18 Nov World Children’s Day
Guest Post By: Alyssa Sinicropi
November 20th is National Child Day in Canada and World Children’s Day across the globe. This date commemorates when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and when they adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
While the United Nations set a universal standard for human rights in 1948 with the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, children’s legal rights were recognized years later.
World Children’s Day has been celebrated every year in November since 1954 to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide and improving children’s welfare.
But why do children need separate rights from adults? Children are vulnerable because they rely on adults for the nurture, protection and guidance they need to grow towards independence. Since children are still developing and many countries award children with less status and protection than adults, children are especially vulnerable to poverty and inadequate healthcare, education, nutrition, safe water, housing, community services, protection and environmental pollution.
Children are also excluded from political processes seeing as they do not have the right to vote which means that their views are often neglected in decision making processes on a political level. The consequences of such includes a disproportionate and often negative impact on children. For example, children are disproportionately impacted by globalization, shifting employment patterns, widening economic and social disparities and climate change.
With children’s rights legally protected and enforced, children have a better chance at stable and optimal development. Since early childhood experiences significantly influence future development, the quality of early childhood is essential.
According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the rights to:
Protection from abuse, exploitation and harmful substances
Provision for education, healthcare and an adequate standard of living
Participation by listening to children’s views and respecting their evolving capacities
Specific protections and provisions for vulnerable populations such as Indigenous children and children with disabilities
On November 20th, we come together to amplify and uplift the voices of children around the world. National Child Day and World Children’s Day offer an inspirational outlet to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights through discussions and actions that will build a better world and future for children.
National Child Day. One Youth. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://oneyouth.unicef.ca/en/national-child-day
About the convention on the rights of the child. UNICEF Canada : For Every Child. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.unicef.ca/en/policy-advocacy-for-children/about-the-convention-on-the-rights-of-the-child UN, U. N. (2022). World Children’s Day. United Nations. Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-childrens-day