Youth and COVID-19

UN IANYD Statement on COVID-19 and Youth

The unprecedented global health crisis we are facing is affecting all parts of society and changing lives and livelihoods. In all types of crises and times of need, from climate change to armed conflict or political unrest, young people and youth-led organizations have been quick to take action and respond to the needs of others. The same is happening now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While attention is currently focused on those most immediately affected by the virus, there are many indications that the COVID-19 pandemic will have long-lasting social, cultural, economic, political and multidimensional impacts on the whole of societies, including young people, as highlighted by the Secretary General’s Report “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity” (March 2020).

Call to Action

The United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (UN IANYD) is committed to the goals enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the World Programme of Action for Youth and the UN Youth Strategy. Respect for all human rights – including economic, social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights – is fundamental to the success of public health responses and recovery from the pandemic.

This is why members of the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (UNIANYD) are calling for:

1) Partnering, safely and effectively, with young people during and after the COVID-19 crisis;
2) Recognizing young people’s own actions and their potential to advance the fight against the pandemic; and,
3) Understanding the specific impacts the pandemic has and will have on young people, while ensuring that COVID-19 related responses uphold young people’s human rights and are inclusive of young people’s specific needs.

In increasing numbers, young people are proactively combating the spread of the virus and working to mitigate and address the pandemic’s impacts.

Read the full UN IANYD Statement on COVID-19 and Youth.