|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
A youth wing is a subsidiary, autonomous or independently allied front of a larger organization that is formed in order to rally support and allegiance for that organization's campaigns from members and potential members of a younger age. Youth wings may also be discussion forums for younger members and supporters of the organization to debate policy and ideology.
The term "youth wing" is most often used to refer to the youth wings of political parties; in such youth wings, ranking or leading members are often seen, upon attainance of the minimum age requirement, as potential leaders or bureaucrats of the main political party. This has led to a perception of political party youth wings as being mere gateways of employment opportunity in the government bureaucracy for younger members, especially in the case of dominant- or single-party systems where a party is insured of victory at the polls.
Youth wings are distinct from student wings, as the former is not necessarily established on, for solely focused upon, a student-exclusive basis.
Youth wings are not considered as factions of a political party, as youth wings are intended as youth-friendly projections and extensions of party policy and ideology rather than being differently ideologized from the leadership of the party proper.