International Youth Day

Posted by under Human Rights Education on 22 August 2006

On 12 August 2006, International Youth Day, the UN is reminding governments of their commitments. It's been 10 years since the United Nations set out its World Program of Action for Youth, with calls to improve the lives of the world's young people.

In 1999, the UN designated August 12 as International Youth Day. This year's theme is "Tackling Poverty Together."

2006 MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY

The theme of this year's observance of International Youth Day is "Tackling poverty together: young people and the eradication of poverty".

The world's young people, now numbering more than 1 billion, are a major human resource for development, and can be key agents of innovation and positive social change. Yet the scale of youth poverty robs the world of that potential. In a world of great riches, nearly one in five people between the ages of 15 and 24 must eke out an existence on less than one dollar per day, and almost half live on less than two dollars per day.

Moreover, while youth make up one fourth of the world's labour force, they account for one half of its unemployed. Labour markets are having difficulty providing stable occupations with good prospects for young people, except for the highly trained. Without decent work, young people are left particularly susceptible to poverty, which in turn complicates access to education and basic health services, further impeding employability. Over the long term, disadvantaged youth will confront steeper obstacles along the path to progress, and may not accrue the assets that commonly come through steady and long-term employment, such as access to assets and resources, strong social networks and decision-making status in the family or community.

Our challenge is clear: we must pay more attention to education, and in particular to the transition from education to employment. And the ability of youth to find full and productive employment must be a central objective of national development strategies, including poverty reduction policies.

The international community has recognized what experts are now calling the juvenilization of poverty, and made it a priority area in the 1995 World Programme of Action for Youth. The Programme has approached young people as equal partners in the global effort to eradicate poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Government commitment to the development agenda was renewed and reinforced by the 2005 World Summit, which has opened up a fresh opportunity to engage youth in action on the issues that affect them. On this International Youth Day, let us seize that opportunity, and redouble our efforts to support young people and free up their enormous potential, for the benefit of us all.

Background of International Youth Day

The General Assembly on 17 December 1999 in its resolution 54/120, endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

The Assembly recommended that public information activities be organized to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, adopted by the General Assembly in 1995 (resolution 50/81).

1996-2006 UN World Program of Action for Youth It's been 10 years since the United Nations set out its World Program of Action for Youth, with calls to improve the lives of the world's young people. On 12 August, International Youth Day, the UN is reminding governments of their commitments.

Sources and Relevant Links:

United Nation 2006 MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY

United Nation International Youth Day 2006

United Nation International Youth Day: 12 August 2006
Tackling Poverty Together: Young People and the Eradication of Poverty

United Nation International Youth Day 2005

UNICEF Fact Sheet
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 246 million children between 5 and 17 are engaged in child labour. Of these, nearly 70 per cent are working in hazardous conditions in mines, with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or with dangerous machinery. Some 73 million of them are less than 10 years old.

World Bank YouThink: Empower To Protect

World Bank 2007 World Development Report

OSHA News from Board: Your network to a safer and healthier working environment
Now is your chance to make sure that young people have a safe and healthy start to their working lives, and to promote risk awareness and risk prevention in enterprises, schools and colleges.

United Nation World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998)


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