International Youth Day

International Youth Day began in 2000 and was organized by the UN to recognize the input that young people make in education, community development, environmental groups, and volunteering for different social projects.

It focuses on the problems that some young people are experiencing around the world. Half the children between the age of 6 and 13 lack basic reading and math skills and childhood poverty is still a common problem globally. International Youth Day was created by the UN to help draw awareness to these issues as we strive to find solutions. It’s a day for reflection but also a day for taking action. There’ll be many concerts, workshops and cultural events taking place so have a look at what is happening in your local area.

International Youth Day 2018 picture

To support the elimination of these issues the youth must be able to reach the right resources for education, wellbeing, medicine, and more. Scholaroo is a platform that has centralized scholarships from around the world to help the youth of the world.

In 1965 the United Nations General Assembly began making a concerted effort to impact the youth. They approved the Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect, and Understanding between Peoples. They began devoting time and resources to empowering the youth by recognizing up-and-coming leaders and offering them resources to meet the needs of the world.

On December 17, 1999, the UN General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, and International Youth Day was formed. It was first celebrated on August 12, 2000, and ever since the day has been used to educate society.

The day is often accompanied by major events. In 2013 an International Youth Conference was hosted by ‘YOU THINK’, featuring many key speakers and an awards ceremony.

This theme aimed to call attention to how the participation of young people at the national and international levels is complimenting national and multilateral institutions and processes. Another important aim was to draw lessons on how their involvement in institutional politics can be increased.

International Youth Day gives a forum to the voices of the youth. It engages youngsters and aims to take initiatives and actions that will increase opportunities for them.

The youth of the world faces different challenges and barriers to prosperity, depending on which part of the world they are living in. Young people living in developed and developing countries are more prone to facing mental- and social challenges, whereas young people living in underdeveloped countries face extreme problems rooted in a lack of more basic needs such as education, health, and employment.

These issues and challenges are widely discussed on local, institutional, and governmental levels. Seminars, training sessions, debates, discussion forums featuring influential figures as key speakers, fundraisers, and the distribution of educational material for informing and creating awareness take place on International Youth Day.

International Youth Day: messages from the members of the European  Disability Forum Youth Committee - European Disability Forum

15–24 – the age group defined as ‘youth.’

? – the human population consisting of the world’s youth.

1991 – the year when the idea for International Youth Day was first proposed.

77% – the percentage of youth informally employed.

4% – the percentage of the likelihood of women being less literate than males.

20% – the percentage of youngsters who experience mental health problems every year.

152 million – the number of young workers who live in households below the poverty line.

? – the youth in developing countries not fulfilling their economic potential.

126 million – the number of youth who cannot read or write a sentence in 2011.

23 – the number of African countries implementing a national strategy on financial literacy.


Attend an International Youth Day.
There are concerts, sporting events, parades, and mobile exhibitions that showcase young people’s achievements. You’ll feel inspired by their talent and entertained at the same time.

Lend a helping hand

The best thing that we can offer kids is education. Look into mentorship programs and discover what you can impart to the next generation. There are like big brother and big sister programs, music programs, assisting with speech therapy, and more.

Have an intergenerational discussion
Get involved and start a round-table discussion between adults and young people. This can be between parents and children or students and teachers.


Youth health
The World Health Organization is developing global standards for health within schools.

Childhood hunger
16 million kids in the US struggle with hunger each year.

Staying fit
Children and adolescents should do an hour or more of physical activity each day.

Music that matters
Youth Ambassador Mohammed Assaf is a Palestinian refugee and uses his music to give messages of hope to young Palestine refugees.

Young entrepreneur
At 25 years old Rita Kimani of Kenya is the co-founder of FarmDrive which connects unbanked and underserved smallholder farmers to credit.

Credit: UN

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