentally rights-based organisation. MSYPs are passionate about making young people aware of their rights, and ensuring that local and national government deliver policies that allow those rights to be upheld. 

InclusionSYP is committed to being truly inclusive and works tirelessly to ensure the voices of every young person from every community and background in Scotland are heard.

Political ImpartialitySYP is independent from all political parties.  By working with all stakeholders, groups, and individuals who share the organisation’s values, SYP can deliver the policies that are most important to young people.