The International Volunteer Day for Economic Social Development (IVD) is held each year on 5th of December. This day is viewed as an opportunity for us to celebrate all volunteers by recognising their efforts, sharing their values, and promoting their work among communities, non-governmental organisations, government authorities, and the private sector. This is the day to express our utmost appreciation to the volunteers for their tireless and priceless contribution.
Nowadays, 70 percent of volunteer work does not involve any organisation but happens informally between people in their communities. Volunteerism is important for everyone, young people included, as it enriches our society, brings us together as a community, and strengthens civic engagement. It also safeguards social inclusion, deepens solidarity, and solidifies ownership of development results. Volunteers are actors of change and equal partners in the attainment of local, national, and international progress towards sustainable human development and global peace.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated every year on 3 December and promotes the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development. Disability inclusion is an essential condition to upholding human rights, sustainable development, peace, and security. Hence, it is vital to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
Today, the world population is over 7 billion people and more than one billion people, or approximately fifteen percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability, and eighty percent live in developing countries. An integrated approach is required to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind. Disability inclusion will result in COVID19 response and recovery that better serves everyone, more fully suppressing the virus, as well as building back better.
The World AIDS Day is commemorated annually on 1 December. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to honour those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. The global HIV epidemic is not over and it is accelerating with a devastating impact on communities and countries. As the UNAIDS report shows, around the world 38 million people are living with HIV, the highest number ever. Yet a quarter do not know that they have the virus.
Knowing your HIV status has many advantages. It also enables people to make informed decisions about HIV prevention options, including services to prevent children from becoming infected with HIV, male and female condoms, harm reduction services for people who inject drugs, voluntary medical male circumcision and pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis. HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care services are all being disrupted particularly in countries with fragile heath systems.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is observed annually on 25th of November, and like previous years, it also launches the 16 days of activism that raises awareness on the continuing toll of gender-based violence. Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. Sadly, violence against women is one of the most widespread, persistent, and devastating violations of human rights, with almost 18 percent of women and girls experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
Globally, it is estimated that one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Unlike an illness, violence is not inevitable and it can be prevented. As such, prevention strategies should be holistic, with multiple interventions undertaken in parallel in order to have long lasting and permanent effects. Efforts to prevent and end violence against women at the global, regional, and national levels show that there is widespread impunity on sexual violence and rape.
The Universal Children’s Day, also known as the World Children’s Day, is celebrated annually on 20th November. This Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the United Nations General Assembly adopted both the Declaration and the Convention on children's rights. Mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals, as well as young people and children themselves, can play an important part in making this Day relevant for their societies, communities, and nations.
The World Children's Day offers each of us an opportunity to advocate, promote, and celebrate children's rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children. Time has come to promote togetherness around the world, awareness of the problems children face in every corner of the globe, and improve the welfare for all children. Some 463 million young people were not able to access remote learning during school shutdowns. What is more, previous shutdowns demonstrate that children who are out of school for extended periods, especially girls, are less likely to return.