World Children’s Day was first established on November 20, 1954, and has since been celebrated each year, as a day to help promote social consciousness and advocate for better standards of living for children in every regard: education, accessibility to resources, proper medical attention, home life, etc. Five years later, after officially celebrating and engaging with such a critical matter, in 1959, The United Nations General Assembly developed and adopted the Declaration of Rights of The Child.
The declaration of rights maintained and outlined the importance of certain universal fundamental prerogatives as a way to ensure the protection and care of the child: such as providing the means to enable a prosperous and healthy mental, emotional, moral, social and spiritual development within a child as well as the right to adequate nutrition, housing, medical services, free education, and recreation, amongst several other outlined principles. Furthermore, in 1989 the United Nations General Assembly also adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child which acknowledged “that the situation in many parts of the world remains critical as a result of inadequate social conditions, natural disasters, armed conflicts, exploitation, illiteracy, and hunger and disabilities.
Through this legislation the UN emphasized the urgency of addressing this social issue, in attempts to galvanize communities and states to act on the resolutions passed in the 1989 charter in addition to pre-existing resolutions marked in the 1954 Declaration of Rights of The Child. Since then the principles outlined in both resolutions have been an important and useful reference for the fight to improve living conditions for children around the world.
Today is an important day in advocating and promoting protection for children and a call to action for the improvement of the children’s living situation, globally; even more so after the detrimental results of Covid-19. Unfortunately as a result of the pandemic many children and adolescents have been forced to take on adult responsibilities for the sake of their own survival and that of their remaining family. Today on the 67 anniversary of such an important day, we must begin discussing how to rebuild and reconnect our communities while putting the needs and wellbeing of children and young adolescents at the forefront of these dialogues, ensuring that our infrastructures encourages and allows for their safe and healthy recuperation from Covid-19 with the collaborative effort and help of their surrounding community.
November 20 is a day to promote dialogue and action as the support system for young individuals. World Children’s Day offers us an opportunity to engage and further the development of systems that will improve these living conditions for children, and becomes a chance for us to unite as a community and collaborate as a collective to ensure that the rights and lives of children all over the world are protected.