Universal Children’s Day: A Plea for Children’s Rights

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Today is Universal Children’s Day.

On December 13, 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children.

It also recommended that this day be devoted to promoting the welfare of the children of the world.

Then, on November 20, 1959, the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

And, in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child was held.

During the last seventy years, there have been lots of meetings…lots of declarations…lots of conventions…and lots of talk about the rights of children.

So why are there are still millions of children living in poverty, denied the right to a safe home, clean water, adequate nourishment and an education.

Children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill often has creative writing prompts and contests to inspire and motivate…last week she encouraged us to choose a special day or holiday to write about.  I choose Universal Children’s Day…and, although the poem is not a bright and sparkly one, it truthfully relays my feelings.

Universal Children’s Day

In a hospital bed, a young girl fights for her life (to get an
education is the right of every child).

Charred wood structures, the remains of homes destroyed by
terrorists (to live in a safe home is the right of every child).

The cries of the little boy whose feet are bruised and
blistered because every day he walks three miles to gather the family’s water from a tainted pond (to drink clean water is the right of every child).

The gall of bitterness (to be brought up in a spirit of tolerance,
friendship, peace and universal brotherhood is the right of every child).

Tenderly touching and soothing every child’s heart…if only I could.
(to grow up in an atmosphere of love and understanding is the right of every child).

Universal Children’s Day


There are many worthwhile organizations, working diligently to remedy this situation.  Some give food, others help build homes and wells, and many send volunteers to give medical or other assistance.

As we sit down to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, perhaps we can ponder how each of us can help in this effort.  It doesn’t matter whether you reach out across the ocean and donate money, goods or services to children in other lands, or you concentrate on local children’s issues.  Let’s follow the advice of Nike and “JUST DO IT!”  The children of the world deserve it!

Another thing our children deserve is our time and our positive parental participation.  Family life during the holiday season often assumes a frantic pace.  Here are a couple of tips that may help keep things in balance and harmony:

  • Don’t over-schedule activities…less is more.
  • Do eat healthy…avoid too many sweets or processed foods.
  • Don’t over-spend…no one needs the latest electronic gadget or toy.
  • Do take time out to walk/exercise…it’s a natural mood-enhancer.


I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!  If you haven’t already seen the Thanksgiving related YouTube videos I recently did, here are the links:




I’ll be sharing Christmas/Hanukkah related stories and crafts for the next few weeks of Show Me How Picture Books and Crafts for Kids…next Sunday: Gift Bear for the King!  I hope you’ll check it out…and pass the word along.

20 thoughts on “Universal Children’s Day: A Plea for Children’s Rights

  1. Great post on Universal Children’s Day! Think we should all review a multicultural book, or a book that touches on social justice issues for children on Dec. 13 and link to Universal Children’s Day!. I’ve run quite a few already this year, but am up to review another. Happy Thanksgiving!


  2. Such a wonderful post, Vivian, and a good and important cause. I’m glad you were able to use your poem to help write about it. It makes me sad to think about sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner when so many children in the world go without so many basic things, but I guess all we can do is our best to help. Thanks for sharing.


    • I know, Milka…I hesitated to post this…because it is kind of depressing and a downer…and that is not usually my style…but, as you say, a reality check is welcome once in a while. 🙂
      Have a beautiful Thanksgiving…I so appreciate your wonderfully thoughtful comments!


    • No. 😉 Each one is such a unique treasure…with unknown potential to create and love. I guess that’s why it is so sad/frustrating/discouraging/maddening that many are tossed aside/neglected/abused/damaged by the adults who are responsible for their welfare. 😦
      But we can each do what we can…even if we can improve one child’s life…that is something. 🙂
      Happy Thanksgiving…thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. 🙂


  3. I completely agree. I think everyone needs to take time out and think about the children many children living in poverty or forced labour, and ask what they can do to help. I would, however, be wary of the mention of Nike in this post, as they are well known to exploit children in the making of their shoes.


    • Thanks so much for stopping by…and especially for the thoughtful comment! I appreciate the info…it’s hard to keep up with some of these corporations…with one hand they seem to be doing good..but with the other, they are not!
      I think we help our children to become better human beings when we limit when they get and encourage them to reach out and help others…but the media is trying to turn the little ones into mega-consumers…parents need to step up and turn it off and say, “No!”


  4. Pingback: Parenting Blog Award: The Positive Parental Participation Blog Award « Positive Parental Participation

  5. Pingback: Building Self-Esteem Through Picture Books: Sofia and the Heartmender « Positive Parental Participation

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