As Whitney Houston sang: "I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way." Wise words, Whit. Today is Universal Children’s Day, a day when we remember the importance of childhood and the need to protect all of the world’s children, regardless of sex, race or ethnic origin.
Celebrated on November 20th every year, Universal Children’s Day marks the anniversary of United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Since then, kids and adults all around the world have commemorated this special date to honor and uphold the rights of children.
Remember, there are still many kids all around the world who have little or no access to food, water, medicine and safe living conditions. Education is also a very important challenge: not all children can go to school, and many have to begin work when they’re still very young. It might seem unthinkable to us, but recent reports suggest that up to 127 million boys and 88 million girls around the world are involved in child labour.
It’s really important that we take the time this November 20th to think about children’s lives around the world and how much work needs to be done to improve them. The UN’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child states that all children have the right to:
- Play, rest, creativity and recreational activities
- Freedom of speech
- A name and a nationality
- A relationship with both parents, even if they are separated
- Protection during armed conflict
- Protection from abuse or neglect
- Protection from child labor and economic exploitation
- Education, which must be free and obligatory for at least the primary stages
In many parts of the world, events and activities are organized to commemorate Universal Children’s Day. Are you doing anything at your school or in your town for this special day? Leave us a comment to tell us all about it!