Rights Of The Child Photo Essay Topics

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.

November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Since 1990, Universal Children's Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children's rights.

Mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals as well as young people and children themselves can play an important part in making Universal Children's Day relevant for their societies, communities and nations.

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.

2017: It’s a #KidsTakeOver

To celebrate this year's Universal Children’s Day, UNICEF has invited children from around the world taking over key roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment to voice their support for millions of their peers who are unschooled, unprotected and uprooted on 20th November.

“From Auckland to Amman and from New York to N’Djamena, we want children to campaign in their schools and communities to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and fulfil their potential,” said Justin Forsyth UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. “World Children’s Day will be a day for children, by children.”

It’s a fun day, with a serious message:

And to help give a voice to the millions of children whose voices remain unheard, high profile stars and world leaders are lending their support to the initiative, including:

  • UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham will quiz children about their views of the world in a short film to be released for World Children’s Day.
  • French music group Kids United will release an empowering new music video recorded for UNICEF and World Children’s Day.
  • Global takeovers of government, sport and business, including legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Spanish footballer and New York City FC captain David Villa, South Korean actor and national ambassador Ahn Sung-ki, and Lego Foundation and Qantas.
  • Logan actress Dafne Keen and Isabela Moner from 'Transformers: The Last Knight' and Nickelodeon will join 150 children to take over United Nations Headquarters where singers, songwriters and musicians Chloe x Halle will debut a specially penned track to mark the day.

Ireland committed to promote children’s rights when it signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1992.  The Children’s Rights Alliance uses the Convention as a framework to change Ireland’s laws, policies and services so that all children are protected, nurtured and empowered. This brings children’s rights to the top of the agenda of our Government, legislators and key decision-makers.

What Does the Convention on the Rights of the Child Say?

The UNCRC defines the child as a person under 18 years of age. It acknowledges the primary role of parents and the family in the care and protection of children, as well as the obligation of the State to help them carry out these duties. Read the full text of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The UN Convention consists of 41 articles, each of which details a different type of right. These rights are not ranked in order of importance; instead they interact with one another to form one integrated set of rights. A common approach is to group these articles together under the following themes:

  1. Survival rights: include the child’s right to life and the needs that are most basic to existence, such as nutrition, shelter, an adequate living standard, and access to medical services.
  2. Development rights: include the right to education, play, leisure, cultural activities, access to information, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
  3. Protection rights: ensure children are safeguarded against all forms of abuse, neglect and exploitation, including special care for refugee children; safeguards for children in the criminal justice system; protection for children in employment; protection and rehabilitation for children who have suffered exploitation or abuse of any kind.
  4. Participation rights: encompass children's freedom to express opinions, to have a say in matters affecting their own lives, to join associations and to assemble peacefully. As their capacities develop, children should have increasing opportunity to participate in the activities of society, in preparation for adulthood.

The UN Convention includes four articles that are given special emphasis. These are also known as ‘general principles’. These rights are the bedrock for securing the additional rights in the UN Convention.

  • that all the rights guaranteed by the UNCRC must be available to all children without discrimination of any kind (Article 2);
  • that the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children (Article 3);
  • that every child has the right to life, survival and development (Article 6); and
  • that the child’s view must be considered and taken into account in all matters affecting him or her (Article 12).

Watch Our Animation on the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child

When Ireland signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the Government agreed to be assessed periodically by the UN on its progress in implementing the rights in the Convention. This means that every few years the State submits a progress report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and agrees to an oral examination by the Committee members. The Children’s Rights Alliance also submits an independent report on behalf of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This is known as the ‘Parallel Report’ and we have done this three times; in 1998, in 2006 and in 2015. In 2016 we held Ireland's first Child Summit in partnership with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to discuss the UNCRC's Concluding Observations from this Report.   Read more about the reporting process.

Read More About the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Full text UNCRC English
Full text UNCRC Irish
Summary of the UNCRC information Sheet
What is the UNCRC information Sheet
History of the UNCRC Information Sheet
Children's Rights Alliance UNCRC Parallel Report (1997)
Children's Rights Alliance UNCRC Parallel Report (2006)
Children's Rights Alliance Parallel Report 'Are We There Yet' (2015)

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