Our aim is that young people around the world do more, do better and reach further—all while contributing to safe and resilient communities. To reach this goal, we believe that young people need to be fully and meaningfully involved in our programmes and governance.
Young people play a vital role in humanitarian action and development around the world. They represent the majority of our nearly 15 million strong volunteer base, delivering lifesaving and life-changing work within their communities every single day.
We see meaningful youth engagement as essential to delivering effective and principled humanitarian assistance and transforming our organization for the better.
It’s important to remember that while youth can be loosely defined by age, young people are not one singular group. Factors such as gender, socio-economic background and ethnicity all affect their access to equal resources and opportunities. We must listen to and consider this diversity of young people’s experiences and needs in all that we do.
How we engage young people
Youth as leaders
Youth as volunteers
Youth as people we support
Principles of youth engagement within the IFRC
Photo: Italian Red Cross
- We consider youth engagement as essential to building strong National Societies
- Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteerism is central to youth engagement and is an effective and meaningful way of engaging young people in civic action
- Education, empowerment and enabling environments are vital for youth engagement
- Youth are agents of change with the power to address global humanitarian challenges relevant to their local communities
- Youth in decision-making at all levels of management, governance and service delivery are crucial for transferring experiences and knowledge between generations
The IFRC’s Youth Commission is responsible for advising our governing bodies and National Societies on all matters relating to young people. It promotes the implementation of the IFRC’s Youth Policy and ensures young voices from across our network are considered in all that we do.
The commission is made up of young volunteers and staff from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. There is a chairperson and eight members, all under 31 years old at the beginning of their four year term. Elections are carried out at alternating IFRC General Assemblies.