August 12th

International Youth Day -

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Every year, on August 12, we commemorate International Youth Day, an occasion that recognizes the power of young individuals as pivotal drivers of societal transformation. This day was first initiated by the United Nations in 2000 with the aim of encouraging young people through various activities and initiatives that highlight their talents, viewpoints, and inventive abilities.

International Youth Day serves a dual purpose - to both address and raise awareness about the countless challenges young people encounter globally, and also to applaud the immense impact they have within their own communities.

History of International Youth Day

The annual event, observed on August 12th, known as International Youth Day (IYD) finds its genesis in the inaugural World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that took place in 1985, in what was then the Soviet Union. The assembly of nations participating agreed to recognize 1986 as the premier ‘International Year of Youth’.

Fast forward a decade to 1995, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), influenced by the suggestions from the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, met in Lisbon, Portugal. At this gathering, they decided on the resolution that recognized August 12 as International Youth Day. Consequently, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that the first IYD was observed, following the official endorsement by the UNGA in 1999.

This significant day was conceptualized as a platform to acknowledge the power of youth globally, celebrate their milestones and create plans to enhance their future prospects. Furthermore, it created a strong emphasis on enacting policies and initiatives that assist youths in navigating their challenges while also urging governments to facilitate opportunities for them.

The United Nations is responsible for the annual themes of International Youth Day, tailoring them to reflect pertinent contemporary issues. Over the decades, they have addressed a wide range of topics from mental health, education reform, cultural diversity, sustainable growth, and peace.

The IYD is a stage to celebrate young people’s significant role in preventing conflicts, promoting inclusion, advocating for social justice, and contributing to lasting peace. Multiple nations globally organize different activities aimed at raising awareness about various aspects of life and ensuring their rights are well observed - these activities range from the arts like concerts and cultural events, to educational, community and sports engagements.

International Youth Day Timeline

First Mention of International Youth Day

First brought to global attention by Lisbon's first youth congress.

Adoption by the United Nations General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth.

First International Youth Day Observed

Initially focused on encouraging the youth around the world to participate actively in making positive contributions to their communities.

Change in Focus

The focus was shifted towards celebrating the role of young people as key partners in promoting human rights and development.

Adoption of Sustainable Development Goals

Youth engagement is recognized as vital for achieving sustainable development.

Youth Engagement for Global Action

Celebrated to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people can enrich global institutions and processes.

Ideas to Celebrate International Youth Day

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Youth Empowerment Seminar

Host a seminar or webinar where inspiring young speakers are invited to share their stories, provide career guidance, and talk about the issues young people face today. This aims to empower the youth and encourage them towards positive action.

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Sports Event

Organize a sports day which includes various games and activities. This is not only a celebration but a platform to promote physical fitness, teamwork, and sportsmanship among the youth.

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Entrepreneurial Workshop

Arrange a workshop where young entrepreneurs can share their journey and provide guidance on running a successful business. This would inspire young people interested in entrepreneurship, and help them understand the challenges and rewards it offers.

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Career Fair

Set up a career fair inviting different companies to describe their industries and job prospects. This can guide the youth towards making informed decisions about their future careers.

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Open Mic Night

Organize an open mic night where young people can express themselves through poetry, storytelling, music, or comedy. This relaxed and respectful environment would allow them to showcase their talents and share their thoughts.

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Volunteering Opportunities

Create a platform for volunteering opportunities in the community. This will promote a sense of responsibility, empathy and active participation in community services among the youth.

6 Interesting Facts About International Youth Day


Annual Theme

Every year, a unique theme is assigned to the International Youth Day. For instance, the theme for 2020 was 'Youth Engagement for Global Action', which aimed to highlight the ways in which young people at the local, national and global levels are enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes.


Youth's Role in Sustainable Development Goals

Youth engagement is critical to the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. International Youth Day provides an opportunity to celebrate young people’s actions to achieve the Agenda and their participation in public decision-making.


Global Recognition

International Youth Day is celebrated globally and acknowledged by various nations, youth groups, and sectors. It serves as an initiative to recognize youths as a vital sector of society.


World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth

The idea behind International Youth Day was first suggested during the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, held in August 1998 in Lisbon, Portugal.


Advocacy for Youth Issues

International Youth Day is also used to advocate for issues related to the rights of young people. Many organizations use this day to bring attention to issues such as youth unemployment, education, healthcare and other major issues affecting young people's lives.


Celebration Activities

The day is usually marked with activities such as workshops, cultural events, and meetings involving national and international government officials, non-profit organizations, community organizations, and of course, the youth themselves.

International Youth Day FAQs

Next International Youth Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 August 12th Saturday
2024 August 12th Monday
2025 August 12th Tuesday
2026 August 12th Wednesday
2027 August 12th Thursday
What is the pattern? Every August 12th

International Youth Day Word Search

  • Youth
  • Education
  • Future
  • Leaders
  • Development
  • Motivation