In Focus: Creating space for youth voice, choice and safety 2018

Celebrating Women’ Strength Festival - March 2018 (for International Women’s Day) Dancers from New Cambodian Artists pose for a photo.  Photo: UN Women/Sreynich Leng
Photo: UN Women/Sreynich Leng

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The global youth population—1.8 billion strong—represents boundless possibilities and enormous talent to build a better future for the world. But to truly harness that power, youth need safe spaces where they can learn, grow, participate in decision making processes, and freely express themselves.

On 12 August we’re celebrating International Youth Day under the theme Safe Spaces for Youth. This means creating civic and political spaces where young people can shape the decisions that impact their lives; having them at the centre of peacebuilding and climate action; and ensuring that online and offline spaces for youth are inclusive, diverse and free from violence.

On International Youth Day and every day, UN Women is working with young women and young men to make the world more equal, sustainable and peaceful for all.

Top stories

Mila Rodriguez playing a Marimba. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

“When we sing, we feel free”
Mila Rodriguez is a young member of Colombia’s Cantadora Network, a network of singers using traditional Afro-Colombian music to preserve their culture and promote peace after decades of armed conflict.

Sophia Garcia. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

“It is possible to achieve the just and humane society that I envision”
Sophia Dianne Garcia from the Philippines is a youth activist who advocates for women’s voices in sustainable and inclusive peace processes.

Anny T. Modi. Photo: UN Women/Christian  Mulumba

“Young women want to be considered as actors and agents of change”
Anny Tengandide Modi is a member the African Women Leaders Network and an advocate for reproductive health and access to justice for women.

From left: Samah Al-Nahal, Dalia Osama and Nihal Zourob are three female architects who completed the blueprint of the public garden in Al-Shoka neighborhood in collaboration with the community members. Photo: UN Women/Eunjin Jeong

A garden for all—women and youth rebuild safe and inclusive spaces in Gaza
It took three female architects and a group of young people to rebuild the only public garden in a neighbourhood in Gaza, after it was destroyed during the conflict.

Join the conversation

Youth play an important role in advocating for their communities. Let’s raise their voices and make space for their engagement!

Join the conversation using #YouthDay #SafeSpaces4Youth (English).

A social media package with graphics and suggested messages in multiple languages can be found here.

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