What is National Child Day?

In Canada, National Child Day is recognized on November 20th. Also known as World Children’s Day, National Child Day is a special day dedicated to shining a light on the rights of children and youth and ensuring we hear their voices.

So, why is National Child Day on November 20? On this day in 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. And on the same day in 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

National Child Day and UNICEF Canada

National Child Day started in 1993, two years after Canada ratified (gave formal consent to) the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With that, the Government of Canada promised to ensure that all children in Canada experience these rights – including the right to access healthcare, to be protected from harm, to have a voice and many, many more.

This year, UNICEF Canada wants to thank children and youth on National Child Day for their sacrifices during COVID-19. The pandemic had a major effect on their lives and their rights, from disrupting their schools to disconnecting their relationships and changing their routines.

We hope you will join us and Go Blue to say “thank you” on November 20th!

National Child Day Activities


1) Attend UNICEF Canada’s virtual National Child Day event on November 19

Join our Youth Activism Summit on November 19 to hear from young activists and decision-makers on mental health, climate change, disability and accessibility, racial justice and Indigenous rights and how we can reimagine a better Canada together. It’s an online event open to children, youth and adult allies! Click here to register now >>

2) Go Blue for National Child Day

Once again, monuments big and small across the country will Go Blue for National Child Day, including the CN Tower, Niagara Falls, Calgary Tower and more!

You can also help UNICEF turn the country blue to thank kids! Wear blue clothes, paint your nails blue, draw messages on the sidewalk with blue chalk.

We have a ton of fun crafts and photo props in our Go Blue Toolkit! Download, print, have fun and make sure you snap a photo or take a video and share it on social media using the hashtags #NationalChildDay and #GoBlue so we can share what you’ve done!

3) Host a Kids Takeover

Even if your office or workplace is still working remotely, that doesn’t mean you can’t invite a child or youth to ‘take over’ for the day. Have them host a town hall with your staff, give them control of your social media channels, or conduct an advisory panel with children and young people from your community. Parents, you can even have your kids ‘take over’ at home – what would they want to do if they were in charge of running the house for a day?

Remember, National Child Day is on a Saturday this year, so you might consider a takeover the week leading up to the big day.

Check out our Kids Takeover Toolkit for more ideas here.

4) Learn about child rights

We mentioned a few of the rights that children have as defined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child – including the right to protection and the right to be heard – but did you know that it contains 54 individual articles? That’s a lot of rights, just as it should be.

To help children (and adults) understand their human rights – the right to a childhood - UNICEF Canada has condensed all 54 articles into child-friendly language.

Check out our Go Blue Toolkit for some educational activities to learn more.

5) Defend children’s right to a childhood

As we said, November 20 is also World Children’s Day celebrated in countries all around the world. By donating to UNICEF Canada, you’ll be helping to defend every child’s right to a childhood and to a future. This National Child Day/World Children’s Day, empower them to change their communities and the world. Donate now >>

Children’s rights in Canada don’t begin and end with National Child Day. Every day UNICEF Canada’s One Youth team collects data, designs solutions, collaborates with young people and influences decision-makers. Our mission? To make Canada the number one country in the world for children and young people to grow up in. Learn more by visiting the One Youth site today >>

Code Blue | Kids Takeover 2018 [UNICEF Canada]

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