Statement: International Youth Day 2018 – Safe Spaces For Youth Introduction

In 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day. The Assembly recommended that public information activities be organized to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth, adopted by the General Assembly in 1995 (resolution 50/81).
DEFINITION OF YOUTH
Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as “the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young.Youth is an experience that may shape an individual’s level of dependency, which can be marked in various ways according to different cultural perspectives. Personal experience is marked by an individual’s cultural norms or traditions, while a youth’s level of dependency means the extent to which he still relies on his family emotionally and economically. In Ghana the National Youth Policy 2010 defines a youth as anyone from 15 to 35 years.

BACKGROUND OF CELEBRATION
Every year, the 12th of August sees the commemoration of International Youth Day. Celebrations are organized each year to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth. A theme for the day is selected with input from youth organizations and members of the UN Inter-Agency Network in Youth development. It also organizes a commemoration of the Day at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Programme encourages youth around the world to organize activities to raise awareness about the situation of youth in their country. Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2250 in 2015, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people are critical actors in conflict prevention and sustaining peace. International Youth Day 2017 was dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. The current generation of youth is 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.
Wherever we find the youth: at school, at home, with friends, at work, on the field. That space should be devoid of danger, crime, intimidation and coercion at a club, religious functions and in politics. For girls that they will remain in school until they complete secondary education without being victims of child marriage, trafficking or being engaged in prostitution. For both boys and girls that they will complete secondary education without being engaged in crime, violent gangs, alcoholism, drugs and together achieve their educational potential.
During elections, that the youth will vote for the candidate whom they believe will work towards addressing issues that concern them: creating employment, prevention of HIV and AIDS, promoting security and peace wherever the youth find themselves.
t be involved in trafficking and prostitution.
Understand that human rights and dignity should be enjoyed by all. Respect all and flee from violence. when this is don youth from all the levels of the society can live together without feeling left out. They can also engage with older people without fear of being excluded and misunderstood. Thus they can enjoy the safe spaces allowed them to effectively contribute to development, peace building, social justice and social cohesion thus achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal 11 which emphasizes the need for provision of space towards inclusive and sustainable urbanization while deepening the New Urban Agenda (NUA) which reiterates the need for public spaces for youth to enable them to interact with all inter-generational dialogue.
Finally the youth need to implement the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) which is the UN Framework for youth development. This document prioritises the provision of leisure activities as essential to the psychological cognitive and physical development of young people.
It should be noted that in this current technological age which has made the world a global village, the youth can use technology to engage deeper in political, civic and social matters and the availability and accessibility of safe spaces becomes even more crucial to make this a reality. The youth also focus on Gender transformation activities to promote gender equality thereby reducing gender stereotyping and patriarchy which has been one of the bane of development in Ghana.
(This write up includes some information from the web site of the United Nations on the International Day of the Youth).
Tomorrow August 11, 2018, RRIG will spend the morning with some youth in the Bekwai Zongo community in the Bekwai Municipality in the A shanti Region. Please find attached the programme for tomorrow.
Below are the contact details of Rights and Responsibilities Initiatives Ghana:
Name: Aba Oppong
Designation: Executive Director
Email address: info@rrighana.org/ rrinitiativeghana@yahoo.com/ tobaka58@gmail.com
Telephone Numbers: 0208139321/ 0500098893
WhatsApp Number: 0244538998
Website: www.rrighana.org
Registrar General’s Reg. No.: CG143752015
Department of Social Welfare Reg. No.: D.S.W./7449

Name: Faustina Osei Prempeh
Designation: Programmes Manager
Email address: info@rrighana.org/ rrinitiativeghana@yahoo.com/ tinaprem88@ymail.com
Telephone Numbers: 0245164088/ 0203717385
WhatsApp Number: 0245164088

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES INITIATIVES GHANA (RRIG)
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY 2018
Theme: Time and Space Greatest Currency for Youth Development

Activity 1 Discussions will feature on
• Educational Status
• Employment Status,
• Academic Aspiration,
• Human Rights,
• Future Careers
• Interest in ICT as a tool for development.
Key message: Safe spaces promote prosperity, peace, security, economic and social development.
Strategy for Youth Development: Say No to:
• Juvenile Delinquency
• Absenteeism in school
• Child Labour
• Child Marriage
• Teenage Pregnancy
• Unsafe Abortion
• School Dropout
• Drug Abuse
• Sexual Abuse
• Armed Robbery
• Gambling (betting)
• Early Sexual Encounters
• Alcoholism
• Tramadol use
• Psychological Abuse
Activity 2 Youth Perspective of life, whether happy, unhappy or indifferent (Reasons to be assigned)