International Union of Socialist Youth

The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) is an international organization, founded in 1907, whose activities include publications, support of member organizations and the organization of meetings. It was formed as the youth wing of the Second International under the name Socialist Youth International at the International Socialist Congress, Stuttgart 1907.[2]

International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY)
Formation24 August 1907
TypeInternational youth non-governmental organization
PurposeWorld federation of socialist, social democratic and labour youth organizations
HeadquartersAmtshausgasse 4, 1050 Vienna, Austria
Region served
Official language
English, Spanish, French
Jesus Tapia
Secretary General
Bruno Gonçalves
Main organ
World Congress
AffiliationsSocialist International
Progressive Alliance

IUSY now has 145 member organisations - including 122 full members and 23 observer members - from 106 countries.[1] IUSY gained status as an international youth NGO with UN ECOSOC consultative status in 1993.[3]


On 24–27 August 1907, a meeting of 20 youth representatives from 13 countries met in the German city of Stuttgart and founded the Socialist Youth International as the youth organization of the Second International.[4] Its international office was located in Vienna and it has remained there to this day except for a few brief extraordinary periods.

It held parallel congresses in 1910 and 1912 following the International Socialist Congress, Copenhagen 1910 and International Socialist Congress, Basle 1912. Preparations were made for a further one in 1914 but it was cancelled, as with the other planned socialist congresses.[2]

The socialist youth organizations, just like their mother parties, were confronted by the growing influence of nationalism and militarism in Europe. When the First World War broke out in 1914, even though the vast majority of the socialist parties openly supported their country's war efforts, the Socialist Youth International remained steadfast in their principled opposition to war and militarism.[5] The organization had to move its offices to Zurich and from there it published its journal, Youth International, calling for peace, which had to be distributed illegally given the circumstances. The struggle for peace subsequently became a hallmark of the socialist youth organization.

The formation of the Communist International in Moscow in 1919 officially split the worker's and youth movement into two sides. The representatives of the socialist and social-democratic current reconvened the International Socialist Youth Movement in 1921.

In 1925, in the wake of the fascist takeover of Italy, the youth organization from the country was forced to stop participating in the work of the ISYM. This marked the beginning of the organization's fight against fascism.[6] In 1933, the Berlin office was evacuated to Prague.

After the Second World War, on 30 September 1946, at the congress in Paris the organization formally became known as the International Union of Socialist Youth. It began to accept a growing number of youth organizations from outside of Europe and by the beginning of the 1950s IUSY included 73 member organizations from 50 countries. Since that time, the organization has more than doubled.

Following the Paris congress and up through the 1960s, IUSY focused on supporting decolonisation efforts and struggles for independence, especially in Africa and Asia.[7] In the 1970s, the organization was active in drawing attention to the human rights violations by military governments in South America and building up international solidarity campaigns, especially against Pinochet in Chile and Somoza in Nicaragua.

IUSY was cautiously supportive of the democratization process in Eastern Europe because the organization wanted these changes to benefit the general population, not just a tiny elite. Although the nuclear arms race ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the transition from authoritarian regimes has brought about new conflicts in these regions. Human trafficking and refugees, resulting from civil conflicts, became the new focus of efforts on the part of IUSY. IUSY formed the Balkan Roundtable and Black Sea Area Committees to facilitate dialogue and cooperation among the different countries.

Looking towards the future, there remains much work to be done. IUSY is committed to working with the member youth organizations to develop effective tools for the treatment and prevention of the HIV-AIDS pandemic. The advancement of individual human rights and liberties in many places is a special concern. The recent events have highlighted the basic economic inequality that exists throughout the world and drawn attention to the struggle for social justice and equality.


Anti Vietnam war demonstration. Vancouver, BC. 1968

IUSY's main field of activity is in the promotion of democracy, human rights, and youth policy. IUSY works by engaging international institutions, such as the Council of Europe, United Nations, Socialist International, European Youth Forum, and others, and directly targeting policy makers and media representatives at an international level to advocate for equal opportunities and the right to social and political participation for youth all over the world. Furthermore, IUSY trains activists at the grassroots level in the international political debate and policy development by organizing conferences and supporting political campaigns and initiatives on a regional and global level.

IUSY works to strengthen its member organizations by providing a broad network of support and facilitating educational workshops and training seminars, aimed at increasing their capacity to fight for political change in their respective countries.

The IUSY Congress is the highest decision-making body within the organization. It elects the President, the Secretary General, the Presidium and the Control Commission. The IUSY Congress and IUSY Council take place every second year on an alternating basis. The IUSY coordinates its activities on two levels – regional and global.

The global Presidium is composed of the President, the Secretary General and 19 Vice-Presidents, who meet regularly to discuss and develop policy.

