Children participating in the 2017 Universal Children’s Day celebration hold signs calling for peace. UN Photo/Manuel Elias


By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children's Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the UN Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The Assembly suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date and in the way that each considers appropriate.

The date 20 November marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

The Convention, which is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty, sets out a number of children’s rights including the right to life, to health, to education and to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence, to not be discriminated, and to have their views heard. 

On the basis of the Convention and joint efforts by all the countries and regions, let us promote and celebrate children’s right on the World Children's Day, and continuously build up a friendly environment for children in the world through dialogue and actions.


On 20 November 1989, the General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child without a vote. Seated in the foreground from left to right are Jan Martenson (Under-Secretary-General for Human Rights and Director, United Nations Office in Geneva), Audrey Hepburn (UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador) and James Grant (Executive-Director of UNICEF). UN Photo/John Isaac