Statement From Gordon Brown on International Youth Day

On International Youth Day UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown said:

“Today’s events mark a new development in thriving youth activism. Not since the end of World War Two – exactly 70 years ago – have so many children and teenagers been displaced from so many countries.

And never have so many become refugees as a result of civil conflicts and the break up of regimes.

Today 30million young people are officially displaced persons, exiled from their homes in their own countries.Around 10million have become refugees, forced to seek shelter in countries far from their home and their families.

There are currently 5.5 million children who have been affected by the Syrian conflict, most of whom enjoyed education before the civil war.

Most now go without any school or education. It is a tragedy of epic proportions yet amidst the pain and the suffering there is still aspiration, a desire for life and for knowledge and for opportunity.

And with a focus on the direct engagement of young people in fighting for their rights, we should be proud to highlight the fact that nothing less than a civil rights struggle is underway, led by young people and their endless energy.

Today we can announce there are almost 1,000 global youth ambassadors, led by A World at School, today making the case for an end to youth exploitation and the right to universal education.

And next month, a town hall rally will be held in New York, on September 28, and addressed by youth leaders standing alongside Graca Machel to highlight their demands for support.”