The IUSY has five regional committees – American, African, Asian-Pacific, European, and Mediterranean – that meet annually. Also, IUSY has two permanent working groups – Feminism and LGBT – that deal with issues involving those specific themes.

The IUSY Secretariat, led by the Secretary General, organizes all activities and is responsible for finances, communication, and the daily work of the organization. IUSY's working languages are English, French, and Spanish.[8]

The IUSY World Festival brings together activists and is organized approximately every two or three years.

Presidium and Control CommissionEdit


IUSY is led by its Presidium, elected every two years at the Congress, with representatives from all over the world. The current members (2021–2023) are listed below:[9]


Secretary general:


  •   Darak Abdelfattah, UJSARIO, Western Sahara
  •   Khulekani Mondli, ANCYL NYTT, South Africa
  •   Amed Tiendrebeogo, UNJ-MPP, Burkina Faso
  •   Jeunesse RPM, Mali
  •   Avril Reyes Rodriguez, JRM Dominican Republic
  •   Agustina Rodriguez, JS, Argentina
  •   Bernando Meneses, JPRD, Panama
  •   Ricardo Lillo, JS, Chile
  •   Basilio Enrique Claudio, AY, Philippines
  •   Samantha Carin Wood, Young Labour, New Zealand
  •   Ana Manasieva, SDYM, North Macedonia
  •   Tajma Sisic, SSU Sweden
  •   Sarineh Abrahamian, AYF, Armenia
  •   Victoria Hiepe, JUSOS, Germany
  •   Julius Jandl, VSSTO, Austria
  •   Harun Muharemovic, DSU, Denmark
  •   Vittorio Pecoraro, GD, Italy
  •   Saif Aqel, FYM, Palestine

Control CommissionEdit

Control Commission President[10]
  Hend Mgaieth, JSD, Tunisia
Control Commission Members[10]
  Federica Polizzi, Franja Morada, Argentina
  Ievgeniia Lukianchenko, Ukraine
  Ricardo Ramón Rosas, JSE, Spain
  Naja Malaeb, PYO, Lebanon
Permanent Invited[10]
Young European Socialists (YES) President
ICFTU YO Secretary General

Associate MembersEdit

Historical leadershipEdit


Secretary GeneralsEdit

  • 1946 Per Hækkerup (Denmark)
  • 1954 Kurt Kristiansson (Sweden)
  • 1960 Per Aasen (Norway)
  • 1963 Sture Ericson (Sweden)
  • 1966 Jan Hækkerup (Denmark)
  • 1970 Bernt Carlsson (Sweden)
  • 1971 Jerry Svensson (Sweden)
  • 1973 Johan Peanberg (Sweden)
  • 1975 Friedrich O.J. Roll (Germany)
  • 1977 Owe Fich (Denmark)
  • 1979 Jukka Oas (Finland)
  • 1981 Bengt Ohlsson (Sweden)
  • 1983 Robert Kredig (Germany)
  • 1985 Dirk Drijbooms (Belgium)
  • 1989 Ricard Torrell (Spain)
  • 1993 Alfredo Remo Lazzeretti (Argentina)
  • 1997 Lisa Pelling (Sweden)
  • 2001 Enzo Amendola (Italy)
  • 2006 Yvonne O'Callaghan (Ireland)
  • 2009 Johan Hassel (Sweden)
  • 2012 Beatriz Talegón (Spain)
  • 2014 Evin Incir (Sweden)
  • 2016 Alessandro Pirisi (Italy)
  • 2018 Ana Pirtskhalava (Georgia)
  • 2021 Bruno Gonçalves (Portugal)

Control Commission PresidentsEdit


International camps and festivalsEdit

IUSY has held international "camps" and "festivals" since 1952, at various locations around the world.

Partner organisationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b International Union of Socialist Youth. "International Union of Socialist Youth". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Callesen, Gerd. "Internationale Verbindung Sozialistischer Jugendorganisationen 1907 - 1919" [International Association of Socialist Youth Organizations 1907 - 1919]. (in German). Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  3. ^ "List of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as of 1 September 2011" (PDF). Economic and Social Council, United Nations. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  4. ^ JUSOS & Die Falken 2007, p. 5.
  5. ^ JUSOS & Die Falken 2007, p. 3.
  6. ^ Annen et al. 2007, p. 29.
  7. ^ Annen et al. 2007, p. 37.
  8. ^ "IUSY Statues".
  9. ^ "Presidium". International Union of Socialist Youth. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "Control Commission". International Union of Socialist Youth. Retrieved 24 June 2018.


  • Annen, Niels; Böhning, Björn; Burmeister, Kai; Frye, Sven, eds. (2007). 100 Years of International Socialist Youth, Struggle for Peace and Equality in the World. Berlin: Vorwärts Buch.
  • JUSOS & Die Falken (August 2007). 100 Years of Struggle for Peace and Equality. Berlin.

External linksEdit