Universal Children’s Day – 2013

November 20 is Universal Children’s Day. It’s also the 24th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


As the most vulnerable age group, children have special global rights and protections, such as the right to live with their parents and protections against harmful or exploitative work. These and many others are recognized by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most accepted human rights treaty in history.

“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)



By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the 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. The Assembly suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date and in the way which each considers appropriate. The date 20 November, 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.





In 2000 world leaders outlined the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. Though the Goals are for all humankind, they are primarily about children. UNICEF notes that six of the eight goals relate directly to children and meeting the last two will also make critical improvements in their lives.

In 2012, the Secretary-General launched a new initiative Education First. The Initiative aims to raise the political profile of education, strengthen the global movement to achieve quality education and generate additional and sufficient funding through sustained advocacy efforts. Achieving gains in education will have an impact on all the Millennium Development Goals, from lower child and maternal mortality, to better health, higher income and more environmentally-friendly societies.

Some other resources for Universal Children’s Day:

UN Global Issues – Children


MDG Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

MDG Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality

20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The State of the World’s Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health

Voices of Youth

UNICEF and Say Yes for children

UN Study on Violence against Children (UNICEF | OHCHR)

UN Special Session on Children

GA on Children

World Summit for Children

The UN Works for Children

Securing the future – advocating for children (UNAIDS)



and more on education….

November 18-22 is International Education Week, an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, inclusive, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity.

Click here for more information.



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