Is everyone really treated equally?
Young people debate discrimination with legislators
Follow the online debate at www.HeadsUp.org.uk
Under-18s are tackling the sensitive subject of discrimination in a secure and structured online debate, organised by the Hansard Society. Discrimination in the UK – Fact or Fiction? will run from November 19 to December 7, 2007 at www.HeadsUp.org.uk
The following key questions will be put to young people in the debate:
- Does racism still occur – have you or your friends been a victim? What methods are being used in your school or local community to stop this happening? How are people of different faiths treated in multicultural Britain?
- Do you think it’s still the case that men are more likely to succeed than women in the workplace? Is sexism still a big issue in 21st century Britain?
- Are you concerned about being treated differently because of your age? What role do the media play in this negative stereotyping? Have you been the subject of ageism – if so in what context?
- Has political correctness gone too far or perhaps not far enough? Some critics argue that political correctness implies censorship and threatens free speech – are they right?
The forum has attracted the involvement of the following legislators and experts:
- Jo Swinson MP – Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
- Baroness Prosser – Deputy chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
- Anne Begg MP – Member interested in equality issues
- Mary Honeyball MEP – Member of the Committee on Culture and Education
- Margaret Mitchell MSP – Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee
- Andrew Stunell MP – Member interested in equality issues
- Dr Katherine Rake – Director of the Fawcett Society
- Harriet Harman MP - Leader of the House of Commons and Minister for Women and Equality
Barry Griffiths, HeadsUp Manager, commented: “It will be interesting to see if young people report that racism, ageism and sexism are still occurring. Given the sensitive subject matter, the interaction between legislators and participants could be crucial.”
HeadsUp is a vital resource for teaching the political literacy element of the Citizenship Curriculum and ensuring young people’s voices are heard by decision-makers. In addition to the forum where school students explore and debate the political issues and ideas that matter to them, there are teachers’ notes, ideas for classroom activities and background information for young people all available on the HeadsUp website.
- HeadsUp (www.HeadsUp.org.uk) is an innovative website where under-18s debate political issues and processes. The site is a non-partisan, cross-party educational resource that provides a secure, structured and student-centred discussion platform.
- Two ways to register to participate in HeadsUp:
1. Young People – If you are under 18 and want to get involved you need to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying your preferred username and password.
2. Teachers – can register a whole class/school year/group by completing our online registration form
- All HeadsUp forums are open to view and follow the debate. Participants will still need to register or login to post comments.
- The project is jointly funded by the Ministry of Justice (former DCA) and the House of Commons.
- Young people taking part in this HeadsUp Forum are available for interview. However, this may take some time to arrange due to the busy academic calendar]. For more information contact Virginia Gibbons, Communications Manager at the Hansard Society on 0207 438 1225 or 07812 765 552.
- At the end of the debate, a summary report detailing young people’s contributions will be distributed to relevant government ministers, MPs, AMs, MEPS, MSPs and selected all-party groups in Parliament.
- 4000 individuals are currently registered with HeadsUp.