The Home Affairs Bureau will start recruiting young people for five government advisory bodies by the end of this month, a bureau spokesperson has said, pledging to do so in an “open, fair, and just way”.
The advisory bodies open to youth participation include the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, Committee on Technology, Innovation and Re-industrialisation, and the soon-to-be established Youth Development Commission.
One of the main aspects of Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s first policy address was her focus on solving youth issues through increased youth engagement. She pledged to increase youth presence in certain government committees to 15 per cent, and gain more input from the perspective of the younger generation.
Liz Jackson, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong specialising in youth civic education and participation, believes that government outreach to youths is a very good thing in theory, but says that the government must consult young people not only for advice, but also on the implementation of policy.
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Although “Hong Kong does not have as strong a civic tradition as other societies”, many young people that Jackson studied said that they feel like civic education has benefited them, and “that it enhanced their awareness”.
The recruitment comes after the conclusion of a public engagement exercise led by Lau Ming-wai, which said that young people are often reluctant to participate in government matters because they feel they are not qualified enough, or that the government will not listen no matter what.
The spokesman said advertisements for open recruitment will appear in newspapers and government websites by the end of this month.