Are you familiar with Universal Children’s Day? Established in 1954 by the United Nations, this special day sits on the 20th November and marks a remembrance of the importance of children, their welfare, and their rights in the world. In 1959, the day also began marking the UN’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and in 1989 the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Both documents outline the sacredness of childhood and share the key rights all children have in our world. They dictate the importance of seeing children as real, whole people who have specific rights beyond human rights alone. If you are keen to learn more about what the declaration contains, UNICEF offer a brilliant poster here.
We believe there are two ways we can support this initiative: by donating to causes supporting child rights (1% of every order with Eeny Meeny supports child charities in the UK), and by encouraging the children close to us to recognise their value in this world. In this journal, we’ll be sharing our favourite picture books which remind children of their rights. Why not share these books with the children around you to empower them?
We Are All Born Free, Amnesty International
A classic of its time, We Are All Born Free outlines key human rights every individual has. While this doesn’t specifically look at the rights of the child, this book is an important visual reminder of the place children have in our world, and how human rights translate to them too.
Dreams of Freedom, Amnesty International
Another wonderful book from Amnesty International, Dreams of Freedom focuses specifically on the power and importance of children. This book hosts familiar children’s illustrators and shares words from famous human rights figures, encouraging children and young people to recognise their special place in our collective future. Amnesty International carried out a wonderful drama workshop with children on the publication of this book - you can read more about that here, and possibly recreate a piece with your children too.
Dreams for Our Daughters and Songs for Our Sons by Ruth Doyle
A real love story to children, the Dreams for Our Daughters and Songs for Our Sons series by Ruth Doyle and Ashling Lindsay explores the joy and potential of girlhood and boyhood, reminding all children of their potential and power. These books specifically focus on breaking down gender stereotypes - an important element of child rights on its own.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
A story encouraging children to recognise the special place they hold in their community, school, and world at large. Help children see how welcome and special they are by embracing their faith, history, heritage and background - all pieces of a puzzle that make up the world we live in.
I Have The Right To Be A Child / Alain Serres
Like with Dreams of Freedom, I Have The Right To Be A Child breaks down the vital contents of the UN’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child in simple, accessible text with accompanying illustrations. Give children the agency and knowledge they need through this wonderful read.
Every Child A Song / Nicola Davies
Another beautifully lyrical story breaking down the rights of the child through the narrative of a newborn child joining us in the world. The story follows the little one through their needs, wants and dreams, helping little ones see the important path they take through life, and their rights along the way.
Happy Universal Children’s Day!
We hope these beautifully illustrated and thoughtful books help you navigate the important historical moments that were the UN’s Declaration and Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Freelance Writer, Education and Play Specialist