World Children’s Day 2023

For every child, every right

World Children’s Day was established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated anually on the 20th of November, to promote international togetherness, raise awareness among children worldwide, and help improve children’s welfare.

November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Also it is the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Since 1990, World Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the United Nations General Assembly adopted both the Declaration and the Convention on children’s rights.

Everyone can play an important part in making World Children’s Day relevant to their societies, communities and nations.

World Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate for, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for all children.

1. Children’s rights are the fundamental entitlements and protections afforded to young individuals, emphasising their well-being, development, and dignity. Rooted in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), these rights encompass areas such as education, health, protection from exploitation, and the right to be heard. The CRC ensures that children are treated with respect and given opportunities to reach their full potential, fostering a foundation for their physical, emotional, and social growth. Children’s rights at the core of the work and vision of the MoCI.

2. The right to play is a vital aspect of children’s rights, acknowledged in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Play is essential for a child’s holistic development, promoting creativity, social skills, and emotional well-being. Recognising play as a fundamental right underscores its importance in fostering a healthy and balanced childhood. It emphasizes the need for a supportive environment where children can engage in spontaneous and structured play, contributing to their overall happiness and fulfilling their right to a fulfilling and joyful childhood.

3. Children have the right to use their own language, culture and religion – even if these are not shared by most people in the country where they live. Children’s right to their culture and language ensures preservation of their identity, heritage, and unique perspectives. Acknowledged in international human rights, this right safeguards diverse cultural expressions, fostering a sense of belonging. It empowers children to connect with their roots, promoting a rich understanding of their heritage. This protection is crucial in maintaining cultural diversity and promoting a world where every child can thrive within their cultural and linguistic context.

4. Children’s rights to be protected in war are enshrined in international law, notably in the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. These rights aim to shield children from the devastating impacts of armed conflicts, prohibiting their recruitment as soldiers and ensuring measures to prevent their harm. The protection extends to humanitarian assistance, safe spaces, and rehabilitation, emphasizing the urgent need to shield children from physical and psychological harm during times of conflict.

5. Children’s rights to be heard and have their views given due weight are fundamental principles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This right empowers children to express their opinions, participate in decisions affecting them, and be taken seriously in accordance with their evolving capacities. It emphasises the importance of inclusive decision-making, fostering a sense of agency, and recognising children as active contributors to their own lives, ensuring their perspectives shape policies and practices that impact them.