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International Days 2022

IAPB works hard around the year to raise the importance of eye health in a variety of ways
including marking different international Days

Why do we Celebrate International Days?

Acknowledging Eye Health’s Role in Global Development, Campaigns & Humanity’s Greatest Achievements

The 10-year strategic plan 2030 In Sight aims to elevate the issue of eye health by embedding vision as a fundamental, economic, social and development issue. To achieve this, a different level of coordination and innovative ways of thinking about eye health is required. An example of this, is IAPB’s decision to publicly recognise International Day observances that align with major global eye health issues.

Primarily designated by the United Nations, International Days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, to campaign, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.

There is not enough understanding of the vital importance of eye health and its direct impact on wider social and economic issues among those who have the ability and responsibility to make a difference. Unless we change this, more people will lose their sight and more people will be left behind. Participating in International Day observances is a relatively easy but effective way to raise awareness around eye health, acknowledge what our sector has achieved and make targeted ‘call-to-actions.’ It will help promote the inclusion of eye health within the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and support the development of partnerships with sectors beyond health, such as education, gender and economic development.


The existence of international days predates the United Nations, but the UN, and civil society, has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. By creating special observances, the global community promotes international awareness and action on critical issues. Each international day offers many actors the opportunity to organize activities related to the theme of the day. Organizations and offices of the United Nations system, and most importantly, governments, civil society, the public and private sectors, schools, universities and, more generally, citizens, make an international day a springboard for awareness-raising actions.

International days are proposed to the UN General Assembly by Member States. The General Assembly then decides by consensus whether to adopt the resolution establishing the particular day. Some of international days are proclaimed by specialized agencies of the UN to draw the attention of the public to topics under their field of expertise, such as health.

The International Days serve as an indicator of the interest that a given subject attracts in each part of the world. To find this out, the UN looks at the level of engagement that these commemorations receive in different regions and languages across the world. In addition to raising awareness, the UN and civil society organizations also takes advantage of these Days to advise States on actions to tackle the serious problems around which many of these dates revolve.

The United Nations observes designated days, weeks, years, and decades, each with a theme, or topic. The majority of observances have been established by resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, although some have been designated by UN specialized agencies.

Notable International Days for Eye Health 2022:

International DayDateDescription
World Braille Day 4-Jan-2022World Braille Day, celebrated since 2019, is observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.
International Day of Education24-Jan-2022Celebration of the role of education for peace and development.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science11-Feb-2022The Day focuses on the reality that science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 
International Women’s Day8-Mar-2022An opportunity to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. 
World Health Day7-Apr-2022Celebrated annually under the auspices of the World Health Organization, as well as other related organizations. Each year draws attention to a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work28-Apr-2022Stresses the prevention of accidents and diseases at work, capitalizing on the ILO's traditional strengths of tripartism and social dialogue. Is an integral part of the Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health of the ILO, as documented in the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference in June 2003.
World Environment Day5-Jun-2022Encourages worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment. It is celebrated on 5 June in over 100 countries.
World Food Safety Day7-Jun-2022Draws attention and inspires action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
World Day Against Child Labour12-Jun-2022Aims to focus attention on the global extent of child labor and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.
World Refugee Day20-Jun-2022Refugees are a particularly vulnerable population, often cut off from essential services. World Refugee Day honors the strength and courage of refugees and encourages public awareness and support of the refugees, people who have had to flee their home lands because of conflict or natural disaster.
International Day of Indigenous Peoples9-Aug-2022Spreads the UN’s message on the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples. Events at the UN headquarters in New York include messages from high-level UN officials, governments, indigenous peoples and other key leaders; performances by indigenous artists; and panel discussions on emerging issues.
International Youth Day12-Aug-2022Draws attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. The Focal Point on Youth selects a theme for the day often with input from youth organizations and members of the UN Inter-Agency Network in Youth development. Encourages youth around the world to organize activities to raise awareness about the situation of youth in their country.
International Day of Older Persons1-Oct-2022Raising awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse. It is also a day to appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.
International Day of the Girl Child11-Oct-2022Focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
World Sight Day13-Oct-2022World Sight Day, observed annually on the second Thursday of October, and led by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is a global event meant to draw attention on blindness and vision impairment.
International Day of Rural Women15-Oct-2022Recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.”
United Nations Day24-Oct-2022Marks the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the UN Charter entered into force. UN Day, celebrated every year, offers the opportunity to amplify common agenda and reaffirm the purposes and principles of the UN Charter
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty17-Oct-2022Opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. 
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims21-Nov-2022Offers an opportunity for drawing attention to the scale of emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes and for giving recognition to the suffering of road crash victims and the work of support and rescue services.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities3-Dec-2022Aims to promote an understanding of dability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
International Universal Health Coverage Day12-Dec-2022Aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners.