After the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries choose a day to promote children's welfare. Although observance of the day varies from country to country, the Government of Canada designated November 20th as National Child Day, to commemorate the day on which both the Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) were adopted.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child addresses the rights of children and youth under the age of 18. It recognizes their basic human rights and gives them additional rights to protect them from harm. The Convention's 54 articles cover everything from a child's right to be free from exploitation, to the right to his or her own opinion and the right to education, health care, and economic opportunity.
The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the creation of Universal Children's Day reflects the growing recognition that children are important and valued members of society, now and in the future. Universal Children's Day celebrates children just for being themselves. It reminds us that children need love and respect to grow to their full potential. It is a day to listen to children, to marvel at their uniqueness and all they have to offer.
A key objective of Universal Children's Day is to increase awareness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since its adoption by the United Nations, the Convention has been signed or ratified by more countries than any other international treaty. Over the past decade, the Convention has proven to be a valuable tool for promoting the rights of children everywhere around the world.