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International Youth Day

The United Nations’ (UN) International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12 each year to recognize efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society. It also aims to promote ways to engage them in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities.

International Youth Day

International Youth Day focuses on young people all over the world.

©iStockphoto.com/Jacob Wackerhausen

What Do People Do?

Many activities and events that take place around the world on International Youth Day promote the benefits that young people bring into the world. 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.

Public Life

The UN’s International Youth Day is a United Nations day of observance but it is not a public holiday.

Background

The UN defines the worlds’ youth as the age group between 15 and 24 years old, making up one-sixth of the human population. Many of these young men and women live in developing countries and their numbers are expected to rise steeply. The idea for International Youth Day was proposed in 1991 by young people who were gathered in Vienna, Austria, for the first session of the UN’s World Youth Forum. The forum recommended that an International Youth Day be declared, especially for fundraising and promotional purposes, to support the United Nations Youth Fund in partnership with youth organizations.

In 1998 a resolution proclaiming August 12 as International Youth Day was adopted during the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth. That recommendation was later endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1999. International Youth Day was first observed in 2000. One of the year’s highlights was when eight Latin American and Caribbean youth and youth-related organizations received United Nations World Youth Awards in Panama City, Panama.

Symbols

The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in black against a white background.

International Youth Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010ThuAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2011FriAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2012SunAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2013MonAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2014TueAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2015WedAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2016FriAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2017SatAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2018SunAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2019MonAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance
2020WedAug 12International Youth DayUnited Nations observance

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