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Commonwealth Youth - Fast Facts

The Commonwealth is made up of 54 independent countries that work together to pursue common goals which promote development, democracy, and peace. Our combined population of 2.2 billion is almost a third of the global population.  
  • Almost 60% of the Commonwealth population is under the age of 30.
  • Seven of the top 10 countries in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which measures rule of law, human rights, participation, human development and sustainable economic opportunity, are Commonwealth members.
  • Seven of the top 10 countries for gender equality in Sub-Saharan Africa are Commonwealth countries, according to World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2015.
  • Five of the best performing 15 countries in the Youth Development Index are Commonwealth members.
      Learn More

10th Commonwealth Youth Forum - Malta, Nov 24, 2015

“Young people can and must play a vital role at the centre of sustainable and 
inclusive development."


As part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta 2015, the Commonwealth Youth Forum met

to produce a declaration of current policy recommendations regarding the social, political, economic and 

environmental agendas.  (Canada's national delegates were Aden Hamza and Josh Mazur)

Read the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Forum's Declaration which outlines the policy priorities and action plans of Commonwealth youth related to:


  • Youth unemployment and entrepreneurship

  • Mitigating climate change and access to sustainable energy

  • Access to quality education and skills

  • Support relating to Sexual and Reproductive Health, mental health and non-communicable diseases

  • Ensuring the voices of young people are taken into account

(The next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and Commonwealth Youth Forum will be held in London, England spring, 2018.)

How Youth Can Get Involved - "Find Your Voice"

In Canada
  • Prime Minister's Youth Council 

If you are aged 16 to 24, now is your chance to apply to become a member of the Prime Minister's Youth Council.  As a Youth Council member, you would provide Prime Minister Trudeau input on national issues such as employment, access to education, building stronger communities, climate change, and clean growth. The Council will meet multiple times a year.  Apply online.

is a non-partisan champion of increased civic engagement. Their Everyday Political Citizen awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Canadian democracy.

  • Kids Help Phone provides support to youth under 21.
  • Naseeha - Muslim Youth Helpline supports Muslim Youth living in Canada and the United States.
  • 8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament November 6-10, 2016 Victoria British Columbia

Young people from throughout the Commonwealth will come together to experience aspects of Parliamentary Democracy and provides a platform for them to establish links with like-minded peers. Formal parliamentary practice adapted from several Commonwealth countries will be followed and the proceedings will be observed under the watchful eyes of experienced parliamentary officials. 

  • Shakespeare on the Platform, November 30, 2016 - Academic Hall, University of Ottawa, 75 Laurier Ave E, Ottawa, ON 

It is not just what you say, but how you say it.  Ottawa high school student will present one of Shakespeare's Sonnets and a Soliloquy, of their choosing.  Bursaries of $350, $250, $100 and $50 will be awarded to the top four competitors with the highest accumulation of points.  There is also the Graham Booth Bursary of $500, for the winning school.   (Open to the public)

  • National Student Commonwealth Forum (NSCF), May 2017 - Ottawa, Canada

Each May, over one hundred Canadian youth travel to the nation's capital, to attend the National Student Commonwealth Forum (NSCF) a week-long leadership program created by the Royal Commonwealth Society Ottawa Branch, over 45 years ago. 

  • The Duke of Edinburgh Award 

Any young person aged 14-24 can do The Award, no matter their gender, cultural background, religious or political affiliation or physical ability. An Award is gained through individual improvement and achievement, which means that disadvantaged young people and those with special needs are able to participate fully!

  • Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan

This program was designed to enable students to pursue programs of advanced study and research at the Masters and PHD level in Commonwealth countries other than their own.

  • International Scholarships

Canada is committed to participation in international study and research partnerships that build understanding among peoples, develop global citizens and leaders, and contribute to the development of nations.

In The Commonwealth

The Queen’s Young Leader Award recognises and celebrates exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives. 

This annual competition allows youth from throughout The Commonwealth to develop critical thinking and to express views in a creative manner.

33Sixty is a leadership programme that equips aspiring Commonwealth leaders (aged 18-30) with the skills and the networks to make a difference, now. You will work within an international group to develop solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing issues.

Teaching Resources

Teachers are central to the work of the Royal Commonwealth Society. We regularly communicate with teachers, exchanging news and ideas on how to engage students in the Commonwealth. If you are interested, do join our international network.

The Royal Commonwealth Society produces free education resources for teachers around the Commonwealth. For Commonwealth Week 2017, primary and secondary education packs have been produced. These can be downloaded here: 

  • Primary schools pack

  • Secondary schools pack

The Antigua to Zambia: Getting to Know Your Commonwealth resource guide includes a variety of activities and lesson ideas that can be used to introduce the Commonwealth. These education resources have been prepared with high (secondary) school-age students in mind by a team of educational and Commonwealth experts. The materials included seek to engage young people in current issues affecting the present-day Commonwealth. The authors use the Commonwealth as a vehicle to explore wider international issues: diversity, development and democracy. The full resource and individual chapters are available to download and free to use. 

The full resource and individual chapters are available to download and free to use. 

Guide for organizing a model Commonwealth Summit (model CHOGM)

For more than 45 years, the Royal Commonwealth Society Ottawa Branch has organized a week-long Commonwealth youth leadership program (National Student Commonwealth Forum - NSCF), which includes a model CHOGM.  If you are interested in either the localization or internationalization of this Commonwealth Youth Leadership program please contact the Steering Committee Chair

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