Committed to connecting the world

ITU 150

Youth and Children

​​​​​Youth and children with access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) are coming of age as digital natives, the early adopters of ICTs and better positioned than their parents to harness the power of digital technologies in new and imaginative ways.  Youth can only leverage the transformative power of ICTs when they have access to ICTs and are equipped with a range of digital skills.  ICTs can enhance education, reduce youth unemployment and promote social and economic development.  ITU's youth activities are focused on promoting school connectivity, digital literacy skills, and ICT-enabled employment opportunities for youth, including encouraging more young women and girls to prepare for and enter ICT careers.​​​​


Connecting schools to the Internet and equipping them with ICTs ensures that youth and their communities participate in the digital revolution.  ICTs can be used by youth and children to enhance their education and learn the digital skills required for employment and entrepreneurship. 

Connected schools can also be leveraged as community ICT centres for people with specific needs such as women and girls, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and youth and children.

The Connect a School, Connect a Community toolkit identifies policies and strategies to promote school connectivity, the use of low cost computing devices and mobile phones in schools, and guidelines on developing community ICT centres for Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and women.  The toolkit is structured in five modules available in all 6 UN languages with a separate section of related training materials. 


International Girls in ICT Day, created by ITU Members, is a global campaign to raise awareness about ICT job opportunities and encourage girls and young women to prepare for and take up careers in ICTs.

Girls in ICT Day has a global outreach, with events, contests, hackathons and other exciting activities sponsored by ICT companies, government agencies, universities and NGOs in more than 120 countries around the globe. 

More information about the Girls in ICT Day campaign is available on the Girls in ICT Portal which also houses resources for girls and young women, such as scholarships, internships, tech camps, training opportunities, women ICT role models and inspirational videos.​

Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship






In the face of rising youth unemployment, ITU has highlighted the key role of digital skills in national employment and entrepreneurship strategies in its report, “Digital opportunities:  Innovative ICT solution for youth employment”: English - Español

ICT skills are increasingly required in both traditional and tech-driven market sectors just as an explosion of new online learning opportunities have become available, employing novel, and often free, ways for youth to get the skills they need.  ICTs are transforming the way young digital entrepreneurs do business and grow their skills.

Policy makers can ensure that youth in their countries are included in the growing number of job and business opportunities by incorporating digital skills development in school curriculum and supporting innovation hubs, contests, mobile app labs, hackathons and co-working space. 

ITU has collected a range of ICT-enabled resources available for young job seekers and entrepreneurs, including links to training opportunities, crowdfunding for start-up capital, mentoring networks and job-matching services.

ITU Telecom World - Young Innovators Competition

The Young Innovators Competition​  was created in 2011 as an integral part of ITU Telecom World events with the aim of shining a global ICT spotlight on innovative ideas and digital creativity of young talents.

Applicants submit their solutions to our global Challenges: a technology-based innovation addressing a social issue.
Eligible applicants are between 18 and 26 years of age, can come from all over the world, and any professional or academic background.​