The day was first celebrated in 1993, but already in the 1980s, the UN started focussing on family issues. In a resolution on the Role of the Family in the Development Process in 1983, the UN Secretary-General was asked to draw attention to the problems and needs of families, and how to meet those needs. Two years after, the Council asked the Secretary-General to start a process of developing worldwide awareness of the issues involved. In a resolution in 1989, the General Assembly announced 1989 as the International Year of the Family.
In 1993, the General Assembly officially decided in another resolution that 15 May of every year should be observed as The International Day of Families. According to the UN, “This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of family issues and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families.”
Families and urbanization
This year, the theme of the International Day of Families is Families and Urbanization, to raise more recognition for the value of sustainable, family-friendly urban policies. According to the UN, “urbanization is one of the most important megatrends shaping our world and the life and wellbeing of families worldwide and related to the achievement of three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets. These SDGs and their targets depend on how well urbanization is managed towards benefitting families and enhancing the well-being of all generations living in cities.”
Better Internet for Kids for International Day of Families
Here on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, we recognise the role of families in the online world, for example, the family unit working together to ensure all members of the family can use the internet safely and responsibly. If you are interested in the topic, we recommend reading the following resources:
Our guide to apps aims to provide key information for parents, carers and children about some of the most popular apps, social networking sites and other platforms which are commonly being used by children and young people (and adults) today.
Watch a series of motion graphics videos for parents by the Luxembourg Safer Internet Centre. Using the slogan "Discover Together", parents will find practical tips on how they can positively engage with their children's use of digital media. In total, eight videos were released on various social media platforms.
- Online safety is not only important for children and youth, but for the whole family. That is why the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre launched a new campaign to raise awareness about online safety and cybersecurity among older internet users.
- For a parent or carer, trying to explain a complicated negative situation to their child can be quite challenging. Similarly, young people find it difficult to process information about traumatic events. Learn some useful tips and explore resources from the Austrian Safer Internet Centre to help discuss events such as wars, catastrophes and other emergency situations with their children and young people in a helpful and child-friendly way.
- In a world where children’s playground has gone mostly virtual, parents and carers can no longer be uninformed about the online world. They need to be aware of the potential risks and harmful content children and young people might be exposed to online. Read this article by the Maltese Safer Internet Centre on protecting children from online risks and harmful content.
For more information, you can contact your national helpline for further information, guidance and support. Helplines provide information, advice and assistance to children, youth and parents on how to deal with harmful content, harmful contact and harmful conduct. Or visit BIK’s webpage that focuses on parents and carers.