November 20 is a landmark date for children’s rights worldwide. On this day in 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Thirty years later, the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the assembly.
Today, we commemorate the date of adoption of these documents by celebrating World Children’s Day around the world. However, unlike previous years, we are currently facing a global pandemic caused by Covid-19 which is no longer just an issue of public health. It has also become an issue of children’s rights and protections, as the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt not only in hospitals and health institutions but also in schools, offices, and households the world over.
Children have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic, and they will continue to feel its effects for years as they struggle to catch up with the demands of a “new normal. Given this, the government must make sure every child is well-equipped for the future by ensuring their continued access to quality and relevant education, supported by a full range of basic social and health services that can adequately respond to their physical, emotional, and mental health needs.
You may access a copy of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child at https://undocs.org/en/A/RES/1386(XIV) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child at https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx.