Issues arousing discussion
No plans to change definition of youth in Belarus
During open dialogue between young people and heads of state bodies and public organisations, one participant ventured to ask whether the age range defining ‘youth’ is being reconsidered. The Head of the Education Ministry’s Youth Affairs Department, Natalia Pshenichnaya, responded that, in Belarus, youth is defined as those aged 14 to 31 years, and that there are no plans to change this.
She announced, “By the age of 31, you’ve had time enough to gain an education and establish yourself in a profession to some extent,” adding that each country determines the age of its ‘youth’ primarily based on its economic figures and priorities. “Ukraine once raised this age to 35 while some countries denote 28 years as the cut off point, guided by some criteria of their own.”
According to Belarus’ Deputy Trade Minister, Irina Narkevich, these issues always encourage discussion. It has long been discussed whether to raise the minimum legal age for purchasing alcohol to 21 years, and there are arguments for and against.
The event saw branch committees and primary organisations of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union join in open dialogue with representatives of ministries and departments of Belarus. Discussion covered vocational training and support at various stages, alongside other issues of concern to young people, such as the development and support of initiatives, and social and professional adaptation of young specialists. The programme also included interactive training sessions.
By Vladimir Velikhov