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International Youth Day 2020: “Youth Engagement for Global Action”

by Public Health Update

International Youth Day (IYD) gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement. In 1999, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the  World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

Theme 2020

The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.


This year’s IYD seeks to put the spotlight on youth engagement through the following three interconnected streams:

  • Engagement at the local/community level;
  • Engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation); and,
  • Engagement at the global level.

#YouthStats: Health

  • More than 2.6 million young people aged 10 to 24 die each year in the world, mostly due to preventable causes. [WHO, 2015]
  • Road traffic injuries cause an estimated 330 young people to die every day. [WHO, 2015]
  • Globally, 81% of adolescents aged 11–17 years were insufficiently physically active in 2010. Adolescent girls were less active than adolescent boys, with 84% versus 78% not meeting the WHO recommendation of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. [WHO, 2014]
  • Worldwide, 7% of all deaths of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 are attributable to alcohol use.  [WHO, 2014]
  • One out of 2 young people who start and continue to smoke will be killed by tobacco-related illness. [WHO, 2014]
  • About 20% of adolescents will experience a mental health problem, most commonly depression or anxiety in 2015. [WHO, 2015]
  • Pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death amongst adolescent girls aged between 15 and 19 in low-income countries.  [UNAIDS, 2015]
  • Complications linked to pregnancy and childbirth are the second  leading cause of death for 15-19 year-old girls globally. [WHO, 2014]


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