August 12: International Youth Day

International Youth Day is celebrated each year on August 12 every year in order to signify and highlight the importance of young people, not just as future generation, but also as the current driving force of change in the world.

History of the IYD

This day was designated by the United Nations in the year 1999, in an attempt to raise awareness regarding the cultural and legal issue concerning youth. The first such day was observed on August 12, 2000 and has been observed annually ever since.

Significance of the Day

Every year, various activities like concerts, workshops, cultural events and meetings are organized to engage the youth and in order to bring their voices, actions and initiatives to the mainstream. This year, due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, the UN is commemorating IYD with a podcast-style discussion that will be hosted by the youth for the youth.

IYD 2020

Each year, the IYD is observed with a theme and for the year 2020, this has been decided as ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’ and this has never been more important than during the current conditions. The theme seeks to shed light on the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels in enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes.

UN Campaign on IYD 2020

In observance of this day, the United Nations has launched a social media campaign, #31DaysOfYouth aimed at celebrating the young people all throughout the month of August, leading up to and the following International Youth Day. It is meant to spread awareness and initiate discussions regarding ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action.’


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