About the Day
The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with resolution A/RES/47/237 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
In its resolution, the General Assembly also noted that the family-related provisions of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits of the 1990s and their follow-up processes continue to provide policy guidance on ways to strengthen family-centred components of policies and programmes as part of an integrated comprehensive approach to development.
The International Day of Families has inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days. In many countries, that day provides an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families. Activities include workshops and conferences, radio and television programmes, newspaper articles and cultural programmes highlighting relevant themes.
2013 Message of Secretary General
"Families hold societies together, and intergenerational relationships extend this legacy over time. This year’s International Day of Families is an occasion to celebrate connections among all members of the constellation that makes up a family. It is also an opportunity to reflect on how they are affected by social and economic trends – and what we can do to strengthen families in response."
Themes of Past International Day of Families
2013: Advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity
2012: Ensuring work family balance
2011: Confronting Family Poverty and Social Exclusion
2010: The impact of migration on families around the world
2009: Mothers and Families: Challenges in a Changing World
2008: Fathers and Families: Responsibilities and Challenges
2007: Families and Persons with Disabilities
2006: Changing Families: Challenges and Opportunities
2005: HIV/AIDS and Family Well-being
2004: The 10th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family: A Framework for Action
2003: Preparations for the 10th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2004
2002: Families and Ageing: Opportunities and Challenges
2001: Families and Volunteers: Building Social Cohesion
2000: Families: Agents and Beneficiaries of Development
1999: Families for all ages
1998: Families: Educators and Providers of Human Rights
1997: Building Families Based on Partnership
1996: Families: First Victims of Poverty and Homelessness