Children's Day was established in 1954 by the United Nations and is celebrated annually on November 20 in recognition of the need to promote and celebrate the rights of all children to live in a better world. Children's Day also marks two historic events: the signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child; and, the adoption of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.
The Convention, which is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty, sets out a number of children's rights including the right to life, to health, to education and to play. The Convention is a universal standard for building a better world - a world in which the best interests of children are the primary concern of all.
In Canada, this day is also referred to as National Child Day.
The Convention is a solemn promise to the children of the world, to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, especially in times of disaster.
According to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child: “In emergency and crisis situations, play is often given lower priority than provision of food, shelter and medicines. Opportunities for play have a significant role in helping children recover a sense of normality and joy after their experience of loss, displacement and trauma.”
In the aftermath of the wildfires, Layla Isaac Foundation enabled over 7000 attendees in Fort McMurray to experience the joy of play. Layla Isaac Foundation is now a recipient of the 2017 Right to Play Award, a program of the International Play Association. The award is a recognition given to high impact projects that implement in innovative ways, Article 31 of the Convention (the right to play).
Layla Isaac Foundation promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners we work in the communities of Wood Buffalo to translate that commitment into practical action for the benefit of all children.
We are pleased to commemorate Children's Day this year with an event that will focus on the theme: "The Right to Play". We chose this theme to remind all of us that investing in children, especially following a devastating disaster, is right in principle and right in practice. Such investments bring multiple benefits not only to children but also to their families, communities and economies.
The event offers an inspirational entry-point to continue to advocate, promote and celebrate children's wellbeing, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better regional community for all Children.