Montserrat will join the rest of the world in celebrating Universal Children’s Day this Friday, November 20.
The United Nations has designated November 20 annually as a time to promote togetherness around the world, awareness of the problems children face in every corner of the globe, and improve the welfare for all children.
Although Universal Children’s Day was established by the United Nations is 1954, it wasn’t until November 20, 1959 that the UN General Assembly adopted an extended form of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Originally acquired in 1924 by the League of Nations, the UN adopted this document as its own statement of children’s rights. The original text reads as follows:
- The child must be given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually
- The child that is hungry must be fed, the child that is sick must be nursed, the child that is backward must be helped, the delinquent child must be reclaimed, and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succored.
- The child must be the first to receive relief in times of distress.
- The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood, and must be protected against every form of exploitation.
- The child must be brought up in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the service of its fellow men.
Thirty years later on November 20, 1989, The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The CRC is a human rights treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health, and cultural rights of children. The document deals with child-specific needs and rights, requiring all nations that ratify it are bound to it by international law, and must act within the best interests of the child.
Activities will be held across the island at all of the local primary schools. These will include school rallies, movies, music, and awareness campaigns.