Commemorating 2020 International Youth Day

Since 1999, the UN General Assembly has declared the 12th of August as the International Youth Day, an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement and participation in political, economic and social life and processes.

This year, the International Youth Day will focus on “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, seeking to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.

IIMA Human Rights Office, together with VIDES International, is strongly supportive of this initiative which fully reflects the office’s commitment to promote youth empowerment through human rights and move forward the youth agenda within the UN Human Rights Council. For more information on IIMA work on youth rights, please refer to the recent publication which also includes the annex “Youth and human rights: overview and timeline (2011-present)”.

With only 10 years remaining to make the 2030 Agenda a reality for all, trust in public institutions is eroding and the international system of governance is currently undergoing a crisis of legitimacy and relevance. In particular, this crisis is rooted in the need to strengthen the capacity of the international system to act in concert and implement solutions to pressing global challenges, such as the COVID-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in severe economic and social impacts around the world. While being particularly vulnerable to the disruptions the pandemic has caused, young people play a key role in the management of this outbreak and the recovery following the outbreak. In this context, as in many others, it is crucial to hear the voices of youth and take them in due consideration in the decision-making processes.

The commemoration of IYD 2020 will take the form of a podcast-style discussion led by youth for youth. Creative elements, such as spoken word artists, will also be utilized to break up the substantive discussions. Finally, many other independently organized commemorations will take place around the globe.

Help commemorate IYD and join UN online campaign running from late July until the 12th August 2020. More info available here.