The World Assembly of Youth (WAY) is marking its 71st Anniversary at a difficult time, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis with severe economic and social impacts. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has affected the lives of young people everywhere, and young people are actively helping respond to this crisis. This crisis has served as a magnifying glass, bringing underlying issues for young people to the forefront.
Young women, and youth in lower-income countries have been particularly hit the hardest by the pandemic. Over 70 percent of youth who study have been adversely affected by the closing of schools, universities, and training centres, with some 65 percent of young people reporting having learnt less since the pandemic’s inception. Young workers have also felt the heavy toll of COVID-19’s influence on the employment sector, while 41 percent of young people have had their income reduced.
On this day, 19 August 2009, the United Nations General Assembly formalized the day as the World Humanitarian Day in order to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.On World Humanitarian Day the world commemorates humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work, and honour all aid and health workers who continue to provide life-saving support and protection to people most in need.
The highest numbers of Humanitarian workers are young people and therefore we highlight the importance of international actions, as the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, for addressing the causes, like poverty and inequalities, underpinning humanitarian crises. The role of youth in humanitarian action is important to us, as it is an important role, given that a majority of crises are directly affecting people.
“I call on leaders and adults everywhere to do everything possible to enable the world’s youth to enjoy lives of safety, dignity and opportunity and contribute to the fullest of their great potential.” – António Guterres, Secretary General of United Nations
The International Youth Day is commemorated, annually, on the 12th of August! This day mainstreams youth voices, actions, and initiatives to the attention of the international community. It is also a celebration on the role of young women and men as essential partners in change for a sustainable future. On daily basis, young people and youth organisations are addressing issues and challenges that youth are facing on the basis of economic status, ethnic group, gender, and other characteristics.
Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries, they speak 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures. Despite their cultural differences, indigenous peoples from around the world share common problems related to the protection of their rights as distinct people.
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, which takes place every year on 9th of August, was proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994. The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Indigenous communities already face a host of challenges, and the unfortunate present reality is that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are worsening these challenges further still.
Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.
The World Day against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/68/192. The UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists member States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking in Persons Protocol).