Inclusive Elections: Voter Education Outreached 1,037 Youth

July 14, 2022

The UNDP Covid-Resilient Election in Timor-Leste (CORE-TL) project outreached 1,037 youth through events and seminars on Inclusive Elections

UNDP Timor-Leste/ Ayumi Kimura

Dili, July 12, 2022. With a series of activities intended for youth, the UNDP Covid-Resilient Election in Timor-Leste (CORE-TL) project outreached 1,037 students to provide essential information about the electoral process to increase youth participation, especially the first-time voters, in the national elections. 

Before the Presidential Elections in March and April 2022, the UNDP CORE-TL project organized voter education events such as the youth event ‘Joven Vota,’ attended by 210 high-school students, and two election information seminars with the participation of 237 university students. Furthermore, 333 people visited the Electoral Information Center, a temporary space set up by the Project to inform voters about the election procedures and COVID-19 safety measures during the electoral cycle. 

For the upcoming parliamentarian, municipal, and suco-level elections, UNDP and the NGO Belun conducted the Inclusive Elections workshops from April to June in 9 municipalities: Ainaro, Bobonaro, Baucau, Covalima, Ermera, Lautem, Manufahi, Viqueque, and RAEOA. The activity mainly targeted youth, especially first-time voters, to deepen their understanding of the importance of encouraging underrepresented people in elections, such as women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI, to vote for ensuring that “No One is Left Behind.” In cooperation with local authorities, civil society organizations, and academia, the Inclusive Election workshops were successfully carried out with the participation of 257 youth (145 Women, 112 Men, 10 PwD, 14 LGBTQI).

“We consider youth as key actors to establish peace in Timor-Leste, especially through the election process. During the training, we also encourage the participation of marginalized people, such as women, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQI community. Everyone should be included for democracy, taking an initiative to support the country and establish a better future,” appointed the gender activist and NGO Belun trainer, Maria Fatima Sara. “We should respect one another because we are all equal, have the same right to participate in elections,” said a youth participant in Lautem municipality.  

With the financial support of the Government of Japan, the UNDP CORE-TL project strives to ensure informed, safe and inclusive elections while contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal of “Leaving No One Behind.”