Celebrating International Youth Day
August 07, 2021


Week of August 07 – August 11, 2021

    On August 12, 2006, youth around the world will celebrate their achievements and aspirations by participating in International Youth Day. The day will also be used to tackle issues that affect youth from all parts of the world. I would like to use this week’s journal to highlight the purpose of the day and how we can all support our youth in Canada and beyond.

    International Youth Day began as a result of a recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth to the United Nations General Assembly, on December 17, 1999. It was decided that August 12th of each year would be set aside for International Youth Day.

    The United Nations Assembly suggested that public information activities be organized to support the day, as a way to generate awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond (WPAY), adopted by the General Assembly in 1995. The World Programme of Action for Youth is a set of practical guidelines explaining how the international community should address the issues affecting the world’s youth.
 
    Since its inception, the day has been used to remind key decision-makers and influential stakeholders to support and improve the situation of young people around the world. This year’s theme for the day is “Tackling Poverty Together,” which will focus on recognizing the many contributions youth make to our societies, as well as to highlight the importance of including youth in the decision-making process. International Youth Day 2006 invites governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, businesses, and municipalities to tackle poverty together, by ensuring that young people are included in efforts to eradicate youth poverty.

    According to the World Youth Report, approximately 209 million young people are living on less than U.S. $1 per day and roughly 515 million young people live on less than U.S. $2 per day. Young people may be disproportionately susceptible to poverty in comparison with other age groups, mostly because of the fluid nature of the challenges and opportunities they face during the transition to adulthood, particularly in relation to the labour market. Young people often make up a significant portion of the population in developing countries and should be included in anti-poverty strategies which affect them directly.

    I invite you to take action and participate in International Youth Day by learning more about the day and by identifying which groups in our community could address youth poverty issues and support them in their efforts. You can also share your knowledge with others and encourage them to raise awareness, as well as participate in local events honouring the day. It is through concerted efforts like these that a difference can be made.