National Child’s Day on November 20 is celebrated all around the world. It’s a special day dedicated to highlighting the rights of children and youth and ensuring their voices are heard. It is also known as Children’s Day and the officially recognized date varies from country to country. Some nations also celebrate Children’s Week instead of Children’s Day. This day promotes togetherness around the world, creates awareness of the problems children face in every part of the globe, and improves the welfare of all children. National Child’s Day also urges all nations to act in the best interests of children and ensure children have the right to primary consideration in all social, economic, and political decisions, policies, and programs that impact them.
History of National Child's Day
On this day in 1959, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child — a document that discusses the rights due to children. In 1989 on the same day, the U.N. General Assembly ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. That is why November 20 was chosen as the date for National Child’s Day.
In 1995, Lee Rechter, a retired school counselor, set out to create National Child’s Day. She desired to see a day that honored children. In 2001, this dream came to life. President George W. Bush signed a one-time proclamation for the United States to observe the day on June 3. This presidential declaration proposed supporting children in their endeavors from their early days. And even though it was initiated as a single-day observance, it aimed to nurture and uphold the belief that all children regardless of their background deserve to have the same opportunities. However, Rechter continued to seek resolution for the observance. She finally succeeded and for the next seven years on Sunday in early June, the President proclaimed National Child’s Day.
Later in 2009 when President Barack Obama took office, he changed the observance to November. Each year since then, National Child’s Day has been observed on November 20 at a time when children are attending school and surrounded by their families.
National Child’s Day offers each of us an appropriate entry-point to advocate, promote, and celebrate children’s rights, and engage in dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children.
National Child's Day timeline
The Republic of Turkey becomes the first country to officially declare Children's Day a national holiday.
International Children's Day is first proclaimed in Geneva during the World Conference on Child Welfare.
Most Communist and post-Communist countries choose June 1 to mark International Children's Day.
India and Uruguay pass a joint resolution in the U.N. General Assembly to encourage all countries to institute a Universal Children's Day.
National Child's Day FAQs
Which is the best country for a child to grow up in?
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Canada, and the Netherlands are considered to be the top best countries for children to grow up in.
How many children are forced into child labor globally?
About 150 million children worldwide engaged in child labor.
How many children miss out on education?
264 million children around the world do not go to school.
National Child's Day Activities
Let the children take over
Have your kids take over at home. Allow them to do what they would like and be in charge of running the house for a day — with supervision, of course.
Have a fun day out
Take the day to do something fun with your kids. If it happens to be a school day, you can hang out after school.
Learn about child rights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child explains the rights that children should enjoy. Read it and help your children understand the rights that they have, including the right to protection and the right to be heard.
5 Facts About National Child’s Day And Children
Cost of education
It costs $1.25 per day per child in developing countries to take them through pre-primary and secondary education.
China's version of the day
In China, schools mark this day with activities such as children's performances, camping trips, or free movies on Children's Day or the day before.
A holiday stopped
In the late 1980s, the military government of Myanmar didn't support the celebration of Aung San's birthday which happens to fall on Children's Day.
Qatar joins the party
Qatar marked its first Children's Day on March 15, 2018, the same day that the Wadeema law (Child protection law) came into being.
In Poland, Children's Day falls at the beginning of meteorological summer and children get the day off from school.
Why We Love National Child's Day
Educates the public
Children today face many problems that aren’t apparent in daily life. Universal Children’s Day aims to spread the knowledge that millions of children around the world still lack access to education, healthcare, and opportunities.
Protects children's rights
In government documents, human rights are typically understood to be for adults. However, thanks to the U.N., governments worldwide have adopted treaties that guarantee children their rights to life, education, health, play, family, protection from violence and discrimination, etc.
Many times, children get overlooked in society. This day reminds all that children are important members of the community.
National Child's Day dates