By: Lailuma Noori
International Children’s Day is observed in some countries on June 1st. The origin of this day goes back to 1925 when representatives from different countries met in Geneva, Switzerland to convene the first “World Conference for the Wellbeing of Children”.
After the conference, some governments around the world designated a day as Children’s Day to highlight children’s issues. There was no specific date recommended, so countries used whatever date was most relevant to their culture.
The date of June 1st is used by many ex-Soviet countries as ‘The International Day for Protection of Children’ was established on 1 June 1950 following the Women’s International Democratic Federation’s congress in Moscow that took place in 1949.
With the creation of World Children’s Day, UN member states recognized children, regardless of race, colour, sex, religion and national or social origin, the right to affection, love, understanding, adequate food, medical care, free education, protection against all forms of exploitation and growing in a climate of universal peace and brotherhood.
Many countries have established a Children’s Day but this is commonly not observed as a public holiday. For instance, some countries observe Children’s’ Day on November 20th as Universal Children’s Day. This day was established by the United Nations in 1954 and aims to promote the welfare of children around the world.
In Afghanistan, the day is marked amid of continued war and violence increasing poverty and positive cases of COVID-19 in the country. Besides, millions of Afghan children are deprived from going to school. Based on statistics of UNICEF, currently 12 million Afghan children are deprived from going to school due to continued war and violence, poverty and threat caused by COVID-19.
Meanwhile, bad economic situation in the country and increasing poverty have caused that Afghan children do not go school and inform of their rights in society.
UNICEF and Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission are concerning over bad situation of Afghan children in the country. According to UNICEF, more than 3 million Afghan children before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and 9 million children during the coronavirus outbreak have deprived from going to school.
Besides, UNICEF says that more than 690,000 Afghan children are facing with acute malnutrition and the number is increasing in remote provinces of the country. Meanwhile, Afghanistan ministry of labor and social affairs has informed of a range of programs in connection with reduction in child labor work in the country.
Based on information of the ministry, more than 2 million Afghan children have turned to hard work in the country and the number is increasing. Afghan children are considered as the most suffered part of the Afghan society. All efforts made by Afghanistan government in the past few years have not been sufficient. Therefore, it is needed that further efforts should be made for the improvement of children’s life in the country.