International Youth Day

International Youth Day is observed annually on August 12th. It was designated by the United Nations in 1999 to draw attention to youth issues worldwide. The day serves as an opportunity for governments, organizations, and individuals to raise awareness about the challenges and problems facing young people and to celebrate their potential as partners in creating positive change.

DayInternational Youth Day
DateAugust 12
Year Started1999
Founded byUnited Nations
Theme 2023Green Skills For Youth: Towards A Sustainable World

History of International Youth Day

The idea for International Youth Day emerged in 1991 when young people participating in the first session of the World Youth Forum proposed having a day dedicated to youth. Their proposal emphasized the importance of recognizing youth as a major partner in today’s global society.

In 1998, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation to observe International Youth Day annually on August 12. The date commemorates the anniversary of the inception of the World Programme of Action for Youth in 2000. This program outlined priorities for action on youth issues.

The first International Youth Day was observed in 2000 with the theme “Youth Acting for Living Together in Peace.” Since then, it has been celebrated annually with varying themes related to youth empowerment, engagement, and current global issues. For example, the 2022 theme was “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating A World for All Ages.”

How to Celebrate International Youth Day?

There are many ways for governments, organizations, communities, and individuals to celebrate International Youth Day:

  • Youth concerts, rallies, forums: These events provide opportunities for youth to express their views, communicate with their representatives, and engage with each other.
  • Policy dialogues and roundtable discussions: These forums enable an exchange of ideas between youth, government officials, policymakers, and civil society groups.
  • Workshops and seminars: Educational events can build skills, provide resources, and empower young people to take action.
  • Social media campaigns: Using hashtags like #YouthDay and #InternationalYouthDay allows millions of youth to connect and raise their voices.
  • Youth-oriented activities: Community service projects, art and photo exhibitions, sports tournaments etc. showcase and celebrate young people’s talents.
  • Intergenerational activities: Bringing together youth and senior citizens facilitates mutual understanding and solidarity.
  • Awareness campaigns: Posters, flyers, stickers, and murals spread the word about Youth Day and educate others about youth issues.


  • 1991: Youth delegates at the World Youth Forum propose International Youth Day
  • 1998: The UN General Assembly endorses observing International Youth Day annually on August 12
  • 2000: The inaugural International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12
  • 2022: International Youth Day theme – “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating A World for All Ages”
  • 2023: International Youth Day theme – “Green Skills For Youth: Towards A Sustainable World”

International Youth Day provides an important opportunity to enable young people to raise their voices, showcase their talents, connect with each other, and engage with policymakers on issues that impact their lives. The day aims to celebrate youth while bringing attention to their needs and the challenges they face globally. With appropriate support and investment, young people have great potential to build a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.

Frequently Asked Questions about International Youth Day

Here are some common FAQs about International Youth Day:

What is the purpose of International Youth Day?

International Youth Day aims to raise awareness about issues that young people face worldwide, as well as draw attention to their contributions to economic, social, and cultural development. The day also promotes investments in youth to create a sustainable future.

When did the UN establish International Youth Day?

The UN General Assembly designated August 12 as International Youth Day in 1999. The first International Youth Day was celebrated in 2000.

How is International Youth Day celebrated?

International Youth Day is celebrated through youth rallies, concerts, sports events, policy forums, social media campaigns, and various initiatives that provide opportunities for young people to highlight issues important to them.

What was the original impetus for creating an International Youth Day?

The proposal for an International Youth Day first emerged when young delegates at the World Youth Forum in 1991 wanted a day to recognize youth as partners in global development. Their proposal led the UN to establish it in 1999.

What is the theme for International Youth Day 2023?

The theme for International Youth Day 2023 is “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World.” It focuses on equipping youth with skills to take climate action and build sustainable societies.

How can I get involved in International Youth Day activities?

You can check for events happening in your local area, attend or organize an event, share awareness on social media, or engage with youth organizations working on issues you care about.

Does the UN carry out special activities for International Youth Day?

Yes, the UN and its agencies organize events and initiatives at local, national and international levels. UN offices launch publications, host workshops, and bring youth leaders together on this day.

What issues does International Youth Day seek to highlight?

It brings attention to youth issues like education, health, poverty, discrimination, unemployment, justice, and human rights affecting young people globally.

Is International Youth Day a public holiday?

No, International Youth Day is not a public holiday. But it is observed globally through various awareness-raising activities. Some offices and educational institutes may hold special youth-oriented programs.

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