2018 International Youth Day.
International youth day is celebrated annually on the 12th of August. The day was declared by United Nations to campaign for the inclusion, development and empowerment of youth in building the world we want. It is also a day that youth across the globe renew their call to their national governments to honor and deliver on their promises to youth on inclusion, development and empowerment.
The Theme for this year’s International Youth Day is SAFE SPACES FOR YOUTH.
Young people need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth. Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces.
The Commonwealth Youth Council applauds the Commonwealth states for the work done to create safe spaces and inclusion of young people’s voices in governance and development. Indeed much has been done, and much is yet to be done.
We call on governments to ensure that young people have spaces to thrive, learn, share and truly create influence on matters that affect them. This includes addressing environmental challenges and climate change, ensuring that the regulatory environment is favorable for young entrepreneurs to thrive and tackling unemployment, ensuring that their human rights are respected including their freedom of speech and association among others.
The diversity of young people must also be taken into account. Intersectionalities such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and religion must be taken into account and spaces should be created to include all including those that are differently abled, young women and girls, LGBTQI, young persons living in humanitarian and conflict situations and other minority groups.
Young people have the solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges and they must be given the spaces to contribute towards solving them.
#IYD2018 #SafeSpacesForYouth #CWYouth