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What is World Children’s Day and why is it important?

World Children’s Day is celebrated every year on the 20th of November. World Children’s Day offers us an opportunity to promote and celebrate children’s rights that will build a better world for them. ChildFund Australia partners with others to create community and systems change which enables vulnerable children and young people, in all their diversity, to assert and realise their rights.

What is the origin of World Children’s Day? 

World Children’s Day, also known as Universal Children’s Day, was first observed on November 20, 1954, with the goal of promoting international cooperation, raising awareness among children around the world, and improving children’s welfare.

The United Nations General Assembly enacted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1959, a major milestone in children’s rights. The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on this day in 1989.


What the convention on the rights of the child says:

  • Children are entitled to an education.
  • Children must be treated with decency and respect. They must be cared for, given opportunities to grow, and included in their communities.
  • Children have the right to have their voices heard and to participate in choices that impact them.
  • Children have the right to be safe from violence and prejudice, regardless of where they live or their ethnic or social origins, abilities, birthplace, or other status.


What is the theme of World Children’s Day 2021?

The UN provides a particular theme every year for World Children’s Day to promote awareness among children, togetherness and improving children’s welfare. The theme of 2021 is “Investing in our future means investing in our children”. 

Why the right to education is vital

The COVID-19’s economic crisis is threatening to hurt children and families the hardest. The number of children living in multidimensional poverty – those without access to education, health, housing, nutrition, sanitation, or water – might reach 1.2 billion by the end of 2021, with an additional 142 million children falling into monetary poverty. Children in these rural and poor areas don’t have the privilege of being able to have remote online classes and typically put aside their education entirely to support their family. Even before the COVID 19 pandemic, approximately 260 million children, or roughly one in 10, were out of school.

Due to the magnitude and complexity of the issue, driving programs to reach the most vulnerable children are necessary. ChildFund works to alleviate child poverty by ensuring every child experiences a childhood in which they are nurtured, protected and given access to opportunity. 

How to get involved with World Children’s Day activities

Parents, guardians, family members, teachers, and other role models can follow the following steps for the well-being of children:

  • Actively participate in children’s physical and emotional health.
  • Treat all children with dignity and respect and educate them on their rights on this day.
  • Positive parental or guardian involvement in their children’s education is linked to improved abilities in their children.
  • Consider your children’s sentiments and appreciate their thoughts. 
  • Engage with children in structured activities and even playing games.
  • Enquire about your child’s educational,  daily routine challenges, and work.
  • Encourage children to use their right to voice their thoughts, feelings and opinions.
  • Get involved with programs that protect vulnerable children and their rights.

The equal future: supporting children’s rights everywhere

This World Children’s Day, we invite you to join us in educating children of their rights,  protecting and uplifting children. The more children understand their rights, the more they take charge of their place in our society, and the more we can ensure children thrive. Support vulnerable children this holiday season by getting a ‘Gift for Good’.

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