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Universal Children’s Day

Amelia Strazdins

2020 has been a year of surprises and change. One of the biggest changes this year has been the transition from face to face conversations to online interactions. 

This is provided a number of challenges, perhaps the biggest being online learning and teaching. Such a change has placed families, teachers and students under stress and has resulted in various adaptations to learning. 

Despite these changes and strange circumstances, children not only in Australia but around the world have taken to the change with enthusiasm- eager to learn. Towards the end of November, the 20th of the month, Universal Children’s Day is celebrated. 

The day was founded and has been continually supported by the United Nations since 1954. 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This year, the importance of the day remains more prevalent than ever. 

Around the world we have seen children make the best of a bad situation. Learning from home, interacting with friends in new ways and some of the younger ones going for trips around a neighbourhood to spot teddy-bears in windows. Even from home, we have seen the resilience and impact of the younger generations. 

As problems have arisen, we have seen children provide new and innovative solutions, giving insight and providing differing perspectives. More importantly, even a pandemic has not stopped those advocating for what they believe in, with protesting moving online and people remaining informed and educated. It is important to note though that whilst many children have been able to remain educated and active during the pandemic and quarantine, many have not.

This year the issues and problems faced by some children have become more evident than ever, with some children not being able to access school because they cannot access the internet.  Whilst Universal Children’s Day is about recognising the positive influence of the younger generation it also aims to highlight the inequalities and terrible circumstances experienced by other children, not only across the world but also within our own countries. 

Education is a luxury not everyone is able to access and even in the 21st century girls are forbidden from gaining such knowledge. Children still walk kilometres for food and water and unsafe circumstances place them in high risk situations. This day calls upon governments, non-profit organisations and everyday people like you and I to call for change and action. 

It is through raising awareness about these issues that we are able to address and begin to actively implement solutions. Donations, monetary or otherwise, to charities are one small action that can be taken to help children within Australia and internationally. 

Educating yourself and others about issues relating to children, such as an inability to access education, food and water, ensures that you are informed and, in a position, to begin to help create change. Many people say, ‘the world is your oyster’, but the responsibility falls upon us to help provide younger generations with tools and resources to go into the world and create positive change. So, this November, get the conversation started, see what you can do to help children around the globe. 

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