“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).
In 2011, the United Nations proclaimed the International Day of Friendship with the idea that friendship between people, countries, and cultures can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. On this day we want to involve young people and youth organisations in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.
The International Friendship Day is celebrated on the 30th of July annually. The Friendship Day was originally created by the greeting card industry and was promoted by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark cards in 1919. It was, then, proclaimed by the United Nations’ General Assembly with an idea that friendship between people, cultures, and individuals can inspire harmony and build bridges between countries. This day is observed not only on the recognition of friendship in the general sense but also its relevance and noble value that friendship has in the sentiment and lives of human beings around the world.
The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive, and stable societies by the target date, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, health, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration.
Globally, one in five young people are NEET: Not in Employment, Education or Training. Three out of four of young NEETs are women and sadly enough the World Youth Skills Day 2020 is taking place in a challenging context as the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures have led to the worldwide closure of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, threatening the continuity of skills development.