12 August was first designated International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999 by endorsing the recommendation made to this effect by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998). It serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change and is an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges and problems facing the world’s young people.
This year, the International Youth Day highlights the theme of Transforming Education to make it more inclusive, accessible and relevant to today’s world. Education must combine knowledge, life skills and critical thinking, and advance gender equality, human rights and a culture of peace.
Through its commitment to the trilogy of rights, knowledge and participation, the Council of Europe Youth for Democracy programme supports and develops the effectiveness of youth civil society, youth work, youth policy, youth research and youth-focused ‘communities of practice’ in their efforts to provide young people with the opportunities and experiences that help them to face challenges and support their successful integration into society.
By enabling young people to understand and commit to the values, attitudes, skills and knowledge required to be informed and active participants in our societies, the Council of Europe is empowering young people to actively uphold, defend, promote and benefit from its core values thus shaping democracy and human rights-spirited young Europeans.
Read the Advisory Council on Youth's statement.