International Youth Day is an awareness day nominated by the UN. The day draws attention to youth with regard to cultural and legal issues.
The first International Youth Day was celebrated on August 12, 2000.
The day is designed to raise awareness of the importance of getting youth to engage and participate in political, economic, social and other processes.
This participation enriches institutions and gets younger people engaged in politics. The idea is to focus on youth as the next leaders and get them invested in inclusion, social justice, peace and prevention of conflicts.
In South Africa, it commemorates the Soweto uprising (1976) amid many protests. These were reactions to the Bantu Education Act and the government trying to enforce the use of Afrikaans as the teaching language in black schools.
It is a day in which to remember the students who protested against a single, non-home language as the only medium in education.