CHILDREN'S DAY: Origin, Purpose and Dates

27 May, 2024

Did you know that the global holiday, Children's Day, is marked on different dates by countries around the world and that there are the Universal Children's Day and the International Children's Day?

Universal Children's Day is observed every year on the 20th of November. It was in 1954 when, to protect children from having to work long hours in unsafe conditions; allowing all children to have access to learning; and to work towards achieving many other rights for children, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Universal Children's Day on an "appropriate" day.

On November 20, 1959, the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child spelling out specific rights to which all children should be entitled. And from this time, Children's Day began to be celebrated on 20th November of every year.

International Children's Day is celebrated every year in the second Sunday in December. This is a joint initiative between the United Nation's Children Fund, UNICEF, and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It's a day when special programmes are broadcasted for kids. The occasion is said to have originated in Turkey on April 23, 1920 and later in the `World Conference for the Well Being of Children', held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1925.

After the conference, governments around the world decided to specify a day as Children's Day to draw attention to children's issues. And from this time, International children's day is celebrated on the 1st of June each year. Many countries, including the Soviet Union, chose June 1.

May 27 is officially the date set aside to celebrate Children's Day in Nigeria. Generally, the holiday is marked in Nigeria through s variety of public activities. For instance, all the local schools go to their local stadium where each school has a special march which they perform. The school with the best marching performance wins the honour for that year.

It has also become the habit of some government officials and media organisations to honour some children with leadership opportunities. Certain radio and TV stations do this by featuring child broadcasters on air and letting them anchor their programmes for the early part of the day.

World Children's Day is always annually observed on the 20th of November. It was on November 20th, 2002, when World Children's Day was first held officially. The occasion is celebrated every year in honour of children of the world and also as an annual global fundraiser to benefit branches of Ronald McDonald House Charities around the world. Today, World Children's Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries.

SOURCES: Kidsgen | NTA

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