Although families all over the world have transformed greatly over the 
past decades in terms of their structure and as a result of global 
trends and demographic changes, the United Nations still recognizes the 
family as the basic unit of society. The International Day of Families 
provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to 
families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and 
demographic processes affecting them. It has inspired a series of 
awareness-raising events, including national family days. In many 
countries, this day is an opportunity to highlight different areas of 
interest and importance to families.

Each year, 15th May is observed worldwide as the International Day of 
Families. In 1993, the UN General Assembly proclaimed this date to be an 
opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to 
increase knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes 
affecting families. The United Nations Programme on the Family stresses 
the importance of having healthy and happy familial relationships.

This year’s theme of the International Day of Families is Families, 
“Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG 13. This year, the day 
reflects the importance the international community attaches to families 
and their role in development. Recent commemorations of the Day focused 
on the role of families for the achievement of SDGs 1 – 5 and SDG 16. 
The 2019 observance focuses on families, family policies and major SDG13 
targets: SDG 13 target 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and 
human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, 
adaptation, impact reduction and early warning SDG 13 target 13.2: 
integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and 

The approaches to family policies for inclusive societies vary around 
the world. In some regions emphasis is placed on the social inclusion of 
various types of families and/or individuals such as migrant or 
indigenous families, ethnic minorities or families with persons with 
disabilities. In other regions, the primary emphasis is placed on social 
protection for vulnerable families to facilitate their full inclusion in 
the mainstream of society. As approaches vary, this year’s observance of 
the International Day of Families is to raise awareness of the role of 
families and family policies in achieving more inclusive societies from 
regional perspectives.

We, at World Assembly of Youth (WAY), understand the importance of the 
international day of families. It highlights the importance of family in 
society thereby having stronger families; stronger schools and stronger 
communities. It also provides a real-life example of how the human 
family can work together to create a better world. It is an opportunity 
to have critical conversations about some of the challenges that 
families around the world face. Many families are dealing with issues 
like poverty, lack of health care, employment, and child rearing. And 
today, we promote awareness and a better understanding of some of these 
challenges. We also encourage young people from all around the world to 
embrace gender equality in contemporary families in both their current 
family and the one that they will build in future.

As the coordinating body of National Youth Councils, it is one of our 
functions to work together as a family because we believe that family is 
a vital foundation of an individual’s positive development that will 
lead to the overall betterment of societies. We treat everyone equally 
as we seek to create a more just world by empowering everyone, 
especially young activists from around the globe through a combination 
of cross-cultural human rights.

Together with this year International Day of Families, we recap our 
encouragement to the youth to embrace the significance of family 
especially its role in education and achievement of Sustainable 
Development Goals.


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