International Youth Day – Safe Spaces for Youth
What are safe spaces?
The theme of this year’s International Youth Day on 12 August is “Safe Spaces for Youth”. Celebrations on the day will highlight various types of safe spaces and their role in contributing to youth empowerment, inclusion and development.
But what are safe spaces? They are various platforms where young people can come together, participate, engage in diverse activities and enjoy the freedom of expression. When youth have spaces where they can come together without fear or intimidation, they can participate in constructive dialogue and meaningfully engage in issues that concern them. Safe Spaces can help youth nurture their common values and aspirations while embracing their differences.
The availability and accessibility of physical or virtual safe spaces can enhance young people’s potential by providing common ground and opportunities for innovation and creativity.
Safe spaces can contribute to youth empowerment and inclusion
Having a space that feels safe can help empower youth and enable the inclusion of the most marginalized groups, like refugees and migrants, youth dwelling in slums, conflict-prone settings or humanitarian situations.
This positive role of safe spaces has been noticed and recognized in the international arena. The Sustainable Development Goal 11 on sustainable cities and settlement and the New Urban Agenda both provide solid foundations for investing in safe, sustainable spaces that are inclusive of youth.
As young people become increasingly concentrated in urban areas, the role of public, civic, digital and physical spaces becomes even more important to ensure they do not get left behind.
Celebrating International Youth Day 2018
The official celebration of the International Youth Day 2018 will be held in Nairobi, at the UN Gigiri Complex. The event will bring together young people, youth organizations, Member State representatives, civil society and United Nations entities to participate and share ideas on how to meaningfully create safe spaces for youth. If you cannot join that event, there are still plenty of ways to participate.
- Download the International Youth Day Toolkit to learn how you can stage your own events, build partnerships, bring awareness of the importance of safe spaces for youth. You can use the toolkit for ideas to mobilize support and engage your local community.
- Join the conversation on social media, by using the hashtags #Youth Day, #SafeSpaces4Youth and #SDG11.
- Follow UN4Youth Facebook page and @UN4Youth on Twitter. You can also use the World Map of Events to find activities and events near you.
Help create Safe Spaces for Youth!
More information: International Youth Day 2018