United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year.
The celebration is to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.
Declaration of the Rights of the Child
November 20th is also an important date as it was on this day in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
It was declared that any child without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political, national or social origin, property birth or other status shall be entitled to enjoy all the Rights agreed in the Declaration: Any child:
- shall be given opportunities and facilities to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner with freedom and dignity;
- shall be entitled to a name and a nationality;
- shall enjoy the benefits of special care and protection to both child and the mother including adequate pre-natal and post-natal care, nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services;
- shall be given special treatment, education and care if physically, mentally or socially handicapped;
- shall be given love and understanding and, wherever possible, shall grow up in the and under the responsibility of his parents;
- shall receive education which shall be free and compulsory at least in the elementary stages;
- shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection;
- shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation and shall not be employed before an appropriate minimum age;
- shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other forms of discrimination.
It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights.
On this day, a large number of schools and educational institutions make a special effort to inform children about their rights in accordance with the Declaration and Convention. This year the world is going blue! Individuals, schools and businesses worldwide are going blue to help build a world where every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potential.
The day is dedicated to a theme of bringing awareness to children who have succumbed to violence in forms of exploitation, abuse and discrimination. There are nations where children experience armed conflict, live on the streets, suffer from discrimination and disabilities. It is an opportunity to make the world better informed about the plight of the children and the destruction that adults are causing in every way.