Why we celebrate National Child Day

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National Child Day has been celebrated across Canada on November 20 since 1993 to commemorate the United Nations’ adoption of two documents centered on children’s rights: the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1959, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989.

By ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, Canada made a commitment to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect.

“Research shows that children and youth who are aware of their rights, and the rights of others, develop positive peer relations, have better school performance, possess higher self-esteem and may be more supportive of their parent’s military responsibility,” says Ben Ouellette, Director Comprehensive Military Family Plan. “By increasing awareness of children’s rights, you can help to promote and improve the health and wellbeing of children and youth in Canada.”

When the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contributes to a more stable, peaceful world, they are helping children everywhere have a voice, be protected from harm, and be provided with their basic needs and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

In Canada, celebrating National Child Day is about celebrating children as active participants in their own lives and in communities, as active citizens who can and should contribute meaningfully to decision-making.

Personnel Support Programs of Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) began celebrating National Child Day through free art workshops held on bases and wings, which highlights the impact recreation has on children of military families. Participating children work together, creating a larger masterpiece that is displayed to promote a wider awareness of healthy child development. This year’s activity, which was held Saturday, November 16, will be integrated in an art installation to be featured at a future date at the War Museum. 

To learn more about resources available to parents, visit CAFconnection.ca or call the Family Information Line at 1-800-866-4546.

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