Youth Right to Political Participation under International Human Rights Law
The call for an increase in youth participation in politics and governance globally is a recurring decimal in both national and global issues. Some states like Kenya have yielded to the call by constitutionally guaranteeing full political rights to all youths. Countries like Nigeria have limited full political rights to some youth while other youth’ political rights are grossly limited to only the right to vote. Thus, this article interrogates the contours and the contents of the right to political participation of youths under international human rights law. It, however, focuses on the African human rights system and current development in Nigeria. It contends that youth right to political participation should not be different from that of other adults in any state. It argues that the practice of most states in Africa where they give different conditions for the exercise of political rights between youth and other adults in the society is against their obligations under international human rights law. It also amounts a flagrant violation of the right to political participation of youths. It further contends that all political rights should be treated as inseparable twins, in that, all adults citizen who are entitled to either of the rights should equally be entitled to all the other political rights. All persons within the age of majority in any country must be allowed to exercise and enjoy their full political rights without discrimination on the basis of age, disability or other status.