Hostel organization that no longer does business under this name, having merged with Hostelling International (HI). The IYHF remains in spirit, however, and their trademark, the tree and hut logo, is still used. They are a non-governmental, non-profit making organization recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), started in 1909 with the goal of helping "young people of limited means to experience the countryside and cities of the world."

Their philosophy is effectively listed in Article 2 of the IYHF constitution, which reads: "To promote the education of all young people of all nations, but especially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world, and as ancillary thereto, to provide hostels or other accommodation in which there shall be no distinctions of race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, class or political opinions and thereby to develop a better understanding of their fellow men, both at home and abroad."

A major part of current IYHF philosophy centers around environmental issues, and they are known for their recycling and transportation alternatives offered to hostellers and travellers.