International Day of Families: celebrating families and addressing climate change

Today, the world comes together to celebrate the International Day of Families. The day is an initiative from the United Nations (UN) that highlights the importance of families and promotes awareness of issues related to them globally. This year, the theme, "Families and Climate Change," focuses on the crucial role families play in climate change and promotes sustainable practices. 

Date 2024-05-15 Author BIK Team Section awareness Topic media literacy/education Audience children and young people, parents and carers
hand holding family made of paper


The International Day of Families was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and first celebrated in 1994. The day was established to recognise families' fundamental role in society and raise awareness of the social, economic, and demographic issues affecting families worldwide. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the International Year of the Family. The observance is marked by various activities, conferences, and events organised by governments, NGOs, and local communities, all aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of family-related issues.

Families and climate change

The theme for 2024, "Families and Climate Change," underscores the relationship between family dynamics and environmental sustainability. Climate change significantly threatens families' well-being, affecting everything from health to economic stability. As fundamental units of society, families are uniquely positioned to contribute to climate action through everyday choices and long-term commitments to sustainable living. Families can play a role in addressing climate change by adopting sustainable practices, educating future generations and encouraging behaviours that prioritise sustainability. 

Better internet for kids for the International Day of Families 

While the "Better Internet for Kids" (BIK) initiative supports this celebration and the theme of the year, Families and climate change, it also provides a digital dimension to this celebration. BIK focuses on ensuring a safer online environment for children while also leveraging the power of the internet to educate and empower young people and their families.

Learn more about our work and initiatives:

  • Are you a parent or a carer? Parents and carers are often best positioned to influence, support, educate and protect their children offline and online. Through the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) agenda, the European Commission (EC), Safer Internet Centres (SICs) and other stakeholders strive to support parents and carers in this role, ensuring children and young people use the internet in a responsible, respectful, critical and creative way. Discover more.
  • The internet offers children and young people many empowering opportunities for personal growth, learning, and social exchange. However, these great benefits can come with certain risks, including children facing content or services that may be harmful to them. The age assurance policy is one solution that can keep children safe from online risks and help families foster a better online environment for children and young people.
  • Understanding children and adolescents' social media usage is crucial to creating a better online environment. The Romanian Safer Internet Centre released a recent study highlighting how social media platforms shape young people's values, interests, and aspirations, from self-reflection to exploring career options and following favourite public figures. Additionally, they provide clear guidelines for social media usage.
  • 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. 

Learn more about the International Day of Families on the website of the United Nations and keep an eye on #InternationalDayOfFamilies on social media.   

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