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Children and Youth Portal  

Approximately one billion youth live in the world today. This means that approximately one person in five is between the age of 15 and 24 years, or 18% of the world’s population are "youth", and children (5-14 years) comprise of 19.8%.

By 2025, the number of youth living in developing countries will grow to 89.5%. Therefore, it is necessary to take youth issues into considerations in the development agenda and policies of each country. (Source)

Copyright : ITU Source: ITU/BDT/YAG, Roxana Bustos #00437
Young people are best promoters of ICTs and are key contributors to building an inclusive Information Society. Therefore, this should be taken into account in all actions and projects targeting the use and access of ICTs, not only as a way to open up ICTs opportunities for children and young people but also as a way to accelerate bridging the Digital Divide and to contribute to the development of the telecommunication sector as a whole. (Dr. Hamadoun TourÚ SG ITU)

ITU has made young people a high priority in its projects and ongoing activities for many years. As avid and creative users of ICTs, young people are often key contributors to building an inclusive Information Society and bridging the Digital Divide. This is the reason that the ITU’s Telecom event has included a youth stream since 2001. Attention to young people and their ICT needs is also an essential component of ITU’s digital inclusion activities, a main goal of which is to promote broadband school connectivity. By mainstreaming the youth agenda and offering projects and learning activities which provide young people with crucial ICT and life skills, ITU helps to boosts their educational level, and therefore their economic potential.



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In response of ITU Member States and Sector Members request the ITU-D developed in April 2003 a dedicated Youth Programme which launched activities targeting the promotion of tertiary education and job experience in telecommunication and related fields, such as the “Youth Education Scheme - YES” , internships programme and projects aiming at providing access to and use of ICT for youth. ITU Youth Programme was reinforced and expanded with aspects related to children during the WTDC-06.
Our mandate is to support children and young people from developing countries and those in transition to improve their access, use and knowledge of information and communication technologies to bridge the Digital Divide and integrate them into the Information Society.


Youth Forum Alumni Network

The Youth Forum Alumni Network provides Youth Forum Alumni a platform to connect, discuss ideas, share information about their work or studies and learn from and collaborate with one another to keep alive the spirit of the Youth Forum. The network also serve as a bridge between Youth Forum Alumni and ITU, allowing Alumni to voice their opinions on the latest ICT issues and stay informed about ITU activities. We developed this website to enable Youth Forum Alumni to build upon their Youth Forum experience and emerge as leaders in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).


  • Connect A School Connect A Community Initiative
    An ITU flagship initiative endorsed by the UN Secretary General during the 2009 ITU World TELECOM Youth Forum, this initiative aims to connect all primary, secondary and post-secondary schools to ICTs by 2015 (a target set by world leaders at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in 2003 in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunis). Connect a School, Connect a Community is a public-private partnership which not only promises to bring broadband Internet connectivity to schools in developing countries around the world, but these same connected schools are able to serve as community ICT centres for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including women and girls.
    In 2010, ITU helped countries like Mauritania, Nicaragua and Tanzania to develop their National School Connectivity Plan, as well as assisting with related pilot projects.
    (For more information on the modules and training materials developed within the “Connect a School” Initiative see:


    Since 2001, ITU has organized a Telecom Youth Forum, alongside the ITU-TELECOM events. Traditionally, this Forum has provided young people from around the world the opportunity to participate in high level discussions, helping them understand the nature and potential of the global communications industry and encouraging many to embark upon careers as engineers, policy-makers and business people in the ICT industry.

    Youth Forum Success Stories


    One of the projects developed by ITU, as a follow-up to the 2003 ITU-TELECOM Youth Forum, was a dedicated Youth Forum Alumni Network Platform, which allowed Youth Forum alumni to share their knowledge, experiences and views around ICT. Renovated and newly launched in 2011, this collaborative network will continue to facilitate a global dialogue between ITU and the Youth Forum alumni as well as between the alumni themselves.


    Stemming from a need voiced by young people themselves, ITU developed a “Basic Course on Emergency Telecommunications”, aimed specifically at youth. Providing basic knowledge of emergency situations and the role of ICTs, this course enables young people to make a positive contribution in preventing or mitigating disasters. The course is freely available in all six (6) UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).


    ITU-D developed in 2008 a statistical report on use of information and communication technology by young people to measure use of ICT by children and youth (including by gender and disabilities), as a follow-up project to the ITU Youth Forum 2006. The publication is jointly produced by the ITU-D/ Youth Programme and ITU-D STAT and enable users and analysts to have a better perspective on the evolution of the digital divide among youth and children. Need for this publication also arose from ITU’s recognition of the important relationships between ICT use and young people including the role of ICT in enhancing the development of children, and the contributions that young people can make to the development of an inclusive Information Society (World Summit on the Information Society, Tunis Commitment, articles 24 and 25).
    This will enable ITU member states and sector members to monitor developments and to prepare a roadmap for actions and projects that would facilitate young people’s integration into the Information Society. The report was distributed to ITU member states and is freely available on the ITU website.


    Well aware of young people’s particular vulnerability online, ITU created a specialized initiative within ITU’s more encompassing Global Cybersecurity Agenda. The global Child On-Line Protection (COP) initiative aims to tackle cybersecurity holistically, addressing legal, technical, organizational and procedural issues as well as capacity building and international cooperation. Through this initiative, ITU is taking the next steps to develop a cybersecurity strategy for youth and children everywhere.


  • YES - Youth Education Scheme

YES Success Stories



We are grateful to ITU-D Members States and Sector Members who participate in the implementation of some of our activities (Youth Education Scheme) and projects for children and youth.
We call upon others to join us in this mission

Youth Education Scheme YES project was developed from 2003 to 2009 in support of needy and deserving young people, from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), developing countries and countries in transition who wished to complete their tertiary education in the information and communication technologies (ICTs) and related fields. The target objective was to enable motivated young people to contribute to the development of their communities, country and region using their achieved ICT knowledge and skills.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (Alcatel Initiative) – France ( YES projects in 2006,2007,2008 and 2009)

  • Anacom & Portugal Administration (YES projects in 2004, 2007 and 2008)

  • Czech Administration (projects for children in Africa, 2004,2005,2006 and 2007)

  • Nokia Administration (YES project in 2006)

  • Netherlands Administration (projects in Africa 2005 and 2007)

  • Norway Administration (YES project in 2009)

  • NTI – Egypt (YES project in 2004)

  • Spain Administration (YES projects in 2008 and 2009)

  • Thales Communications – France (YES project in 2005)

  • Vodafone – UK (YES projects in 2003, 2004 and 2005)


YES Awards





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Updated : 2012-04-24