20 Nov 2020

News

Celebrating Word Children’s Day: imagine a better future for every child

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, not least for children who have faced enormous disruption and upheaval. On this year’s World Children’s Day, we take a look at why it is celebrated and why it’s perhaps more important this year than ever before.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a ‘child rights crisis’.[i] A combination of enforced lockdowns, home-schooling and social distancing has led to a loss of routine, isolation from friends and a breakdown in support networks, both formal and informal.

“The short and long-term psychological and mental health implications for children are thought to be severe; recent studies have shown children of all ages experiencing disturbed sleep, poor appetite and separation related anxiety as they try to process the pandemic.[ii] For vulnerable children, the risk to safety is even greater; online abuse, abuse within the home and sexual exploitation are all thought to have heightened during the crisis[iii] so it’s more important than ever that the rights and wellbeing of children are promoted and protected”.

 

What is World Children’s Day?

World Children’s Day, first observed in 1954 and celebrated on 20 November each year, promotes greater awareness among children and advocates for the continued protection and improvement of children’s welfare around the globe.

Children’s Day has been commemorated in a variety of formats since the mid-19th century. However, World Children’s Day wasn’t officially marked in the calendar until 1959. The adoption of a global celebration reflected the implementation of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child by the United Nations, and has been universally celebrated on 20 November ever since.[iv]

The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

The convention constitutes 54 articles designed to protect children from violence and discrimination, as well as securing rights to life, health and education. The UNCRC is considered the most complete statement of children’s rights ever produced, safeguarding civil, political, social cultural and economic rights. It is also the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world.[v]

Some of the articles within the convention include:

  • Every child has the right to life.
  • Governments must protect children from economic exploitation and work that is dangerous or might harm their health.
  • Children who have experienced neglect, abuse, exploitation, torture or who are victims of war must receive special support to help them recover their health, dignity, self-respect and social life.
  • Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life.
  • Every child has the right to the best possible health.

 

How it’s celebrated

Unsurprisingly, children are at the heart of the celebrations, with #KidsTakeOvers in government, elite sport, journalism and not-for-profit organisations. Monuments and iconic landmarks around the world, such as the Empire State Building and the Acropolis, are also lit up in blue to honour the occasion.[vi] Locally, families, schools and organisations are encouraged to take time to reflect on how they can collaboratively build a better future for children.

Find out more

You can find out more about World Children’s Day here, or follow #WorldChildrensDay throughout the day to see the impact children are having around the world.

Do you need support?

If you need any legal support regarding your children or children you are concerned about, please contact Harding Evans on 01633 244233 or email hello@hevans.com.

 

[i] Website – hifa.org

[ii] US National Library of Medicine – Public Health Emergency Collection

[iii] NSPCC Learning – The impact of COVID-19 on child abuse in the UK

[iv] Website – un.org

[v] Website – unicef.org

[vi] Website – unicef.org

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