World Drowning Prevention Day, 25 July

16 June, 2022

From the WHO website:


World Drowning Prevention Day, declared through the April 2021 UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/75/273 “Global drowning prevention”, is held annually on 25 July.

This global advocacy event serves as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it. An estimated 236,000 people drown every year, and drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children and youth aged 1-24 years. More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells and domestic water storage vessels in low- and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected.

All stakeholders are invited to mark World Drowning Prevention Day – governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia and individuals – by highlighting the need for urgent, coordinated and multi-sectoral action on proven measures such as:

installing barriers controlling access to water

providing safe places away from water such as crèches for pre-school children with capable childcare

teaching swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills

training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation

setting and enforcing safe boating, shipping and ferry regulations

improving flood risk management

The new UN General Assembly resolution invited WHO to coordinate actions on drowning prevention within the UN system. In this capacity, WHO leads preparations for World Drowning Prevention Day by hosting a global launch event, producing related advocacy materials and supporting national and local activities in countries and communities around the world. Regarding the latter, a special activity that some organizations may wish to undertake is “Going Blue for World Drowning Prevention Day”. The idea is simple. Local organizations work with relevant authorities to have one or several notable landmarks illuminated in blue light during the evening of 25 July. Local authorities can be given the link to this web page in order to understand the global context around drowning and its prevention and make use of the advocacy resources developed for the occasion to promote what they are doing and encourage others in their networks to do the same.

For social media WHO recommends that the hashtag #DrowningPrevention be used, including for World #DrowningPrevention Day.


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,

Working in official relations with WHO