International Children’s Day: This is how the children of the world feel

Children aged 15 in the Netherlands have the highest level of life satisfaction in the world. Children in Mexico, Romania and Finland are doing similarly well. It shows a study from Unicef.

In the ranking of children’s life satisfaction, Germany is only 21st out of a total of 41 surveyed industrial nations. Children in Turkey (55 percent) and Japan (62 percent) are the least satisfied.

Prosperity does not automatically bring happy children

The report also reveals that children in the world’s richest countries are struggling with a range of mental health issues, problems with physical well-being and a lack of opportunities for skills development. One of the reasons for this is the corona pandemic.

The research focused on 41 of the world’s most economically prosperous countries and ranked them according to the level of children’s life satisfaction.

Even before the crisis, in the richest countries in the world, the daily lives of millions of children were far from what one would call a good childhood. They suffered from stress, anxiety and depression, performed worse than their peers at school and were physically unwell. Living in a prosperous country did not make her happy. Nor did it guarantee better health or education.

The better the family bond, the greater the satisfaction

The study also found the link between the quality of family relationships and children’s emotional well-being. Emotional well-being was measured by four questions:

  1. How often do children feel down?
  2. How often do you feel irritable or in a bad mood?
  3. How often do you feel nervous?
  4. How often do you have difficulty sleeping well?

In all countries, well-being was significantly higher among children who reported having supportive family relationships than among those who reported less family support. What was the relationship between supportive family relationships and emotional well-being
much stronger in countries like Luxembourg and Portugal than in other states like Iceland and Scotland and the UK.

Conflict, poverty and discrimination threaten childhood all over the world. According to the End of Childhood Report, published by the organization Save the kids published, more than half of the world’s children – a total of 1.2 billion – are exposed to these factors.

International Children's Day - how are the children doing?

While the situation has improved in 95 of the 175 countries included in the report, the risk of early childhood termination remains in large parts of the world. The infographic shows the ten countries where children are most and least exposed. Children are least vulnerable in Singapore and Slovenia, as is most of northwestern Europe. The most vulnerable countries are all in Africa, where Niger ranks last in the report.

Why is there children’s day?

Children have rights. Many of us know this, but not all. World Children’s Day or World Children’s Day serves to raise awareness of the rights and special needs of girls and boys throughout the world.

That is why International Children’s Day is celebrated in many countries, including the Federal Republic of Germany.

Is International Children’s Day a public holiday?
In South Korea, International Children’s Day on May 5 is an official holiday and is celebrated with the family, for example in zoos and amusement parks. International Children’s Day is also a public holiday in Taiwan and takes place on April 4th. In Turkey, April 23 is a public holiday and is called “Children’s Day”.

Source: Plan International

There has long been a desire for a global children’s day. The first ideas for this went back to the beginning of the 20th century. For example, in 1902, the Swedish progressive educator Ellen Key referred to the needs and rights of children in her book Century of the Child. In fact, it was not a Western country that introduced a children’s day for the first time: in 1920, Turkey established “Children’s Day”.

June 1 International Children’s Day in former socialist countries

In 1931, the 2nd International Workers’ Olympics took place in Vienna, whose celebration started with a “Children’s Party” – this day was then proclaimed International Children’s Day. The event had a socialist-political background, and it was also the former Eastern Bloc countries that pushed for a special day to be dedicated to children around the world. In December 1948, a resolution of the World Congress for the Advancement of International Democratic Women in Budapest, Hungary, proposed the establishment of an annual International Children’s Day. A year later, at a conference in Moscow, the association proclaimed June 1 to be the official International Children’s Day. Especially in the socialist countries – including the GDR – this date was set.

In the capitalist Western states, it was not until September 21, 1954: at the 9th General Assembly of its member states, the United Nations recommended the establishment of an International Day for Children. The goal is to focus on children and their needs and rights.

These countries celebrate Children’s Day

An International Children’s Day should draw early attention to how children in the world are doing. But so far, there is no uniform date worldwide to celebrate this special day.

Children's International Day

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