The Universal Children’s Day takes place on November 20, 2013. It was first observed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, it was established to promote all countries to observe a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to start action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world’s children. It was also chosen as the day to celebrate childhood and is celebrated annually.
November 20 is also the anniversary of the day when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was then signed on the same day in 1989, which has since been signed by 191 states. Universal Children’s Day is preceded by International Men’s Day on November 19 creating a 48 hour celebration of men and children respectively during which time the positive roles men play in children’s lives are recognized.
Many schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Teachers stimulate their pupils to think about the differences between themselves and others and explain the idea of “rights.” In countries where the rights of children are generally well-respected, teachers may draw attention to situations in countries where this is not the case.
In some areas UNICEF holds functions to promote particular attention to children’s rights. These may be to induce interest in the media around the world or to start nationwide campaigns, for instance on the importance of immunisations or breastfeeding.