International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12 each year to recognize efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society. It also aims to promote ways to engage them in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities.
International Youth Day promotes the benefits that young people bring into the world, celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.
Many countries participate in this global event, which may include youth conferences on issues such as education and employment. Other activities include concerts promoting the world’s youth, as well as various sporting events, parades and mobile exhibitions that showcase young people’s achievements but with COVID19 here with us most of the activities shall not happen.
2020 Theme: Youth Engagement for Global Action
The theme seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
Enabling the engagement of youth in formal political mechanisms does increase the fairness of political processes by reducing democratic deficits, contributes to better and more sustainable policies, and also has symbolic importance that can further contribute to restore trust in public institutions, especially among youth. Moreover, the vast majority of challenges humanity currently faces, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change require concerted global action and the meaningful engagement and participation of young people to be addressed effectively.
This year’s International Youth Day seeks to put the spotlight on youth engagement through the following three interconnected streams:
- Engagement at the local/community level;
- Engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation); and,
- Engagement at the global level.
What Can You Do?
Think about what you can do in your community and how you can effectively spread the message. Here are a few tips:
- Educational radio show. Contact popular local/national radio stations to request a slot to have a discussion with distinguished individuals and youth.
- Organize a (virtual) public meeting or debate to discuss young people’s contributions to global issues especially COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Organize a youth virtual forum to exchange ideas and discuss cultural backgrounds in order to help young people accept others and popularize a culture of non-violence.
- Organize a (virtual) concert to promote International Youth Day and the launch of the Year. Invite your local musicians and combine it with a panel discussion or invite a politician or policy maker to hold the key note speech.
- Write to your Minister of Youth to inform him or her about the challenges young people face in their daily lives and to suggest solutions.