Children’s Day 1 June 2024

International Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1 and was established to draw attention to the rights of children

around the world and I wish every child a happy birthday!

In 1924, the World Conference on Child Welfare in Geneva adopted a declaration outlining the essential needs of children. Following this conference, several countries began to celebrate a day dedicated to children and the United Nations General Assembly recommended the establishment of a Universal Children’s Day in 1954 to promote children’s well-being.

In the post-war period, many countries in the communist bloc, including Romania, adopted June 1 as Children’s Day. The choice of this date was also influenced by the desire to create a day that would bring together children from different nations to celebrate childhood and promote international peace and solidarity. Despite the fact that children have the right to be protected by international treaties from harm, to live in an environment where they can grow up in health and to enjoy a quality education and to be happy in a loving family, unfortunately this does not apply to all children today.

Those at extreme risk are children caught in war zones around the globe, many of whom, if they survive, will be scarred for life by the trauma they have suffered. Also at extreme risk are children who are homeless as a result of natural and man-made disasters and because of family hardship, which sees a family on the streets, and immigrants who are minors traveling from countries in conflict to to try to find a better life solution in Europe.

Another category of children at risk are those from drug-using families, where all the values of life go out the window and children, like children of alcoholic parents, grow up simply copying their parents. Now there are children, yes including here in Romania, under 18 years old, whose bodies are not yet fully developed, who are consumers of substances from vape to synthetic drugs that destroy their lives even before reaching the age of majority. Its high time those in high power started to act by seriously addressing the problem of drugs so children can enjoy full rights with a safe, happy and healthy life!

More than 330 million children worldwide live in extreme poverty.

Children from poor families in rural villages and now there are also those from urban areas who live on the fringes, including those from broken families, where these children have little to smile about and are affected in education and because of a lack of support at home both material and parental support, all because of the weight they were born into. Children living in rural areas and those living in households where the head of the family has little or no education are significantly more affected by extreme poverty. I do know though that there are cases for example in single parent families where the children are put first and those children flourish!

Children’s Day 2024 will be sad for thousands of children who have no parent at home on this special day because they have gone to work abroad and rarely get home to see their children who are left behind in the villages with their grandmother or other members of the family. This phenomenon has been going on for many years and until Romania acts and invests in people to bring back jobs in the country and pay a real salary, then many more children will grow up without their parents at home, and these parents due to material needs will keep losing the best years of their child’s life.

In my heart, I pray that every child without fully supported rights can see a difference in the future, yes, only if the authorities act rather than just say words!

Children, today is your birthday and I wish you all happiness and good health.

Author St RCHF.

1 June 2024.