Universal Children’s Day – A Day To Celebrate Childhood

Organisations working directly with children have come together with Ireland’s leading children’s rights institutions, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Tusla to celebrate Universal Children’s Day on Monday 20th November.

Individuals and organisations across the country are encouraged to get involved on this special day of celebration for children. Visit www.childrensday.ie to find out about events taking place across the country or get active online. #ShareAMoment about your Childhood on #ChildsDayIRL.

Speaking ahead of Universal Children’s Day, the Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon said:

“This year marks 25 years since Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and still there are children who are homeless, children with disabilities, children in care, children suffering abuse, children with mental health issues and children with serious illnesses who faces challenges every day. Today is a day to listen to these young people and also to celebrate everything that childhood should be.”

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone continued:

“It is our mission to nurture, empower and protect children on Universal Children’s Day and every day. This is a key moment for child protection in our country. For the first time ever the Child and Family Agency Tusla has a budget over €750m, mandatory reporting becomes a reality on 11th December and we are looking at more child centred approaches in responding to protection issues. We have already started a radical new approach to childcare and updated Adoption Laws to reflect modern Irish families. It is an important time – and today I recommit to continue delivering for children, young people and their families.”

Fred McBride, Chief Executive of Tusla said:

“Universal Children’s Day is a day to celebrate childhood and focus on listening to children’s voices – it is essential that we listen to the children we work with to provide appropriate and proportionate services and responses. Tusla is committed to listening to, and working with children and this is evidenced through recent projects such as the national children’s charter and young people’s charter which will guide staff in their interactions with children and young people.”

Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance continued:

“Childhood should always be something to celebrate. Universal Children’s Day is an opportunity to recognise all that has been achieved for children in the last five years, since Ireland promised to put children first by voting to enshrine their rights into our Constitution. This includes the establishment of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, the introduction of Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures (National Strategy for Children) and landmark legislation to protect children’s rights. Yet we as a country must do better for those children left behind including those experiencing poverty, homelessness, discrimination and those who can’t access vital services. Let’s work to make life better for all children so that every day is children’s day and every child’s life is celebrated 365 days of the year.”

Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of Barnardos followed up:

“Today, Universal Children’s Day is about celebrating children, their uniqueness, their curiosity and their potential. It’s a special stage of life that we’ve all experienced and those experiences are as unique as the child themselves. These experiences shape the children they are and the adults they will become, but what is common is that every child is born with limitless potential. Today, as we celebrate, we as a society must make a commitment to do whatever it takes to ensure that every child is supported to fulfil their potential and to thrive.”

Wayne Dignam Founder of Care Leaver’s Network said:

“The idea for celebrating Children’s Day came from the simple principle: celebrating childhood and children’s rights allowing us to become more aware of what we need to do to give our children the best possible start in life. Children’s Day is about celebrating what is wonderful, and how we can make it even better. Let this be the beginning of annual celebrations and let the party get bigger and bigger!”

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