THIS YEAR sees the seventh edition of International Youth Day on August 12. The United Nations General Assembly, which inaugurated the day in 1999, has chosen ‘Tackling Poverty Together’ as the topic of this year’s event.
Last year, during the 10-year review of the World Programme of Action for Youth, governments worldwide agreed that the situation of young people living in poverty needed urgent attention. The World Youth Report 2005 states that over 200 million young people live on less than one dollar a day and that over 88 million are unemployed. However, little is known about the number of young people living in poverty, as they are frequently overlooked in national poverty reduction strategies.
Since then, new initiatives to reduce poverty among young people have been very promising. Governments, the international community and young people themselves are working together to reduce youth poverty, and the adoption of national youth policies by governments to support the involvement of young people in the decisions that affect their lives is also helping to beat this problem.
Some of the activities organised throughout Europe include a youth-to-youth international exchange and discussion on youth participation between people from Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Latvia.
The major focus of the day is practical action to further encourage the empowerment and participation of youth in the processes and decisions that affect their lives.
Visit www.un.org/youth for more information about International Youth Day.