The Youth IGF Project was initiated in 2009 in response to the criticism that while young people and their use of the internet were discussed at the IGF, they were not present at it.
In the build up to the IGF 2009, Childnet spoke to over 1,500 children and young people from across the UK about their online experiences, their online rights and their wishes for the future of the internet (see the findings highlighted in the 2009 poster below). We encountered a range of responses and opinions in our discussions with the children and young people, but were struck by the overwhelming positivity from young people about being asked their opinions on a process affecting their future and future use of technology. To ensure that the voice of youth was fully represented at both the local IGF meetings in the UK in 2009 we ran events in Parliament bringing together young people, government and a range of stakeholders, placing young people at the heart of policy discussions and amplifying their voices. Two young people attended the 2009 IGF in Sharm El Sheikh and we shared our project methodology at a workshop as a template for youth engagement which could be replicated internationally.