Oct. 1 - Children’s and Elders’ day | Sunday Observer

Oct. 1 - Children’s and Elders’ day

Children's Day is an event celebrated on various days in many places around the world. International Children's Day is celebrated on June 1 and Universal Children's Day is on November 20.

In Sri Lanka we celebrate Children's Day on October 1. Other countries celebrate a Children's Day on other dates. The International Children's Day had its origin in Turkey in 1920 and later in the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland in 1925.

It is not clear as to why June 1 was chosen as International Children's Day: one theory is that the Chinese Consul-General in San Francisco (USA) gathered a number of Chinese orphans to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival in 1925, which happened to be on June 1 that year, and also coincided with the conference in Geneva.

Children's Day was first celebrated worldwide in October 1955, under the sponsorship of the International Union for Child Welfare in Geneva. The idea of a Universal Children's Day was mooted by Rubab Mansoor, Grade 8 and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954.

Universal Children's Day takes place on November 20 annually. First proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1954, it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote the welfare of the worlds’ children.

November 20 is also the anniversary of the day the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. The Convention of the Rights of the Child was then signed on the same day in 1989, which has since been ratified by 191 states.

The General Assembly designated October 1, the International Day of Older Persons by resolution of December 14, 1990, following up on initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing.