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National Child's Day – November 20, 2023

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

April 23, 1920
Pioneers of the Holiday

The Republic of Turkey becomes the first country to officially declare Children's Day a national holiday.

Holiday Goes International

International Children's Day is first proclaimed in Geneva during the World Conference on Child Welfare.

Holiday's New Date

Most Communist and post-Communist countries choose June 1 to mark International Children's Day.

More Countries Get Involved

India and Uruguay pass a joint resolution in the U.N. General Assembly to encourage all countries to institute a Universal Children's Day.

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