International Youth Day 2018 - Safe Spaces

International Youth Day has been observed annually on 12 August since its designation by the United Nations in 1999. On this day, governments, nonprofits, civic organizations, and individuals draw attention to youth issues worldwide. Concerts, workshops, cultural events, and meetings involving national and local government officials and youth organizations will take place around the world.

This year, the theme for International Youth Day is Safe Spaces for Youth, with the goal of promoting youth engagement and empowerment by advocating for safe spaces where youth have opportunities to freely express themselves, participate in sport and leisure time activities, and participate in decision-making and governance processes, while engaging in mutually respectful and constructive dialogue. It is important when planning these spaces to pay attention to the diverse needs of youth around the world, particularly those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.

Safe spaces (both physical and virtual) play an important role in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; Goal 11 emphasizes providing space for inclusive and sustainable urbanization. Additionally, the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY), which is the UN framework for youth development, prioritizes the provision of “leisure activities” as necessary for young people’s psychological, cognitive, and physical development.

Visit the UN International Youth Day web page here for a toolkit and resources as well as a world map of events.

Christina Joseph, sponsored by ACEI to serve as the U.S. Child Advisor to the Day of General Discussion hosted by the the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, interviewed her friends about human rights and how they view themselves as defenders of human rights. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybAKTsg4lqA&feature=youtu.be

Anne Bauer