Press Release

United Nations rallies behind young Palestinians on International Youth Day 2023

12 August 2023

Marking International Youth Day 2023, the United Nations in Palestine is rallying behind young Palestinians and actively supporting them to advocate for their human rights.

22% of the Palestinian population are aged 18-29 and they face a myriad of complex challenges, among them the ongoing Israeli occupation, structural violence, exclusion from decision making processes and poor economic prospects. Data from the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) indicates that the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, with 75% youth unemployment in Gaza and 30% in the West Bank. At the same time, young Palestinians are working to create a better future for everyone. Equipping them with knowledge about their rights, green skills and advocacy tools is more urgent than ever.

Lynn Hastings, the UN Resident Coordinator in Palestine highlighted: “The global theme for International Youth Day this year Day is ‘Green Skills for Youth’ and aims to ensure youth are well prepared to mitigate the impacts of climate change and access decent work in a green economy.” This year is also the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the midway point of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

24-year-old Inas from Bethlehem says: “As young Palestinians, we deserve to live lives of dignity, free from violence, and with promising economic prospects for our futures. Our voices need to be heard, and I am determined to advocate for my rights and those of my peers.”

To mark Youth Day, the UN in Palestine is merging these thematic areas. A 2-day “Boot Camp” for young people representing civil society networks will be hosted by the UN in the West Bank and Gaza. Experts and mentors will empower participants to engage both their peers and officials in advancing youth rights and among other things, how to identify, create and access environmentally sustainable jobs and daily actions that we can all do to help achieve an environmentally sustainable world by 2050. 

During the Boot Camp, participants will conceptualize compelling advocacy campaigns to engage their peers and policymakers, envision the Palestine they want to live in by 2030, and engage in a mock UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies session. Importantly, the event will offer a safe space for their self-expression and amplification of their voices.

Atta, a 22-year-old from Gaza, added: "Being a young person is not just a label, and it shouldn’t be perceived as a disadvantage. As young people, we stand united as partners and catalysts for change. This Boot Camp will be an opportunity for young Palestinians to showcase our skills, strength, and readiness to create a better and greener world."

The UN in Palestine reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the aspirations and human rights of Palestinian youth, in all their diversity - not just today but every day. Together, we will continue to strive for a brighter and more equitable future.

Musa Khalil, Communications Analyst – UNDP

Musa Khalil

Communications Analyst – Head of Communication Unit

UN entities involved in this initiative

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Food Programme

Goals we are supporting through this initiative