On this International Youth Day, think about the vote!

Greg Dwulit

We celebrate Mother’s Day. We celebrate Father’s Day. But what about International Youth day?

International Youth Day

International Youth Day (IYD) is a little different than Father’s or Mother’s Day. The purpose of Youth Day is to draw a spotlight on issues that young people face throughout the world.

This year’s theme is “Youth Civic Engagement.” Very few of our youth are involved in the civic or political activities. A small percentage volunteer for a political party, join a NGO, charitable work, or other activities. That’s why governments, the United Nations, NGOs, regional and multilateral organizations, CSOs, young leaders and researchers are trying to motivate greater numbers of people into civic activities.

Young people who are more involved in politics, NGOs, charities and elements of civic life are more likely to enjoy a better quality of life. On average they earn more money, are better educated and stronger advocates for youth issues. A society functions better with youth who are engaged and involved in their society. This is essential to achieving sustainable human development. But the opportunities for young people to engage politically, economically and socially are low or non-existent in some places.

This needs to change. We need to raise awareness about the importance of youth engagement and how society benefits. This year’s youth day promises to get young people involved in civic life. They need to be empowered to bring a full contribution to society, development and peace.

An easy way for young Canadians to get involved in civics is to vote in the upcoming federal election, expected to take place in October this year. For more information about the youth vote in the next election, visit Election Canada’s website.

SEIU Healthcare also gives young people an opportunity to get involved with their union. The union’s EMERG committee’s goal is to transform young SEIU members into strong leaders who play an important role in politics and civic life. If you are an SEIU Healthcare member between the ages of 18-35 and would like to join the EMERG committee, please call 1-877-672-7348, or email politics@seiuhealthcare.ca.

For more information about Youth Day, check out the United Nation’s website.

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