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World Children’s Day 2019: History and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

World Children's Day is celebrated on 20 November to raise awareness about the problems that children face globally and to improve children's welfare. Let us have a look on World Children's Day, history, celebrations and about the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Nov 19, 2019 16:58 IST
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World Children's Day
World Children's Day

World Children’s Day is also known as Universal Children's Day. This day is promoted and coordinated by UNICEF and the United Nations Children's Fund which also works towards the improvement of children's welfare.

World Children's Day: History

In 1954, World Children's Day was first established as Universal Children's Day and is decided to celebrate it on 20 November every year. The General Assembly on 14 December 1954 by the resolution 836 (IX) recommended all the countries to institute a Universal Children's Day as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. This day is also devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the UN Charter and the welfare of the children of the world.

On this date, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the child in 1959. And it is also the date when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

Therefore, since 1990, World Children's Day marks the anniversary of the date when the UN General Assembly adopted both the Declaration and the Convention on children's rights. Let us tell you that this year is the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Why is Children’s Day Celebrated on 14 November in India?

About 1989, Convention on the Rights of the Child

It is the world's most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. On 20 November several countries came together and promised to protect children's rights. The Convention focused on who are the children, what are their rights and the responsibilities of governments. It also states that all rights are connected and cannot be taken away from children.

According to the Convention, children are not just objects who belong to their parents and for whom decisions are made, or adults in training. Rather, they are human beings and individuals who have their own rights. Further, it is mentioned that childhood is separate from adulthood and lasts until 18. It is a special time in which children are allowed to grow, learn, play and develop. No doubt, the convention became the most ratified human rights treaty that is accepted worldwide and also helped in transforming children's lives.

The Convention inspired governments to change laws and policies and make investments to take care of the health of the children and nutrition that is required by the children to survive and develop. Also, it is necessary to protect children from violence and exploitation. It also enabled the children to have their voices heard and participate in their societies.

Importance of World Children's Day

- Children are the future and this day emphasise on the education of children.

- It guarantees rights to the children.

- This day raises awareness and spreads knowledge of what actually children face globally. There are millions of children who don't have access to education, healthcare or opportunities.

Do you know for the first time in 20 years, UNICEF's flagships report examines the issue of children, food, and nutrition and provides a fresh perspective on a rapidly evolving challenge?

The State of the World's Children 2019 edition of UNICEF examines the issue of children, food, and nutrition, etc. Despite the progress in past two decades, one-third of the children under age 5 are still malnourished, overweight and two-thirds are at the risk of malnutrition and hidden hunger due to the poor quality of diet. 

UNICEF's report 'A world ready to learn' focuses on the quality of early childhood education. Let us tell you that it is the UNICEF's first global report on pre-primary education that provides a comprehensive analysis of the status of early childhood education globally. It also provides some recommendations for governments and partners to make quality pre-primary education universal and routine. It states that around 175 million children i.e. approx 50% of the world's pre-primary age population are not enrolled in pre-primary programmes and emphasise governments to commit at least 10% of their national education budgets to scale up the education of children. Such type of funding will be invested in pre-primary teachers, quality standards and equitable expansion.

Therefore, World Children's Day or Universal Children's Day is observed on 20 November to promote the education of children, health, proper care, and nourishment. In India, Children's Day is celebrated on 14 November to commemorate the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru.

Important Days and Dates in November 2019