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.

This year, the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a child rights crisis. The costs of the pandemic for children are immediate and, if unaddressed, may last a lifetime.

It’s time for generations to come together to reimagine the type of world we want to create. On 20 November, kids will reimagine a better world. What will you do?

Join our #voicesofyouth illustration challenge!

Are you 13-24 years old and love drawing?

Do you want to change the world?

We’re looking for you!

Together, we can reimagine a greener and more sustainable future, for every child.

As World Children’s Day approaches, we invite you to draw your interpretation of the world you want to build after COVID-19 and submit your drawings through our Voices of Youth website, following these steps, and join #voicesofyouth illustration challenge!

 

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.

 

Geometric illustration with the Secretariat building at UNHQ, New York.

International days 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.