Students at the “25 de Junho” School, located in Beira, Mozambique.
Students at the “25 de Junho” School, located in Beira, Mozambique.
Photo:UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children's Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare.

November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when 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.

Since 1990, World Children's Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the Declaration and the Convention on children's rights.

Mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals, as well as young people and children themselves, can play an important part in making World Children's Day relevant for their societies, communities and nations.

World Children's Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children.

 

2021 Theme: A Better Future for Every Child

Join the Youth Advocating for Child Rights

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how inequality affects the rights of every child. From climate change, education and mental health, to ending racism and discrimination, children and young people are raising their voices on the issues that matter to their generation and calling for adults to create a better future.

This World Children’s Day, it’s more important than ever that the leaders listen to their ideas and demands.

Kids are reimagining a better world. What will you do? We invite you to meet this group of UNICEF Youth Advocates and other young champions who are leading with new and creative solutions to the world’s big problems and Join our TikTok challenge!

You can play your part too!

 

Children play in a slum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

In the aftermath of World War II, the plight of Europe’s children was grave, and a new agency created by the United Nations stepped in to provide food and clothing and health care to these children. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the UN. Today, the agency works in more than 190 countries and territories, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

 

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.