Happiness of the kids on Universal Children’s Day
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Happiness of the kids on Universal Children’s Day

Universal Children’s Day is a United Nations (UN) initiative that emphasizes the fundamental rights of children

Post by MOHAMMAD HANIEF on Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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Childhood is a universal experience, something every adult across the world has gone through. For many, childhood is a time we are nostalgic for. It’s a time of curiosity, imagination, exploration and incredible development. For many of us, a special adult helped us to learn and grow as children and led us to love learning. For some, it was a great teacher or wise neighbour. Others had parents, grandparents or other relatives who encouraged them to be curious and study hard. Even if your childhood wasn’t easy, you probably had at least one inspirational adult in your life who encouraged you and was a role model.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a good childhood. Proportionately, more children live in poverty than adults. 19.5 per cent of the world’s children live in extreme poverty, and even though children are only one third of the global population, they are half of the poor. Around the world, many children live without access to clean water, enough food, or decent healthcare. Others live in extremely dangerous places and some are forced to join armies to fight wars they don’t understand.

Over 120 million children do not attend school and even those who do are not always learning: two out of five students leave primary school not knowing how to read, write or do basic maths. Even those who may have happy memories of childhood did not necessarily have an easy life as a kid. Children are dependent on the adults in their life for support, and not all adults treat children well.

Even though every day is, or at least should be, a day to nurture and celebrate children, Universal Children’s Day is celebrated as a special day around the world on November 20. In 1989 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – a 54-item list describing the universal rights of children – was signed. This document came out of the work of a lot of experts and representatives from many nations who met to create a child-specific version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was signed in 1948. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely and quickly signed treaty in history, meaning it was quickly adopted into the civil codes of most countries around the world.

Universal Children’s Day 2023 is a global observance that celebrates and promotes the rights and well-being of children worldwide. It serves as a reminder of the importance of ensuring that every child has the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive in a safe and nurturing environment.Since its inception, Universal Children’s Day has been an opportunity to advocate for children’s rights and promote awareness of the challenges and opportunities facing children worldwide.

Universal Children’s Day is a United Nations (UN) initiative that emphasizes the fundamental rights of children. It was established to promote and protect children’s rights as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. These rights include the right to education, health, protection, and participation in decisions that affect their lives.

Celebrating Universal Children’s Day involves activities and initiatives that promote the welfare and rights of children. Organize workshops, seminars, or educational events that raise awareness about children’s rights and the importance of quality education.Advocate for policies and actions that protect and support children’s well-being, including access to healthcare, nutrition, and safe environments.

Contribute to organizations that work to improve the lives of children through education, healthcare, and social programs.Encourage children to express themselves through art, music, and creative activities that celebrate their talents and voices.Ensure that all children, regardless of their background, have equal opportunities and access to education and resources.

Mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate tycoons and media professionals, as well as young people and children themselves, can play an important part in making World Children's Day relevant for their societies, communities and nations.

Children's Day in India is also popular as 'BalDiwas' and is celebrated every year across the country on November 14. This day honors the birth anniversary of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, broadly known as 'Chacha Nehru'. Nehru was a major advocate of children's education and rights. He had confidence in an inclusive education system and that a country could succeed. His vision focused on children being the future of the nation and the foundation of society. In 1955, he established the Children's Film Society India to give a platform to the issues of children.


In the year 1948, Children's Day was first marked as "Flower Day" on November 5. It was an effort by the Indian Council of Child Welfare (ICCW) to gather funds for the Unified Nations Appeal for Children (UNAC) through the offer of "flower tokens." Later, in 1954, Nehru's birthday was first celebrated as Children's Day. 


The importance of Children’s Day lies in its significant emphasis on recognizing the importance of a protected and healthy childhood. It fills in as a reminder that childhood isn't simply a stage but a foundational period that shapes people and, thus, the general public they contribute to. 


It promotes the privileges of kids as well as highlights the requirements for their general prosperity, including education, nourishment, and a safe family environment. The festival fills in as a societal reminder to protect the innocence and capability of children, considering them as the future leaders of our world.  


Children's Day is observed by the tone of affection, gifts, and spoiling of students. Teachers in schools sort out special projects and performances for students which additionally incorporate contests, for example, debating, painting, quizzes, singing, and dancing. As a part of the celebrations, the exchange of gifts like books and cards additionally happens among students.


As universal Children’s Day was created to change the way children are viewed and treated by society and to improve children’s welfare. Universal Children’s Day is a day to advocate for and champion the rights of children. Children’s rights are not special rights or different rights. They are fundamental human rights. A child is a human being, entitled to be treated as one and should be celebrated as such.


Millions of children throughout the world live in extreme poverty. The children are often deprived of medicine, education and shelter. Many live without access to clean water. They are unprotected and oppressed, starved of affection and opportunity and trapped in a cycle of disadvantage passed from one generation to another, if they're able to survive past childhood.


Since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted, the global mortality rate for children under five years old has been cut in half. The world community is beginning to give its best to children. It's improving the odds for every child, giving them a chance to rise above disadvantage and discrimination, to push past predators and abuse, to fight off disease, ignorance, malnutrition and shame so they may live up to their fullest potential.


There is a lot to be done to make the world a safer, more supportive place for children. The good news is, you’re an adult and you have the power to influence the next generation in the most wonderful way. Start by explaining the Rights of the Child to the children in your life. Let them know that they, just like all human beings, have rights. Help a child learn to love learning, so they can become a motivated adult just like you.


(Author is a columnist and can be mailed at: m.hanief@gmail.com. X/Twitter: @haniefmha)

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