About International Youth Day Campaign 2018

The Road to Rights, an award-winning youth-led organization, is hosting a unique event to bring youth from different sectors to celebrate International Youth Day 2018. The event has two phases. 15-Days national campaign from 12 August to 26th August and the closing event of the 15 days national campaign which will be held on the 26thof August combining various discussions, activities including tech talks, interviews, forums, youth awards targeting young people from various backgrounds.

We believe that by working together, we can make a difference. This will be an event where we bring leading youth organizations, policy-decision makers, entrepreneurs, and innovators together for a fruitful discussion for a better tomorrow. This will be an annual gathering of the creative young minds of Sri Lanka to recognize the work of all individuals while learning, sharing, and developing new ideas.

The event will feature many significant personalities from various industries an entertaining concert to mark the celebration of International Youth Day.

The project is designed to attract many young people and to educate them on various aspects of International Youth Day 2018. The Youth Day Project has two major phases where we conduct a nationwide campaign as well as the campaign closing ceremony to celebrate and conclude the nationwide campaign.

The project will be designed with diverse activities to make the campaign fun, engaging, and meaningful to celebrate the international youth day. It will include forums, talks shows, and interactive dialogues, speech and essay contest, open mic sessions and many more activities throughout the country as well as featuring renowned personalities in the country.

Nationwide Campaign Duration – 12th to 26th, August. (All Island)

The Campaign Closing Ceremony – 26th of August 2018 at BMICH 2.00 P.M to 6.00 P.M.

Target Audience –Young persons between ages 16 to 30, including young entrepreneurs, social media influencers, bloggers, volunteers, and innovators.

The Youth Day Nationwide Campaign

The youth day campaign is designed to educate and build the capacity of young people on varies social challengers as well as the aspects of international youth day theme which is safe spaces for youth contributing to the SDGs number 11.

The campaign is organized by over 30 leading youth-led organizations in Sri Lanka conducting activities throughout the country.

The campaign would include,

15 Days Island-wide Campaign in conducting schools, universities and community-based workshops seminars, exhibitions throughout the country.
“Meet the Mayor” Event
“Meet the Minister” Event
Social Media Campaigns and Selfie Challenge
Essay & Speech Contest
Launching the Kindness Campaign for SDGs
“Celebrating Diversity” Youth Day Open Mic
Music mashup session / Stand-up Comedy Session / Hip-Hop battle
The campaign is focusing on reaching out to young people in all 25 countries in Sri Lanka.


+ Celebrate the International Youth Day creating awareness on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically Goal 11, emphasizes the need for the provision of space towards inclusive and sustainable urbanization.
+ Creating the most inclusive youth-led event in Sri Lanka to gather innovative young leaders around the country.
+ Recognizing the outstanding work of youth-led organizations, voluntary groups and individual young innovators around the country who are contributing to the peace and reconciliation process.
+ Identifying and educating the meaning of safe spaces for youth to engage effectively in contributing to development, including peace and social cohesion.
+ Creating awareness on the role of ICT in contributing to development and peace including positive engagement of young people in tech-based approach for SDGs.
+ Creating dialogue on Safe Spaces of youth highlighting Digital, Civic & Public spaces.
+ Creating a constructive inter- Generational Dialogue on opportunities and challengers for young people.
+ Identifying the importance of youth in Digital, Civic & Public spaces in achieving peace and reconciliation.
+ Identifying the role of “Sustainable Tourism” in globalizing and engaging young people in contributing to SDGs for a better tomorrow.

Key outcomes

+ Launching the Global Kindness Campaign together with UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development.
+ Launching the SDGs and Human Rights education in to the curriculum of University of Colombo Tourism Program.
+ Handing over the proposal to initiate the first ever Mayor’s Youth Council to increase the meaningful youth petrification in policy and decision-making process.
+ Initiative the first ever International Youth Day Awards to recognize outstanding work of voluntary groups, individuals and young innovators.


The theme for International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth.

Youth need safe spaces where they can come together to engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests to 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.

