Universal Children’s Day = 20th November 2012

Universal Children’s Day takes place annually on November 20th. First proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world’s children. It was also chosen as the day to celebrate childhood.

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 1956. Convention on the Rights of the Child was then signed on the same day in 1989, which has since been ratified by 191 states.

Despite this worldwide consensus on the importance of our children, 70% of the approximately 11 million child deaths every year are attributable to six potentially preventable causes: diarrhoea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth. These deaths occur mainly in the developing world. An Ethiopian child is 30 times more likely to die by his or her fifth birthday than a child in Western Europe. Among deaths of children, South-central Asia has the highest number of newborn deaths, while sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is taking a huge toll on children, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The number of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS is projected to reach 25 million by the end of the decade, 18 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa. This, along with only modest progress fighting malaria, means the threats facing child survival are as grave as ever.

Sources: UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library, UNICEF

Resource links listed by HREA
Selected learning materials

Study Guide on the Human Rights of Children and Youth (HREA)

Conversation about child labour and the right to education with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education (15 June 2005)

Children’s Rights Here and Now (Amnesty International-USA)

Fields of Hope: Educational Activities on Child Labor. Teacher’s Guide

“How to Protect Human Rights?” Lesson Plan: Children’s Rights in the UN System of Human Rights Protection (Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Poland)

Raising Children With Roots, Rights & Responsibilities: Celebrating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (USA)

Teaching for Human Rights: Pre-school and Grades 1-4

Teaching for Human Rights: Grades 5-10

International treaties on children’s rights:

– Convention on the Rights of the Child

– Simplified version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

– Declaration of the Rights of the Child

– African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

– ILO Convention (No. 138) concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment

– ILO Convention (No. 182) concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor

– Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict

– ptional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography


Useful links

Right to Education Project

International Labour Organization (ILO) on Child Labour

Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

Organisations that promote and protect the rights of children & youth

 

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