Have you heard of National Child Day? No? Well, it may surprise you to learn that it’s over twenty years old.
National Child Day is an important day for all Canadians, especially children. Let’s go through what it is and why it should matter to you.
What is National Child Day?
National Child Day was first established in Canada in 1993. It followed Canada’s signing of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child in 1959.
And, National Child Day marks Canada’s adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. It also marks Canada’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991.
National Child Day was officially declared by the Parliament of Canada by Bill C-371. November 20th also marks World Children’s day, a day that is honoured around the world.
National Child Day celebrates the role that children play in Canadian communities. Additionally, it honours the protection of their rights by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
What Is The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child contains guaranteed rights children around the world and the laws for making sure that children’s interests are considered when making decisions for them.
The Convention ensures that children all over the world are treated with respect and dignity, no matter their circumstance.
The Convention applies to all children, no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, ability, or any other factor.
It protects the rights of all children to express their opinion about things that affect them. It guarantees that all children have the right to survive, develop, and live. The convention also ensures that the law protects the best interests of every child.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a landmark human rights treaty (international law), in terms of ensuring the safety and security of all children, worldwide.
Why Does National Child Day Matter?
National Child Day is an important day to remember the rights of children and youth in Canada. The rights covered by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child protect people under the age of 18 from being exploited. And, it protects their right to education, healthcare, and participation in society along with many other rights.
In Canada, National Child Day also serves as a day to remember the government has done to help protect and support Canadian children.
National Child Day additionally helps us remember what more still needs to be done to protect and empower children in Canada and all over the world.
In 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked the occasion by welcoming the creation of the Canadian Children’s Charter: a call to action to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of children. The Children’s Charter is a plan by children, for children, and was led by Children First Canada.
National Child Day is a day to learn about what we need to do, as a country, to give children their best shot in life.
It is also an important day for supporting children themselves. When children have more knowledge about their rights, they have more agency to advocate for themselves if they need to.
Children who know about their rights will also know more about what their guaranteed rights are, such as things like education and protection from violence.
Children that are empowered are more likely to have more confidence and to succeed more in adulthood. National Child Day is a great way to teach children and help them at the same time.
How Do You Honour National Child Day?
Clearly, National Child Day is important for kids and adults alike. But how do you honour a holiday that many people have never heard about?
There are many ways for you to observe National Child Day. If you have children of your own or children in your life, you can teach them about their rights.
You can also help them learn how to advocate for themselves should the need come up.
You can also teach your kids about the history of National Child Day or the history of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Of course, you’ll have to do your research and make sure you’re up on the history of National Child Day and what protected rights children have in Canada.
We’ve created a special toolkit and other resources to help you celebrate National Child Day wherever you are.
To take in a little more of National Child Day, you can attend events in your area celebrating National Child Day. You can see a list of some events held by Children First for National Child Day here.
If you don’t have a lot of time, you can also celebrate National Child Day by raising awareness about National Child Day and children’s rights.
A great way to raise awareness is by using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
You can use hashtags and infographics to get even more attention. Every little bit of knowledge shared helps the cause of children’s rights in Canada.
Of course, you can also donate to organizations that promote and advocate for the rights of children in Canada. You can also help support children around the world with your donations.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money, giving a dollar or two can really make a difference when advocating for the future of Canadian children.
Canada and National Child Day
Canada may be a developed nation with high marks for education and healthcare, but there is still more to be done to support Canadian children.
Canada is only ranked 25th out of 41 wealthy countries for the wellbeing of children, which is a clear sign that there is so much more still to do.
To learn more about National Child Day and what still needs to be done to protect the rights of Canadian children, check out our other news and contact us!