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 Triceratops on Sat, 20/01/2024 - 21:26


When I was a child my older brother was my role model. He inspired me to have an own opinion, to be strong and don't give up. He used to spend a lot of time with me, showed me different activities and made me laugh. He was trying to teach me how to ski but unfortunately I wasn't able to do this. I have so much good memories with him and I'm really grateful for having him as an older brother even tough we are not so close anymore.

Submitted by Male91 on Mon, 15/01/2024 - 00:16


I loved this article, it makes me to be aware about the childs' rights, even though, I respect to kids, I realized that I dind't know some rights, for instans "to play" and "the right the kids have to know about them". I am teacher and from now on my classes I will talk with my students about their rights.

Submitted by LuisFrancisco on Mon, 27/11/2023 - 21:14


I am grateful for the childhood I had, I am such a lucky guy to have my parents with me. I consider I look after my mum to be kind and smart and I look to my father to work hard and always make efforts to achieve our goals, I'm their son, no doubt and I feel proud of them.
My uncle was and still is my model role, Unfortunately, he couldn't have a great childhood as mine on the other hand, he managed to study and work while he was a teenager and now he has awesome work in an automobilist factory. I remember one of his quotes "No matter how long it takes, just hold till the end".
In conclusion, I would like to add that a successful life is not about achieving goals, means being happy and grateful for what you have. "a happy life is a successful life", is something important that we can teach to the newest generations.

Submitted by Mr.A-Z on Tue, 14/11/2023 - 02:11


My teachers and parent inspired me. They are my inspiration. Fortunately, My childhood was very happy. My teachers and the society inspired me to learn English. My parents inspired me to get education. My parents hadn't enough money to pay my school fee and my education expenses. But with very hard work, My father let me educate.

Submitted by icaldana on Sat, 19/11/2022 - 08:40


My mother and my father were my inspiration source.
My mother due her capability to planning and follow these planes up to the end, up to achieve the defined goal, and,
My father due his energy to hard work every day, working in average 12 horas by day on two jobs.

Submitted by Alex Vargas CF17 on Thu, 17/11/2022 - 07:26


When I was a child, my mother was my role model. She had a difficult childhood, my mother left her studies to support my uncle and my grandparents financially. She grew up working very hard and sacrificing her youth to help her family, and to achieve one day her own dreams. She is my hero, she gave to my grandparents a dignified life, she helped my uncle to become a great businessman, and she gave us, to me and my sister, a good education in the best universities in Colombia. She is my inspiration and the motor of my life.

Submitted by jyoti Chaudhary on Sat, 07/05/2022 - 12:23


What adult inspired you when you were a child?
when I was a child my elder brother inspire me and he always supports me in my study. I love him a lot. he inspires me and teach me for my exam and at that time I always learn something but after completing my 1year at my university. I lose my brother forever after my brother's death nobody supports me and inspire me. it has been completed 6years and in 2021 one of my new friends inspired me for the study and he always give same motivation as my brother, so I decided to learn the language and improve myself for my future.

Hello jyoti Chaudhary,

I was sorry to hear about your brother.

We're glad to have you on LearnEnglish!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by adeparis on Mon, 15/11/2021 - 13:05


My grand father was my role model.
He had experienced very emotional and difficult things during his live but was not eager about it.
He was always trying to learn and to read to understand better his world.
His kindness had no equal.
Just being around and being loved by him was a treasure and a chance that helped grow and become the person I am today.

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 14:21

Adult inspired me when I am a child is my friend. Her name is Priya. When i wan grade 5 my friend Priya get injured on her right leg and she cannot walked for 2 months. Even she got heavy injured on her leg after 2 months she came back with full of strength. Doctor said its maybe took 1 year for her full recovery . Because of her self confidence she came back within 2 months before 1 year of full recovery. She inspired and being role model since I am child.