Young people are often considered to represent the future as they bring new ideas and energy to add to the pool of knowledge that currently exists. They can bring enthusiasm and vitality which can lead to new discoveries and developments that can benefit society or even the world at large. Although not the only drivers of social change, young people are seen to be one the key drivers engendering change. As a youth led organization the Road to Rights is looking forward to celebrate this year’s Youth Day, with a large gathering of youth promoting and signifying the theme Safe space for youth.

International Youth Day 2018

The 2018 International Youth Day will aim to promote youth engagement and empowerment by exploring the role of safe spaces in contributing to freedom of expression, mutual respect and constructive dialogue.

The event will reflect on the significance of safe spaces in providing opportunities for sport, innovation empowerment and leisure time activities, while deconstructing barriers of judgment, hate speech, harassment or violence.

Overall, participants will consider ways in which safe spaces can promote an inclusive youth development towards the 2030 Agenda

What are Safe Spaces for Youth?

Safe Spaces can be defined as platforms where youth can come together, freely express themselves. engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests and participate in decision-making processes.

Available and accessible physical or virtual spaces can help youth feel valued and advance their cognitive, emotional and social skills as they transition into adulthood.

Why do youth need safe spaces?

Having a space that feels safe can empower both rural and urban youth by providing them with the opportunity to gather and participate in diverse activities or to talk and engage in meaningful dialogues.

The rise of social media and other forms of online communication has helped youth explore new opportunities for engagement and use their innovations to further create virtual and physical safe spaces.

International Frameworks

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and specifically Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and targets (iii) and (vii) provide a strong basis for safe urban spaces towards inclusive and sustainable urbanization.

Furthermore, a youth inclusive urbanization is articulated in the New Urban Agenda (NUA).

Recently the United Nations hosted a forum in Asia, the region with the largest number of youth, to stress the importance of providing inclusive safe spaces to fulfil the needs of young people, as well as for them to be partners, leaders and innovators to achieve

Digital Spaces

Open digital spaces can provide youth the ability to instantly interact with each other on topics ranging from pop culture, religion and politics irrespective of their age, race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, geographical location or time differences. Sometimes these lead to tangible global online campaigns and virtual mobilizations

Civic Spaces

Youth-led and youth focused organizations can utilize safe spaces to meaningfully engage with local, national and global decision-makers on various issues, including youth civil rights, voting, volunteering, democracy and governance based on the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Public Spaces

Research indicates that the availability and accessibility of public spaces to youth such as parks, sporting facilities, cafés and community gardens can deter them from behavior which negatively impacts their development

Physical Spaces

Ensuring that physical spaces appeal to youth from diverse backgrounds, the planning of such spaces should be inclusive and accommodate their various needs, interests and activities. The physical space should be designed in a way to deter gender-based violence, harassment or marginalization.


The Campaign Closing Ceremony

The closing ceremony of the International Youth Day Campaign will be on 26th of August 2018 at the Bandaranaike Center for International Studies at BMICH at 2.00 P.M to 6.00 P.M. The event would have various key activates specially combined with two main forums. The activities include,

  • • Forum on Digital, Public & Civic Spaces for youth
  • • The Role of Youth in Sustainable Tourism
    • The Launch of the SDGs and Human Rights Curriculum to the University of Colombo Tourism Program.
  • • The launch of the UNESCO MGIEP Kindness Campaign
  • • Youth Speak session where 30 youth-led organizations share their stories
  • • Awarding Session
    • Awards for the most outstanding young individuals in rural Sri Lanka
    • Awards for the stakeholders of the youth day campaign
    • Awards for the speech and essay contest
  • • Launch of the Youth Day 2018 magazine

The event will be attended by ministers, UN representatives, government officials as well as young leaders around the country.

We will also be working with celebrities and famous young figures on creating the awareness on the theme of International Youth Day. The event will also be supported and participated by more than 60 different youth groups and networks in Sri Lanka.

There will be a campaign prior to raise awareness about safe spaces through a social media campaign to raise on safe spaces for youth. During the event, there will be a book donating campaign and a post-event community-based activity will in a few selected rural schools