Universal Children's Day is a recognized day to show an understanding between children. It is a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of welfare of children of the world. It has been voted that the Universal Children's Day is on 20th November each year to focus world attention on the 60,000 children dying per day, half under the age of five according to UNICEF and the 150 million orphaned children in the world. By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children's Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The date 20 November marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.
Commemorating Children Day the Goodwill Ambassador said “this day is a chance for all of us to celebrate children because, if we give them the chance, they will become the great leaders of tomorrow. And that responsibility lies in our hands. So I urge everyone to pledge children’s access to education, health care, food, water, and security, so all children can achieve their dreams, irrespective of caste, colour, creed or health.” Dr. Homoud further asserted “no greater gift bestowed upon us than our children; and there is no greater responsibility than to answer their care and protect. Upon us lies the responsibility to put in place policies that will ensure their future.” He went on to say “one of the greatest failings of our society today is that children become victims of violence and are subjected to trafficking and abuse, often at the hands of the very institutions that are meant to protect them.”
Speaking on menace of child labour which adversely affects and jeopardises the growth of children in general Dr. Homoud said that child labor is a grave human rights violation and undermines efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education. “The fight against child labor should be a core commitment of every state’s human rights agenda and needs to be tackled at all levels and through concerted efforts from governments, industry and the international community”, said Dr. Homoud. Speaking further he said IIMSAM propose for a comprehensive approach to the elimination of all forms of child labor with an emphasis on free and universal primary education. Therefore, IIMSAM urges all stakeholders to ratify and implement the relevant ILO Conventions on child labor forthwith. “As we celebrate the Universal Children Day I implore all adults to do something for some child in the community where you live. Let us not do it on one day only but let us help our children by making a commitment to do something good for them every day”, said Dr. Homoud.
Dr. Homoud further said “on this day, IIMSAM urges all states to ratify and implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols, as well as the UN Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol. IIMSAM also calls on all states to fully cooperate with the Committee on the Rights of the Child. With the help of these instruments, states shall take all necessary measures to protect our most vulnerable citizens from torture, ill-treatment and other forms of violence and exploitation, to bring the perpetrators to justice and to grant children full reparation, in order to ensure that human rights also are children’s rights”.
He contended “amid the global financial crisis we should not forget that the core Millennium Development Goals is somehow related to children. Almost 6 goals are directly related to welfare of children and we have to ensure that the promises which we have made to this effect are not subject to any more hurdles coming in its way”. Speaking further Dr. Homoud said “issues of children are inextricably linked with the problems that afflict our society at large- problems of gender inequality, social injustice, poverty, hunger and disease. Any society that aspires for the welfare, progress and development of mankind must first work for the well-being of its children”.
“The Millennium Development Goals which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015- stands at the forefront of the work which world community should focus on. Though the Goals are for all humankind, they are primarily about children”, said Dr. Homoud. He further said UNICEF notes that six of the eight goals relate directly to children and meeting the last two will also make critical improvements in their lives. IIMSAM under able and visionary guidance of its Secretary General His Excellency Ambassador Remigio M. Maradona is committed through its various programmes and initiatives, at its camps in Kenya dedicated for working towards achieving these Goals, and support children not only today but on every day. He said over the past year, IIMSAM teamed up on several occasions with other welfare organizations for instance in Qatar, to provide humanitarian relief to children and families in regions affected by freak weather conditions and earthquakes. He further said “children are our assets and we have to preserve this most valuable assets- onus is on present generation to leave no stones unturned to protect childhood”.