August 12th was first designated International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999 and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth. The first International Youth Day was observed on 12 August 2000.
UN says today’s youth are facing with severe employment circumstances and low wage security. Governments, private organizations, universities and gracious people can hold youth and future-makers of the country by providing them better work opportunities and address their challenges and demands.
The theme for International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth.Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth.
Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.
International Youth Day is also marked annually in Afghanistan where majority of Afghan youth are facing with various problems and challenges as poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, narcotics, forced marriages and migration to neighbor countries.
Moreover, various problems are insecurities, threats of armed insurgents, lack of schools and universities, lack of professional teachers in schools, little access to new technology and lack of sport stadiums and others surrounding Afghan youth in most of provinces of the country.
Unemployment is a big problem facing Afghan youth in the country where finding a job has changed to a big challenge for youth most of whom are now disappointed of their future as they cannot find suitable jobs. There are a considerable number of youth who avoids keeping on education and higher education due to economic problem, low daily income and other problems.
Besides increasing of poppy cultivation in the country, manyof our youth have been addicted to drugs as heroin, hashish and others due to poverty and increasing unemployment as there are no long-term or short-term scientific and professional strategy to prevent youth from narcotics in the country. But, it can be said that there no or few treatment centers to treat drug-addict Afghan youth except existence of several treatment centers in Kabul city.
Moreover, there are other problems too as forced marriages, violence against young women and high dowry and abundant wedding expenses.
Hardworking and talented Afghan youth who are thinking of their future life, employment, creativity, peace, security, social justice, development and tranquility of the people are wishing to have a peaceful and prosperous country where most problems and demands of youth can be addressed on time.
The current generation of youth are the largest in history and young people often comprise the majority in countries marked by armed conflict or unrest, therefore considering the needs and aspirations of youth in matters of peace and security is a demographic imperative. According to the UN, there are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. But 1 in 10 of the world’s children live in conflict zones and 24 million of them are out of school. Political instability, labour market challenges and limited space for political and civic participation have led to increasing isolation of youth in societies.