Happy International Day of Friendship 2022

Today marks the International Day of Friendship, celebrated every year on 30 July. The day was initiated by the United Nations (UN) in 2011 to promote "friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals" as a way to "inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities". 

Date 2022-07-30 Author BIK Team Section awareness, youth Topic love, relationships, sexuality (online), media literacy/education, sexting Audience children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators and professionals
Two little girls laughing together

The day was proclaimed with a resolution emphasising the need to involve young people, as the leaders of the future, in community activities promoting diversity, international understanding, and respect for diverse cultures and backgrounds through the simplest spirit of human solidarity – friendship.  

With the day, the General Assembly of the United Nations recognises the value of friendship as a noble and significant sentiment in the lives of humans around the world and affirms that friendship can contribute to the efforts of the international community, for example in the promotion of dialogue. 

Culture of Peace 

The International Day of Friendship is an initiative that is based on the proposal made by UNESCO defining the Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes to solve problems. The proposal was officially adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997. 

As the UN has stated, “Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division that undermine peace, security, development, and social harmony among the world’s peoples. To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.” 

Better Internet for Kids support for the International Day of Friendship 

Here on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, we recognise the role of friendship in the online world - for example, connecting generations and celebrating diversity online. This has been especially the case during the pandemic, where we have spent more time than ever connecting online.

Moreover, we support the UN’s stance on friendship and as a way to involve young people through the simplest spirit of human solidarity – friendship, because they will be the leaders of the future. That is why we aim to give youth a way of sharing their views on how to build a better internet. Each year, a BIK Youth Panel is organised prior and during the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), encouraging a group of youth panellists and ambassadors to voice not just their personal opinions and challenges, but also those of their peers whom they are representing at a European level. Youth panellists work together to come up with principles and activities for a better internet, first debating issues in online meetings and brainstorming over youth participation activities as preparation for meeting face to face. 

Learn more about how children and young people are actively participating in the Better Internet for Kids agenda and shaping a better, safer online experience for the future on the BIK Youth portal

Of course, although many valuable connections are made in the online space, online friendships need to be approached with caution. The Insafe network of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs) has developed pedagogical resources and articles on the topic of online friendships and how to approach them with caution, in a variety of European languages and for different audiences: 

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

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