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‘’Young people are powerful agents of change and progress when they are educated and empowered to participate in decision-making. On International Youth Day, young women and men are celebrated as essential partners in advocating human rights and development.’’

-Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNFPA.



UNFPA in Timor-Leste celebrated International Youth Day 2018 in 3 separate events.

Beach Clean Up

On the 11th August, 2018, hundreds of young people participated in cleaning up Lecidere and Motael Beach, in Timor-Leste. As the chair of the United Nations Youth Results Group (UNYRG), UNFPA Timor-Leste has been actively supporting the beach cleaning initiative organized by the Secretaria de Estado da Juventude e do Desporto (SEJD), and Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (CVTL), in partnership with Youth Centre Becora, and Youth Centre Comoro.

The beach clean-up aimed to raise awareness and allow the youth of Timor-Leste to play a central role in activities that would contribute to a safer, healthier, and happier Timor-Leste!



Sexual Harassment Workshop

‘Everybody has the right to feel safe and not to fear to be harassed, wherever they are, whatever they wear, and at whatever time they are walking out in the streets.’

- Yane Maria, Young Women Making Change (YWMC)



On the 13th August, 2018, a Sexual Harassment Workshop was conducted for the youth of Timor-Leste. This initiative was conducted by the Secretaria de Estado da Juventude e do Desporto (SEJD), Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (CVTL), with support from UNWomen. The workshop advocated for the importance of human rights and a safe space for all. The opening remarks by the Acting UN Resident Coordinator affirmed the commitment of the government, UN agencies, and relevant development partners to create a safe Timor-Leste for every young woman and man.



The interactive workshop included many representatives from various youth groups and a prolific LGBTIQ activist Ms. Bella Galhos. The young people and Ms. Galhos were part of a panel who passionately led discussions on human rights, as well as the right to safe spaces for all.


International Youth Day Celebrations

‘’Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves.’’

--Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNFPA.



On the 14th August, 2018, Timor-Leste celebrated International Youth Day. The event was organized by the Secretaria de Estado da Juventude e do Desporto (SEJD), and Red Cross, in partnership with Youth Centre Becora, and Youth Centre Comoro, and it was attended by the Minister of Education. The event was further supported by the United Nations Timor-Leste and Telkomcel. This was a significant event enhancing the contribution and development of youth in Timor-Leste. With over 200 young people attending, there was a vast range of activities showcased throughout the day; from cooking competitions, painting and traditional art exhibitions, youth led business stands, and also live music and dance performances.



Furthermore, young people that attended had access to health check-ups which was provided by Marie Stopes Timor-Leste, the Order of Malta Clinic, World Health Organization (WHO), and World Food Program (WFP). Additionally, UNFPA had a stand with information on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), where young people are able to develop the knowledge and support their need to make informed decisions about their bodies, lives, families, communities, and Timor-Leste.

Many thanks to the organizers Secretaria de Estado da Juventude e do Desporto (SEJD), Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (CVTL), Youth Centre Becora, and Youth Centre Comoro.

 Special thanks to the support from the United Nations in Timor-Leste (UN), and Telkomcel.



All over the world, young people say: “Nothing about us, without us!” At UNFPA, we have heard, learned and taken this principle to heart. Our partnerships with young people are, and must always be, based on their active and meaningful participation.

Happy International Youth Day 2018!