“Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.”- Nelson Mandela
The United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. Thirty years later, on November 20, 1989, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been ratified by 193 countries – more countries than any other international treaty.
One of the objectives of Universal Children’s Day is to raise awareness about the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention sets out the basic human rights that every child should have to develop to their fullest human potential, regardless of where they live in the world. The four core principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; promoting the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. The Convention also protects children’s rights by setting standards that governments should provide in the areas of health care, education, and legal, civil and social services.
Play for Peace’s core values of Fun, Inclusion, Caring and Cooperation resonate the Convention. Through training and peace sessions held across the globe PFP encourages children to shift from a place of isolation, fear, and violence to a place of inspiration, collaboration, and connection. Not only do children learn compassion and cooperation, communities are also transformed by the presence of Play for Peace. Through a layered and integrated process community-building takes on a life of its own. Communities become less dependent on outside interventions and external resources. They rediscover their own resources and fuel an increased ability for lasting peace. When people have the opportunity to connect in meaningful ways, they engage in more co-creative, compassionate decision-making.
Universal Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children.