What is Global Dignity Day and how is it celebrated around the world?

The event was marked by role models interacting virtually with students in nine countries

Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, co-founder of the non-profit Global Dignity. Getty Images
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A day of inclusion celebrating equality and shared humanity was marked around the world for Global Dignity Day on Wednesday.

Role models, including teachers and "change-makers", interacted with students around the world on the day, which was started by Global Dignity, an international non-profit founded by Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, at the World Economic Forum in 2005. Global Dignity Day aims to "instil a positive, inclusive and interconnected sense of value in young people that will guide them as they grow".

This year, Prince Haakon was joined by Malala Fund co-founder Ziauddin Yousafzai and Katelynne Herchak, an activist for indigenous peoples, along with a number of influencers, entertainers, artists and writers. The virtual event was attended by students in 10 sites spread across nine countries.

“At its core, dignity is about the value of every human life. It is the key to building understanding across the things that might seem to divide us. The colour of our skin, our gender, sexual orientation, religion or where we come from,” Prince Haakon said in a video message.

This year's theme focused on identity and kindness, part of Global Dignity's #UniteKindness campaign, which encourages youngsters to perform acts of kindness or take part in kindness campaigns.

“It is our governments’ responsibility to introduce and implement laws that guarantee every citizen’s right to equal dignity irrespective of their class, colour, faith, ethnicity and gender. More importantly, as a community we can’t protect the dignity of our fellow human beings without building a strong culture of kindness and compassion," Yousafzai, the father of Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, said.

Giovanna Mingarelli, the Canadian country chair for Global Dignity, said: “Kindness is the cultural fabric that enables greater dignity. This campaign shows us how easy it is to love oneself, others and the world in really simple ways, from donating food to voting on election day.”

Updated: October 20, 2021, 1:23 PM