International Youth Day 2018
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International Youth Day 2018

Each year on August 12th, the world celebrates International Youth Day. This year, the central theme for the event will be “Safe Spaces for Youth.” Celebrating youth and promoting their rights goes hand in hand with the basic humanitarian mission to do good in the world.

Many organizations actively work with youth towards a better future for them and the planet. Because youth represent the next generation of civil, social, and political responsibility, this day is essential. In 2018, the official event commemorating International Youth Day will take place in Nairobi, Kenya.

International Youth Day 2018

Importance of International Youth Day

Today, youth represent about 1.8 billion of the world’s population. And while the quality of life has improved for many young people, plenty also face significant challenges. For example, 24 million children and youth are out of school. Almost 10% of youth around the world live in conflict zones. And even in friendlier areas, youth unemployment rates and exposure to violence tend to be higher than that of adults.

International Youth Day is an opportunity to promote the rights of young people and their overall interests. One of the key strategies is to provide youth with platforms where their voices can be heard so they can have a positive impact on local and international policies.

Many organizations are doing amazing work with children and youth around the world. Programs range from education to protection, to social inclusion, and to community support. The key is to ensure that young people are thoroughly integrated into all aspects of social life and are represented as stakeholders in decision-making that impacts them.

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Theme 2018: Safe Spaces for Youth

This year’s theme for International Youth Day is “Safe Spaces for Youth.” Sustainable Development Goal Number 11 specifically talks of the provision of space towards an inclusive and sustainable organization. At the same time, the United Nations World Program of Action for Youth notes that leisure activities are essential for young peoples’ development. For these and other reasons, the United Nations chose this as the central theme for International Youth Day 2018.  Overall, safe spaces provide youth the opportunity to connect, grow, and develop.

For example, the Flomina Children’s Home in Nairobi provides a safe place for children and also ensures that they receive access to education. Safe spaces are also necessary to prevent violence and crime among young people. In particular, there is a need for safe spaces in conflict zones where opportunities for them may be reduced. Young migrants and refugees represent another key group that can benefit from safe spaces.

How to Get Involved

The official commemoration events for International Youth Day 2018 will take place during the week of August 12th in Nairobi, Kenya. Some of the activities include fruit tree planting, a peace caravan, a peace match, youth-led exhibitions, talent shows, and a youth round-table with the president.

But for those located elsewhere, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate International Youth Day as well. You can access the World Map of Events which lists the various events that will take place around the globe. Another option is to share the day’s key messages with your networks. For this, use the official toolkit which can be found here. Additionally, make sure to include the following hashtags: #YouthDay, #SafeSpaces4Youth, and #MySafeSpace.

World Youth Day Panama 2019

As we celebrate our global youth, it’s important to highlight a very special event that will take place in 2019. World Youth Day 2019 is a worldwide encounter with the Pope for youth. It is a faith-based event where Christian youth can travel and connect with like-minded young people from all over the world. This time, Panama will be the one to host the event on January 22nd to 27th, 2019. You can find out more about the World Youth Day programming here.

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