Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Upper Parliamentary Chamber Approves Youth Policy Bill

The Council of the Republic on Thursday approved a bill specifying the guidelines of the governments youth policy.

The draft law passed the House of Representatives on November 5.

While talking to reporters, Antanina Morava, chair of the upper chambers Committee on Education, Science, Culture and Social Development, described the bill as the first one of the kind in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The bill would introduce such legal terms as "young family" and "young citizen" and set the lower and upper age limits for categorizing a person as "a young citizen" at 14 and 31 years, respectively. There are 2.6 million people aged between 14 and 31 in Belarus at present. "This is a real active force. The bill is aimed at making youths more active and stepping up work with youths," Ms. Morava said.

The bill provides for measures to help youths solve housing problems and receive education, and introduces the term "volunteer movement." It also would entitle state and private companies and organizations to have a special employee for "working with youths," according to Ms. Morava.

Under the bill, reports outlining priority areas of the governments youth policy are to be submitted to the Council of Ministers before March 15 every year, the lawmaker said.

The country currently has 37 non-governmental organizations that declare work with youths as a priority objective. Fifteen of them enjoy assistance from the government, Ms. Morava said.