International Youth Day was established by the United Nations (UN) over a decade ago as a means of raising awareness about the current challenges and issues facing young people and underscoring that youth are essential partners in decision-and policy-making processes aimed at addressing these challenges. It also aims to promote ways to engage youth in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities.
Part of the larger United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth, International Youth Day serves to raise awareness of 15 priority areas for youth that include education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency and participation, among others.
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.
The theme for the 2015 Day is Youth Civic Engagement. The focus is on encouraging young people to participate in politics and public life so that they feel empowered to contribute to global society, economics, development, and peace. These objectives will also be addressed at the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum in the fall of 2015.
In recognition of International Youth Day, Highland Shores Children’s Aid recommits to support and promote the well-being of vulnerable youth in our communities.