International Youth Day (IYD) is an awareness day, which was designated by the United Nations to be observed on August 12 every year since 2000. The main objective of the day is to draw attention to cultural and social issues, which youths all over the world stumble upon. Often, on this day meetings, discourses, concerts, workshops, cultural events involving youth organizations take place around the world.
On the occasion of the IYD-2013, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his message, as per un.org, stated, "It is important to emphasize the positive contribution, young migrants make to societies of origin, transit and destination – economically and by enriching the social and cultural fabric. Most work hard to earn a living and improve their circumstances. The remittances they send to support families in their home countries are a major contributor to economies worldwide."
The theme of IYD 2013 is "Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward" to celebrate the contribution of several million international young migrants. According to UN, while migration can often offer valuable opportunities and contribute to the development of communities and society at large, it can also pose risks and lead to unacceptable situations, including discrimination and exploitation.
Keeping this view, IYD-2013 is meant to raise awareness of opportunities and risks associated with youth migration, share knowledge and information stemming from recent research and analysis on this topic, and engage young people in discussions on their migration experiences.
"The reasons young people migrate are many. Some are fleeing persecution, others are escaping economic hardship. Some are alone, others part of a family – with parents, siblings and even children of their own. Some have communities to go to, others must make new connections. In transit and at their final destinations, many young migrants face equal or greater struggles, including racism, xenophobia, discrimination and human rights violations. Young women, in particular, face the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse," added Ban in his message.
Ban urged the member states, youth-led organizations and other stakeholders to act and promote the rights of all young migrants and maximize the development potential of youth migration.