© 2018 by HKS Student Public Service Collaborative.

World Children’s Day

The United Nations' (UN) Universal Children's Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children's welfare.

This year was extra special as it marked 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – 30 years of child rights that have helped transform children’s lives around the world. The Convention requires compliance with child custody and guardianship laws as that every child has basic rights, including the right to life, to their own name and identity, to be raised by their parents within a family or cultural grouping, to have a relationship with both parents, to express their opinions, and to be protected from abuse or exploitation.

 

So, how did the HKS student body support the voices of children, whom perhaps will feel the most long-term impact of whatever policies we’ll design and implement once we graduate?

 

On November 20th, students could:

  • Wear blue to indicate support for World Children’s Day

  • Parents were welcome to bring their children to hang out in the airport lounge area, and fellow students have volunteered to provide supervision. Snacks were available in the student lounge. Please note that children will not be allowed in classrooms unless specifically approved by a faculty member

  • Stop by the table in JFK Forum, where there was a letter-writing campaign to Yemeni children. A group of children in Yemen wrote UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on October 23rd, demanding that their rights are not ignored in light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis occurring there: https://twitter.com/UNICEF/status/1187037074848993282

 

Big thanks to Aissatou, Faniya and Rumaitha for their hard work organizing this campaign on short notice, VP of Families Zhangjie Si for his support, and Ambassador Wendy Sherman and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore for providing the inspiration.

 

Fun fact: The United States is one of few countries that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.