Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the article and do the other exercises.
Universal Children's Day is on 20 November every year. Some people call it World Children's Day. On this day in 1989, the United Nations promised to protect children all over the world with an important agreement called the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
What is the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a list of all the rights that children have. Rights are what we need to live a safe and happy life. Everyone in the world has rights, but children have special rights!
What rights do children have?
Children have lots of very important rights. Here are some of them.
- Children have the right to have a name and a nationality.
- Children have the right to be healthy. They must have help when they're ill, clean water, healthy food, clothes and a safe place to live.
- Children have the right to be safe. Nobody should be allowed to hurt them, and adults need to protect them. If someone hurts you, don't be afraid to tell someone. Talk to an adult you trust.
- Children have the right to say what they think. But be careful that what you say isn't rude and doesn't hurt others.
- Children have the right to rest and to play and take part in activities like music and art.
- Adults must look after children, love and protect them. It could be your parents or another adult that looks after you.
- Adults must listen to what children say and take their ideas and opinions seriously. Children often have very good ideas to share.
Every child has rights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child explains that every child in the world should have the same rights. It doesn't matter whether you're a boy or a girl, how old you are, where you live, what you look like, whether you're rich or poor or whether you have a disability.
Sadly, a lot of children in the world don't have everything they need to be safe and happy. Adults still have a lot of work so that every child has these rights.
What do people do on Universal Children's Day?
On Universal Children's Day, lots of children take over jobs that adults usually do! For example, a girl in Bangladesh read the news on TV, and people in the whole country listened to her! Or in Malaysia, some children announced the players in a football match at a huge stadium and walked onto the pitch with the players.
Schools and important buildings around the world light up in blue to celebrate this special day and remember child rights. Why not get involved and wear something blue this 20 November, and talk to your friends about children's rights?
What would you like to do if you could take over an adult's job for a day?