International Youth Day

International Youth Day Quick Facts - ZA

HashtagsCompiled on#InternationalYouthDay, #YouthDay, #IYD2020, #Youth4GlobalAction
2024 Date12 August 2024
2025 Date12 August 2025

International Youth Day

International Youth Day in

International Youth Day History

International Youth Day (IYD) is an annual observance established by the United Nations (UN) to celebrate the role of young people in driving change and addressing the challenges they face globally. The observance places emphasis on issues such as quality education, sustainable livelihoods, civic engagement, peace, and security. The aim of IYD is not only to celebrate young people's accomplishments but also to advocate for their inclusion in decision-making processes, thus fostering sustainable development across diverse sectors.

International Youth Day was first observed in August 2000, following a UN General Assembly resolution in December 1999. In South Africa, young people face numerous socio-economic challenges, which are exacerbated by high levels of poverty, inequality, and unemployment. Despite these adverse conditions, South African youths play a significant role in shaping the country’s future by advocating for improved education, gender equality, and the eradication of poverty and other social maladies. As the largest demographic in South Africa, the youth's potential to contribute to sustainable development across the nation is undeniable. Consequently, initiatives that seek to empower and develop the youth, such as IYD, are essential within the South African context.

Each year, International Youth Day is observed globally on 12th August. The celebration provides a vital platform for young South Africans to join their peers globally in taking action, raising awareness, and driving change on issues that affect their well-being and future prospects. By engaging in dialogue, advocating for their rights, and participating in diverse activities, the youth of South Africa continue to make valuable contributions to the country's development while commemorating the importance of this international observance.

International Youth Day facts

  • The Theme of International Youth Day in 2023 was Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World
  • International Youth Day has been celebrated in over 100 countries, making it one of the most widely observed UN days.
  • The UN defines youth as people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, but events for International Youth Day often include people of all ages.
  • According to 2021 statistics, youth unemployment in South Africa is among the highest in the world, with around 63% of young people aged 15 to 24 being unemployed.
  • South Africa has a tradition of strong youth leadership, as demonstrated by influential figures such as Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, and Desmond Tutu, who started their journey as young activists.

Top things to do in South Africa for International Youth Day

  • Participate in a Youth Day celebration within your city. Use the hashtag #YouthDay to promote and find events.
  • Encourage confidence building activities for the youth in your life. This can be done by having youth participate in sports, drama clubs, debate clubs and music bands.
  • Visit Robben Island in Cape Town, where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were held during the Apartheid era. This is an inspiring and educational experience for young people.
  • Visiting national parks and reserves like Kruger National Park, Addo Elephant National Park, or Boulders Beach to see African penguins can be an unforgettable experience.

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