Children’s Day began on the second Sunday of June in 1857 by Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard, pastor of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Leonard held a special service dedicated to, and for the children. Leonard named the day Rose Day, though it was later named Flower Sunday, and then named Children’s Day.
Children’s Day was first officially declared a national holiday by the Republic of Turkey in 1920 with the set date of April 23. Children’s Day has been celebrated nationally since 1920 with the Turkish government and the newspapers of the time declaring it a day for the children. However, it was decided that an official confirmation was needed to clarify and justify this celebration and the official declaration was made nationally in 1929 by the founder and the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Though Universal Children’s Day was established by the United Nations in 1954, it wasn’t until November 20, 1959 that the UN General Assembly adopted an extended form of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Originally acquired in 1924 by the League of Nations, the UN adopted this document as its own statement of children’s rights.
The original text reads as follows:
- The child must be given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually
- The child that is hungry must be fed, the child that is sick must be nursed, the child that is backward must be helped, the delinquent child must be reclaimed, and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succored.
- The child must be the first to receive relief in times of distress.
- The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood and must be protected against every form of exploitation.
- The child must be brought up in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the service of its fellow men.
For the expanded version, the UN adopted 10 additional principles with an accompanying resolution, proposed by the delegation of Afghanistan, calling for governments to recognize these rights, strive for their acceptance, and publicize the document as widely as possible.
On November 20, 1989, The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The CRC is a human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health, and cultural rights of children. The document deals with child-specific needs and rights, requiring all nations that ratify it are bound to it by international law and must act within the best interests of the child.
In September 2012, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations led the initiative for the education of children. He firstly wanted every child to be able to attend school, a goal by 2015. Secondly, to improve the skill set acquired in these schools. Finally, implementing policies regarding education to promote peace, respect, and environmental concern.
Universal Children’s Day is not just a day to celebrate children for who they are, but to bring awareness to children around the globe that have experienced violence in forms of abuse, exploitation, and discrimination. Children are used as laborers in some countries, immersed in armed conflict, living on the streets, suffering by differences be it religion, minority issues, or disabilities. Currently, there are about 153 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 who are forced into child labor.
EVENT INFO :
- Start Date:November 20, 2023
- End Date:November 20, 2023