UNDP Asia-Pacific Youth Empowerment: International Youth Day Edition.

12 August, 2018

Happy International Youth Day!

This year, the theme for International Youth Day is “Safe Spaces for Youth”. This refers to civic spaces, physical public spaces and digital spaces which allow

young people to engage in decision making, participate fully in their communities and interact virtually with others across borders. In order for young people to be able to effectively contribute to social and economic development, it is crucial that these spaces are inclusive of all youth.

In many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as in the rest of the world, youth are effectively excluded from decision making and political forums, and their access to and participation in public spaces is restricted. This is particularly true for young women and other marginalised youth, and further entrenches existing social tensions and inequalities.

Following this theme, the first section of this update will focus on stories of country office initiatives to build and sustain safe spaces for young people in the region, where they can freely express their ideas and participate in political and other decision making spheres.

In the second section of this update you will find a collection of stories that focus on skills development, entrepreneurship and innovation. These issues have started to receive attention in connection to youth empowerment, and they are strongly linked to the theme of safe spaces- facing unemployment, job automation and poor access to quality education and training, young people across the region often struggle to participate in their country’s labour force and economy. In order to do this, they need environments that enable and promote youth empowerment, and they need safe learning spaces that encourage creativity, innovation and independent thinking.

Finally, you will find two research publications launched by UNDP Country Offices in the past year on issues related to youth.