Teenagers at a party in Austin, Texas, celebrate with blacklight paint.
Photograph by Kitra Cahana, National Geographic
  • Audience versions of this page: Family

    On August 12, 2000, the United Nations first celebrated International Youth Day. International Youth Day calls attention to the unique social, legal, and economic issues facing young people around the world.
     
    The United Nations outlines 15 areas of special interest to young people: education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, leisure-time activity, girls and young women, participation, globalization, information and communications technologies, HIV/AIDS, youth and conflict, and intergenerational relations.
     
    Each year, the UN chooses a new theme for International Youth Day. In 2015, the theme is Youth Civic Engagement. In 2014, the theme was Mental Health Matters. The Mental Health Matters program aims to “overcome the stigma [of mental illness] to ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives free of isolation and unnecessary shame, and that they openly seek the services and support they need.”
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    AIDS Noun

    (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) disease that debilitates the immune system, making the victim vulnerable to infections.

    celebrate Verb

    to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

    climate change Noun

    gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

    Encyclopedic Entry: climate change
    communication Noun

    sharing of information and ideas.

    conflict Noun

    a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

    economic Adjective

    having to do with money.

    employment Noun

    job or work.

    ensure Verb

    to guarantee.

    environment Noun

    conditions that surround and influence an organism or community.

    globalization Noun

    connection of different parts of the world resulting in the expansion of international cultural, economic, and political activities.

    Encyclopedic Entry: globalization
    HIV Noun

    (human immunodeficiency virus) virus that is a cause of AIDS (anti-immune deficiency syndrome).

    hunger Noun

    the need for food.

    intergenerational Adjective

    having to do with people or organisms of different ages or generations.

    isolation Noun

    separation from other people, habitats, or communities.

    juvenile delinquency Noun

    behavior of a young person that violates the law or standards of behavior.

    legal Adjective

    allowed by law.

    leisure Noun

    time away from school or work.

    mental health Noun

    ability of someone to adjust, enjoy, and cope with everyday life and responsibilities.

    migration Noun

    movement of a group of people or animals from one place to another.

    overcome Verb

    to defeat.

    poverty Noun

    status of having very little money or material goods.

    shame Noun

    disgrace and embarrassment.

    stigma Noun

    set of negative associations that a person or people have about something.

    technology Noun

    the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.

    unique Adjective

    one of a kind.

    United Nations Noun

    international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.

    unnecessary Adjective

    not needed.