The origin of Universal Children's Day (November 20)

dia universal del niño In any type of conflict we all suffer, but children are the voiceless victims. This fragility was taken into account when establishing a date that would remind the world that a child needs to be protected and that they have rights that cannot be played with. In this world, sometimes so cruel, every measure is little when talking about childhood. So it is worth remembering how Universal Children’s Day was established and under what circumstances.

When the First World War ended, Eglantyne Jebb, activist and founder of the Save the Children organization, with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross, pushed for the adoption of the first Declaration of Children’s Rights. There was a general need and concern to protect children after the war and its aftermath, and it was the right time to promote this valuable initiative. On September 24, 1924, the League of Nations approved the proposal for what would become known as the Geneva Declaration on the Rights of the Child . A year later, at the World Conference on Child Welfare, the International Children’s Day was instituted for the first time, making it official on June 1.

Already in 1954, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that this day be celebrated in all countries to extend concern for the quality of life of minors and that each one choose the date they deem appropriate. The UN celebrates it on November 20 , in memory of the day this idea materialized in 1925 and ended up being approved as we know it today in 1989 as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, forcing the signatory countries to make a formal commitment absolute with these rights.


With the passage of time, each country has adopted a different date for reasons related to each one’s own calendars. It is a day when it is remembered that a child is a vulnerable being who has the right to protection against abuse and misfortune, as well as to study, to have medical attention, and also to have fun and grow up in a healthy environment that offers opportunities, no matter where you were born. We know this is not the case in much of the world, so any reminder to humanity is essential and welcome. In this way we create awareness of this lack to collaborate as one can in the well-being of the little ones that we have near and not so close.

This day is usually celebrated with parades, charitable collections of toys and equipment for children at risk, play spaces created specifically for children to enjoy with their families and other ideas dedicated to promoting fun for the little ones . Ideally, we should keep in mind all year long that minors need protection from us, adults, against life. In this increasingly dehumanized society they are the most affected. It doesn’t take the devastation of a great war for them to suffer. Let’s do our bit by collaborating in a nearby foster home, for example and, above all, educating our children in solidarity and respect for their peers in any field, thus making a transformation of society possible without the need to move. of our house.

Remember: act locally, think globally .

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