Earlier this week, Bermuda’s Youth Parliamentarian Tayla Imani Bean had the distinct privilege of representing the island at the UK’s House of Commons, where she addressed her peers about the critical need to address youth violence and anti-social behaviour.
Miss Bean was among several young representatives of the British Overseas Territories (OT) and Crown Dependencies invited to participate in the annual gathering by House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle. This was the second ever session of the UK Youth Parliament to feature the British Overseas Territories.
Tayla-Imani is the youngest Bermudian to speak in the House of Commons and address her peers across the United Kingdom, Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. During her two-minute address, Miss Bean spoke of the necessity to address antisocial behaviour. (See video link here: Youth Parliament Presentation UK)
Following her presentation, Tayla said, “Speaking at the UK House of Commons in London, England was truly a remarkable and enlightening experience. The opportunity to address such a prestigious platform not only allowed me to shed light on a critical issue concerning anti-social behavior in Bermuda but also emphasized the importance of prioritizing the perspectives of our youth in addressing this significant problem. The experience was undeniably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that not only allowed me to spotlight the critical issue of anti-social behavior in Bermuda but also provided insights into other challenges faced by other territories. This experience will undoubtedly influence my future endeavors in advocating for positive change and inclusivity on a broader scale.”
The Speaker of the House of the House of Assembly selected Miss Bean to represent Bermuda at the UK youth forum. He said, “Once again our Youth Parliamentarians have made Bermuda proud, and I am sure all Bermudians will join me in congratulating Miss Bean on her speech today. Miss Bean emphasized the essence of the objective of Youth Parliament which is to provide an atmosphere for young people to come together to discuss issues of the day from the perspective of the youth and to better understand the process for making changes. Her speech highlighted one of the issues identified within the strategy of the National Youth Policy and articulated the perspective as seen by the youth. We all must congratulate her for her willingness to stand on this international platform and express herself.”
He added, “Recognition goes to Sir Lindsay, Speaker of the UK Parliament, for enabling Overseas Territories’ youth participation and strengthening relationships among territories. Miss Bean’s address on youth-centric issues emphasizes the need for politicians to embrace youth involvement in finding effective solutions. I am hopeful that more Bermudian youth will value the opportunity that Youth Parliament offers them to be able to address their issues not only in our Youth Parliament but also among the other Youth Parliaments throughout the Overseas Territories and at the UK Parliament.”
The Government of Bermuda London Office has maintained strong relationships within UK Parliament on behalf of the island, and as a result has developed strong opportunities for Bermudians.
Kimberley Durrant, Bermuda’s London Office Representative said, “Having a voice in the U.K. Parliament signifies not only representation of Bermuda, but also educates future U.K. Members of Parliament and possible Government Ministers. We are proud to be a part of developing a key space for Bermuda’s youth to be heard on an international platform.”