Celebrating World Children’s Day
Did you know?
World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving 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. It is also 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 UN General Assembly adopted both the Declaration and the Convention on children’s rights.
Whilst, by all means, it is important to celebrate all children on this day it is also a crucial time to highlight their hardships, particularly now when many vulnerable children are facing heightened risk from being out of education, forced into labour, and at the risk of being separated from their families struggling to make ends meet.
Our African governments face a challenging choice, between the imperative of avoiding the spread of the pandemic and the urgency of responding to the needs of the most vulnerable by reviving the economy. With one of the youngest populations in the world, Africa remains very much exposed to many of the collateral impacts of the COVID 19. In the coming weeks, they will have to continue to manage a multiple crisis.
But they will also have to ensure that this leadership will align with international and continental commitments to children’s rights and well-being, and in particular the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year (2020).
We call on all governments with the support of African Union to:
  • Preserve children rights, during the COVID-19 pandemic, through guaranteeing access to quality health, education and protection services and other rights as set out in the UNCRC and the ACRWC;
  • Ensure that each response plan will be driven by the “best interest of the child” and the “do no harm” principles, in line with the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the child
  • Recognise and integrate into their response plans the specific needs of the most vulnerable, including girls as a central element of the continental and national responses;
  • Responding to the long term needs of children through the development and the implementation of social protection mechanisms and policies to protect children and families from any future shocks.
  • Ensuring that children have real and safe opportunities to have their voices heard and influence COVID-19 decision making.
World Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote, and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children despite COVID19.
For us at Child’s i, it provides a platform for us to speak up for children separated from their families, living in orphanages, and for care leavers so that they are not forgotten or left behind.