The Initiatives for Sustainable Peace and Entrepreneurship Development – ISPED join global citizens and CSOs in commemorating INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY 2018, 12th August.

The theme for International Youth Day 2018 is “Safe Spaces for Youth”.

Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth. Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.

Ensuring that safe spaces are inclusive, youth from diverse backgrounds especially those from outside the local community, need to be assured of respect and self-worth. In humanitarian or conflict prone settings for example, youth may lack the space to fully express themselves without feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome. Similarly, without the existence of safe space, youth from different race/ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation or cultural background may feel intimidated to freely contribute to the community. When youth have safe spaces to engage, they can effectively contribute to development, including peace and social cohesion.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committed to
fostering peaceful and inclusive societies and affirmed that
“Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and
security”. Goal 16 aims to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory
and representative decision-making at all levels. The World
Programme of Action for Youth, which provides a policy framework
and practical guidelines to improve the situation of young people,
also encourages “promoting the active involvement of youth in
maintaining peace and security”.

#YouthDay #SafeSpace4Youth #ISPED