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Wednesday, 22 November 2017 11:25

International Children’s Day 2017: What the day is about, events and how people mark it around the world.

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Yesterday was International Children’s Day – a date dedicated to raising awareness about child rights and well being. Hundreds of events took place across the globe to celebrate childhood and get people talking about the issues affecting children at the moment – and how to solve them.

International Children’s Day dates back to 1925 when the world community got together in Geneva, Switzerland to talk about the well being of children. The Soviet Union led the call for a date to draw attention to child issues and pushed for the publication of modern children’s books with illustrations. A date that was finally decided was June 1, which is when much of the world marks the date, but some countries – including Britain – have their own national children days on separate dates as well. The date is also completely separate to Universal Children’s Day, which was established by the United Nations in 1956 for similar reasons but is held instead on November 20. It is also separate to International Missing Children’s Day.

Generally the date is dedicated to raising awareness of issues affecting children with speeches about child welfare, wellbeing and rights as well as many events celebrating childhood. In the Ukraine, some communities hold baby races where babies crawl their way to the finish line. The races are usually part of the country’s ‘Baby Drive’. In Bulgaria there are musical parades with children encouraged to take part and play instruments, in North Korea children dress up to celebrate as well as children donning tradition dress in Afghanistan. Meanwhile there are loads of events all over Russia geared towards children with games and activities such as giant sandpits and in Cambodia prisoners are able to see their children as well as food being given to young offenders. 

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