On November 16, 2018, Watchlist Advisory Board member World Vision International organized a side event at the UN Church Center to commemorate Universal Children’s Day. The panel brought together child rights advocates, child protection practitioners, and other supporters to exchange views and perspectives on the current state of children’s rights worldwide. Under the title “On Universal Children’s Day: Voices of Children and Perspectives on Their Rights,” the event particularly sought to highlight the importance of child participation and integrating children’s perspectives into response programming.

Bukeni Waruzi, Executive Director of Watchlist, gave an overview of the evolution of the UN Security Council’s Children and Armed Conflict (CAC) agenda and progress it has made in addressing grave violations against children in conflict. He also identified major challenges facing the CAC agenda and provided recommendations to strengthen the agenda’s impact.

Universal Children’s Day has been commemorated on November 20 each year since 1954, when it was declared by the UN General Assembly. The day gained greater significance with the General Assembly’s adoption of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child on this day in 1959, as with the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1989. On this day, child rights supporters and advocates around the world reaffirm their commitment to fulfill and uphold the rights of children.

Despite the fact that the UN CRC is the most universal international human rights instrument, the rights of millions of children are still at risk. Children around the world face violence, abuse and neglect; limited access to education, healthcare, protection, and participation.