UNICEF has said events around the globe will focus on empowering stakeholders to promote child welfare.
This year’s world children day will be ensued by a gathering at the United Nations in New York where UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will welcome children. Young people in Geneva will take over the Palais des Nations to perform a special cover of Pink’s “What About Us.”
Origin and why is it celebrated?
Children’s Day is an international celebration intended to bring nations together to promote child welfare.
Its origins can be traced all the way back to Reverend Dr Charles Leonard, pastor of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts, who gave a service dedicated to childhood innocence in June 1856. His sermon was so popular that it gave rise to an annual tradition known as Rose Day, later rechristened Flower Day.
The first country to declare a national holiday for its youngsters was Turkey, which did so on 23 April 1929.
The United Nations (UN) formally inaugurated Children’s Day as an international event in 1954, the celebration subsequently becoming associated with the UN’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child five years later and marked on the date of that legislation’s adoption thereafter, 20 November.
The date does vary from nation to nation, however, with China, Czech Republic and Portugal among those countries marking the occasion on 1 June.
The Declaration is so important because it set in stone a key universal value for the first time, stating unequivocally that “mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.” The day’s stated aim is to encourage “worldwide fraternity and understanding between children” and invite pre-teens to think about their place in the world and consider what issues they think are important and how society might seek to address them.
Every Children’s Day is given a theme by UNICEF and 2017’s is #KidsTakeOver, with the fund encouraging young people across the world to step into their parents shoes and address the plight of those less fortunate from platforms they would ordinarily be too short to reach. Sports stars David Beckham, David Villa and Sachin Tendulkar are all lending their support to this year’s event.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth said: “From Auckland to Amman and from New York to N’Djamena, we want children to campaign in their schools and communities to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and fulfil their potential.”