Perhaps Lilo and Stitch said it best when they described family, “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” International Day of Families helps us to remember and observe that.
Back in 1994, May 15 was declared the International Day of Families by the United Nations and has been observed every year since 1995. The day was in response to changing social and economic structures, which have and continues to affect the structure and stability of many family units around the world. May 15 allows people to stop and reflect on the importance of family and the issues affecting other families around the world.
Some of the day’s activities taking place include workshops, conferences, television and radio programming, newspaper articles and other programs that highlight the theme for the year.
However, some families choose to celebrate other ways either publicly or privately with their own families. Every year since 1996, a different theme is chosen by the UN Secretary-General.
This year’s theme is Families and Inclusive Societies, which explores the role of families and family policies in advancing Sustainable Development Goal 16.
According to the United Nations website the goal promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access for all, and the building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.
Goal 16 targets
• Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
• End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
• Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
• By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
• Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
• Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
• Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
• Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
• By 2030, provide a legal identity for all, including birth registration
• Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
• Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
• Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
While the day is not a public holiday and businesses remain open, International Day of Families is a reason to celebrate with your family and let them know what they mean to you, whether that be a blood-related family or whomever you consider family.