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Secretary Kerry: Statement on International Youth Day
August 12, 2013

International Youth Day

Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release

August 12, 2013

International Youth Day, August 12, 2013

The United States joins the international community today in celebrating International Youth Day.

The Department of State is committed to ensuring that we are engaging not only with the leaders of today, but also with the leaders of tomorrow.  Today’s generation of young people is the largest and most interconnected the world has ever seen, defined by energy, talent, and optimism. Whether mobilizing for climate change or demanding democracy and equality, we are witnessing the unprecedented impact that young people can have in the 21st century.

Young people communicate with peers from all corners of the globe, on Twitter or Facebook or Google Hangout.  They take to the streets to demand dignity and democracy.  And they work across borders to find innovative solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges.

On this year’s International Youth Day, we mark an important aspect of life for young populations around the world: youth migration. In 2010, there were an estimated 27 million young migrants throughout the world.  Some of these young people migrate to find new opportunity; others are forced to flee from poverty or war.

As a nation founded by immigrants, and as a country with a long tradition of welcoming the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” the United States takes great pride in our commitment to the rights of migrants to realize educational and professional opportunities in their new homes.

So, today, I encourage you to celebrate International Youth Day by taking action that will positively impact young migrants in your community.