let´s build a better world for children

Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20. It is a date for the recognition of the progress achieved, but above all it is an occasion to draw attention to the situation of the most disadvantaged children, and raise awareness of children’s rights and about the importance of working every day for their well-being and development.

 

On this day in 1959 the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

Why is it important to protect children?

 

The Universal Children’s Day aims to remind citizens that:

 

  • Children are the most vulnerable group and, therefore, the one that suffers the most from the crises and problems that occur throughout the world.
  • All children have the right to health, education and protection, regardless of where they were born or where they currently live.
  • It is our duty to attend to the needs of the little ones.
  • It is important to recognize the effort of the people who work every day so that children have a better future.

 

State of the World’s Children

 

Every society has a stake in expanding children’s opportunities in life. Yet, around the world, millions of children are denied a fair chance for no reason other than the country, gender or circumstances into which they are born.

 

Poverty affects children disproportionately. Around the world, one out of six children lives in extreme poverty, living on less than US$1.90 a day. Their families struggle to afford the basic health care and nutrition needed to provide them a strong start. These deprivations leave a lasting imprint; in 2019, 149 million children under the age of five were stunted.

 

Despite great progress in school enrolment in many parts of the world, more than 175 million children are not enrolled in pre-primary education, missing a critical investment opportunity and suffering deep inequalities from the start. 6 out of 10 leave primary school without achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, according to a 2017 UNESCO report. This challenge is compounded by the increasingly protracted nature of armed conflict.

 

We can all build a better world for them

 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child establishes a series of rights for children, including those related to life, health and education, the right to play, family life, protection against violence and discrimination, as their opinions are heard.

 

All members of our society play a key role in the well-being of children: mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals.

 

It is everyone’s job to take inspiring action to defend, promote and celebrate the rights of the child through dialogues and actions that will build a better world for the children.

 

May this date serve us to reflect on the different ways of collaborating with the most vulnerable children, so that their rights are recognized and to guarantee their well-being and development.

 

By: Juan Carlos Ugarelli

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