As children across the country celebrate Children’s Day today, we look into the history of this day. Is it celebrated on the same day around the world? And what is the significance of the day?

Is It Celebrated the Same Day Worldwide?

Children’s Day is recognised on various days in many countries around the world. It was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-Being of Children in 1925. Then in 1954, the United Nations established the universal day of the child, known as Universal Children’s Day which is celebrated every November 20 and promotes international togetherness, awareness among children, and improvement of children’s welfare worldwide on this day.

Countries like Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Ireland, Finland, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Philippines, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago,among others celebrate Children’s day on this day.

Yet another is the International Day for the Protection of Children which is celebrated in many countries as Children’s Day on June 1, an observance that has continued since the first one in 1950.

Countries like Guinea Bissau, Tanzania, Poland, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Russia, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Republic of Benin, Angola, China, Mongolia, Portugal, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Mozambique, Vietnam, Yemen among others hold their Children’s Day observance on this day.

But some other countries observe Children’s Day on their own special days. Countries like Nigeria, May 27; Japan and South Korea, May 5; Hong Kong, April 4; Tunisia, January 11; Pakistan, July 1; Germany, September 20; Brazil, October 12; India, November 14; Sudan and South Sudan, December 23.

What is the Significance of the Day?

Part of the observances of the day is the promotion of the objectives outlined in the UN Charter for the welfare of children globally, and usually involves a call to action for respective governments of countries to meet the eight goals that apply to the needs of children as written in the 1989 International Human Rights Treaty.

Also, Children’s Day is not simply a day to celebrate children for who they are, but also to make people aware of the plight of children around the world who are victims of war, violence, abuse, exploitation and discrimination  Those who are held in slavery, are labourers, live on the streets, are involved in armed conflict, are being persecuted for their religious beliefs, for being members of minority groups, or suffering from disabilities.

And I am sure that if you are observant enough, you would have seen a rally or two on major roads by non-governmental organisations as they bring to the attention of citizens some of the points highlighted here.

And there goes a summary of the history and significance of the day. I hope you profited by it, and will look out for ways to help another child on this day and beyond.