International Youth Day August 12

12 Aug 2018

The theme for International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth. 

Youth 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. Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence. Newcastle Region Library is proud to provide physical and virtual spaces for youth to feel safe and welcome, and to support their educational and recreational needs and interests. In keeping with the goals of the United Nations (UN) International Youth Day we also ensure that our safe spaces are inclusive, and that youth from diverse backgrounds including those from outside the local community, are assured of respect.

Without the existence of safe space, youth from different race/ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation or cultural background may feel intimidated to freely contribute to the community. When youth have safe spaces to engage, they can effectively contribute to development, including peace and social cohesion. There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. But 1 in 10 of the world’s children live in conflict zones and 24 million of them are out of school. Political instability, labour market challenges and limited space for political and civic participation have led to increasing isolation of youth in societies.12 August was first designated International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999, and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.

For more information and to see events commemorating International Youth Day go to the UN webpage.