World Children’s Day is an international event that takes place each year on 20th November. Created by the United Nations (UN) this annual awareness day aims to promote the welfare and rights of children all over the world.
First established in 1954, World 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.”
Why is it important?
Currently, millions of children are still denied their basic rights simply because of the circumstances of their birth; gender, status, and nationality can all be the deciding factors of a child’s welfare. World Children’s Day is, therefore, of vital importance to encourage awareness and activity to rectify this worldwide issue.
What is the Declaration of the Rights of the Child?
In 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child – a set of ten principles outlining children’s rights to:
Much like adults, children have the right to be protected and to be entitled to a nationality. However, children also are entitled to “grow and develop in health”, “receive an education”, and “develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually”.
Principle 5 states: “The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the special treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.”
How has COVID impacted children’s lives?
The UN has said that the COVID-19 outbreak has “resulted in a child rights crisis”, stating that the impacts children are experiencing could last their entire lives unless addressed immediately.
One of these impacts includes children’s increased exposure to online risks: the global pandemic has caused children to spend more time online for learning, socialising, or merely for entertainment during lockdown. This increased screen time, therefore, has naturally increased children’s risk of experiencing online dangers. These may include:
What does this mean for schools?
As mentioned in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, every child has the right to be protected, and this protection includes being safeguarded against online risks.
As educators, it is your duty to ensure you continue to respect children’s rights and implement them, regardless of the environment around you: “The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance” (Principle 7).
That’s why, at National Online Safety, we’re committed to supporting you to help safeguard your students online with hundreds of courses, webinars, lesson plans, guides, and explainer videos all found in the world’s most comprehensive online safety hub for schools.
All our training resources are developed by recognised experts in online safety and align with the latest government guidance.
Become a member today and empower your staff to safeguard children from online harm and abuse this World Children's Day.
Posted by Molly Hookings