Children's Day: Globally all children must be protected

20Nov 2020
Editor
The Guardian
Children's Day: Globally all children must be protected

CHILD morbidity and mortality rates in Tanzania keep soaring. Indeed, the situation is worrisome. Accurate figures in both aspects are hard to come by as not all sick children are taken to hospitals. In the same vein, not all deaths occur in hospitals.

Children's Day is a commemorative date celebrated annually in honour of children, whose date of observance varies by country. In 1925, International Children's Day was first proclaimed in Geneva during the World Conference on Child Welfare. Since 1950, it is celebrated on 1 June in most Communist and post-Communist countries.  World Children's Day is celebrated on 20 November to commemorate the Declaration of the Rights of the Child by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1959.   

Children's Day began on the second Sunday of June in 1857 by Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard, pastor of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts: Leonard held a special service dedicated to, and for the children. Leonard named the day Rose Day, though it was later named Flower Sunday, and then named Children's Day.

Children's Day was first officially declared a national holiday by the Republic of Turkey in 1920 with the set date of 23 April. Children's Day has been celebrated nationally since 1920 with the government and the newspapers of the time declaring it a day for the children. However, it was decided that an official confirmation was needed to clarify and justify this celebration and the official declaration was made nationally in 1929 by the founder and the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.  

International Children's Day was first proclaimed in Geneva during the World Conference on Child Welfare in 1925. On 4 November 1949, 1 June was established as the International Day for Protection of Children by the Women's International Democratic Federation in Moscow.  Since 1950, 1 June is celebrated as Children's Day in many Communist and post-Communist countries.

In 1954, Children's Day was proclaimed by the United Kingdom to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children. That is observed to promote the objectives outlined in the Charter and for the welfare of children. On 20 November 1959, the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.  World Children's Day is celebrated on 20 November to commemorate the Declaration of the Rights of the Child by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1959.  

In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals outlined by world leaders to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. Albeit this applies to all people, the primary objective is concerning children.  UNICEF is dedicated to meeting the six of eight goals that apply to the needs of children so that they are all entitled to fundamental rights written in the 1989 international human rights treaty.  UNICEF delivers vaccines, works with policymakers for good health care and education and works exclusively to help children and protect their rights.

In September 2012, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations led the initiative for the education of children.  He firstly wants every child to be able to attend school, a goal by 2015.  Secondly, to improve the skill set acquired in these schools. Finally, implementing policies regarding education to promote peace, respect, and environmental concern. Universal Children's Day is not just a day to celebrate children for who they are, but to bring awareness to children around the globe that have experienced violence in forms of abuse, exploitation, and discrimination. Children are used as laborers in some countries, immersed in armed conflict, living on the streets, suffering by differences be it religion, minority issues, or disabilities. Children feeling the effects of war can be displaced because of the armed conflict and may suffer physical and psychological trauma.