Universal Children's Day

Universal Children's Day

Children all around the world need adults to help, protect and teach them. Do you know what the Rights of the Child are? Every year, 20 November is Universal Children's Day, a chance for all of us to learn how we can help the youngest, most vulnerable members of our communities.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.


What was your childhood like?

Childhood is a universal experience, something every adult across the world has gone through. For many, childhood is a time we are nostalgic for. It’s a time of curiosity, imagination, exploration and incredible development. The fact that you are reading this article possibly means that you had a fortunate childhood that shaped you into the motivated adult you are today – here, improving your English skills. But what helped to get you this far? Who inspired you along the way? For many of us, a special adult helped us to learn and grow as children and led us to love learning. For some, it was a great teacher or wise neighbour. Others had parents, grandparents or other relatives who encouraged them to be curious and study hard. Even if your childhood wasn’t easy, you probably had at least one inspirational adult in your life who encouraged you and was a role model.

What difficulties do children face?

Unfortunately, not everyone has a good childhood. Proportionately, more children live in poverty than adults. 19.5 per cent of the world’s children live in extreme poverty, and even though children are only one third of the global population, they are half of the poor. Around the world, many children live without access to clean water, enough food, or decent healthcare. Others live in extremely dangerous places and some are forced to join armies to fight wars they don’t understand. Over 120 million children do not attend school and even those who do are not always learning: two out of five students leave primary school not knowing how to read, write or do basic maths. Even those who may have happy memories of childhood did not necessarily have an easy life as a kid. Children are dependent on the adults in their life for support, and not all adults treat children well.

What’s so special about 20 November?

Even though every day is, or at least should be, a day to nurture and celebrate children, Universal Children’s Day is celebrated as a special day around the world on 20 November. In 1989 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – a 54-item list describing the universal rights of children – was signed. This document came out of the work of a lot of experts and representatives from many nations who met to create a child-specific version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was signed in 1948. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely and quickly signed treaty in history, meaning it was quickly adopted into the civil codes of most countries around the world.

What are human rights? And what are the rights of a child?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that there are basic rights and freedoms that every human is entitled to, regardless of race, sex, language, religion, or anything else that may divide people. The Rights of the Child recognises that people under the age of 18 have specific needs and are entitled to their own rights. There are four main principles that these rights follow: non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the right to life, including survival and development, and the right to be heard and taken seriously. According to this, every child has the right to safety, to care, to education, to play, to rest and to know their rights!

What can we do?

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the world’s promise to children that we, the adults, will do everything in our power to protect them, to educate them, and to help them grow. Are you helping keep this promise? There is a lot to be done to make the world a safer, more supportive place for children. The good news is, you’re an adult and you have the power to influence the next generation in the most wonderful way. Start by explaining the Rights of the Child to the children in your life. Let them know that they, just like all human beings, have rights. Help a child learn to love learning, so they can become a motivated adult just like you.

Task 1

Task 2


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Average: 4.6 (11 votes)

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Tue, 05/01/2021 - 12:01

My brothers are my role models when I was young.Some teachers inspired me to become a person like them.I want to be a role model for my generation.
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Submitted by danisep on Thu, 10/12/2020 - 23:50

I don't remember when I stopped to laughing, I don't know what made me change, I think that some people live the same, everyday I am worry at some point and now I just think on find a way to make my life and grow like a productive adult. Any way, when I was kid my older brother was an example to me. He knows a lot about computers and music he used to play drums in a band, he's fun and make me laugh. Now everything is different. I'm grown. I respect and love my brother but he lives in another city and has his own family and we hardly talk.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Mon, 23/11/2020 - 14:51

When I was a child, without a doubt my parents brought me to respect other people, to do my duties and to cultivate the knowledge. But I remember with gratitude also my first teacher, who made me love the school.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Mon, 01/06/2020 - 21:38

The adults that inspire me was my parents- mostly my father and some of his friend.

Submitted by parisaach on Sun, 13/10/2019 - 07:17

When I was a child I always wanted to be like a hero. I liked to fly, to be powerful and brave. It wasn't like the dreams of other girls in my age. I lived in an ordinary family, my father sent us to school and cared about our grades and my mother always did housework and cooked for us. I had two older brothers one of them was so serious and always had given me exams before my real exams started. He was so compassionate, but bad tempered. Actually I didn't like to go to school those days I'd rather stayed at home and lived in my imaginary world. So, I had a good family, although they weren't those heros that I wished. They cared about me and had been taken care of me until I found a job. In fact I still live with my family. My brothers and one of my sisters married and now my family includes My parents , one of my sisters and me.
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Submitted by Shan on Mon, 07/01/2019 - 13:35

My role model is my elder brother he is the person who suported me in every stage of life.he was responsible for my expenses incurred in my childhood eg dues and pocket money etc.my father didnt use to give me money in my childhood so Allah gave me a brother in place of Father.I respect him alot as my father now and i wish to buy him his favourite car and laptop because he didnt buy a car for himsef due to the family expenses and support of family.