What is family? The World Summit for Social Development defines family as “the basic unit of all society”. In modern times most would agree that family comes in many different forms, the family we are born into, the family we choose, large, small, traditional, non- traditional and beyond. However, it has not always been that way. In fact, the United Nations did not begin to recognize and study families until the 1980’s.
In 1985, the General Assembly began to put “Families in the Development Process” on their agenda and from then onward the subject of families became a part of the process to bring awareness on international levels. Research started on the ties between mega trends like technological change, migration, urbanization, and demographic change and how they relate to the family structure.
Finally, in 1993 the United Nations recognized families by marking May 15th as the “International Day of Families”. The goal of this commemorative day is to promote awareness on family related demographic, social, and economic concerns. Additionally, this day has become another platform used for achieving the 17 sustainable goals set forth by the United Nations to combat issues on poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, clean water, clean energy, economic growth, innovation, inequalities, sustainable communities, responsible consumption, climate, life below water, life on land, peace, and partnerships.
For more information on the International Day of Families and related content, check out the resources below.
4. Towards positive systems of child and family welfare : international comparisons of child protection, family service, and community caring systems
6. Contemporary View of ‘Family’ in International Human Rights Law and Implications for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)