“We were all children once. And we all share the desire for the well-being of our children, which has always been and will continue to be the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind.”
–We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the World Summit for Children Report of the Secretary-General (2001)
On December 14, 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world.
November 20th is the generally accepted day for this celebration because it marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.
THE DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD proclaims that every child “may have a happy childhood and enjoy for his own good and for the good of society the rights and freedoms herein set forth, and calls upon parents, upon men and women as individuals, and upon voluntary organizations, local authorities and national Governments to recognize these rights and strive for their observance by legislative and other measures progressively taken…”
THE CONVENTION ON RIGHTS OF THE CHILD “is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not.”
Read more about Universal Children’s Day at the UN website.
Read the full Declaration here.
Read more about the Convention here.
The Human Rights Education Associates organization has many more resources here.