why some buildings turn blue today

A child can determine the future: what a child sees now, he takes with him in the creation of his own world. That is what UNICEF is asking for today attention to World Children’s Day: because all children in the world must have rights. Reason why the organization colors different places in the Netherlands blue.

November 20th is an important date for children’s rights: it is the anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, where the various countries that are members of the UN have established agreements on children’s rights in their country (and indeed worldwide). It doesn’t matter what sexual preference, background or age a child has: UNICEF is there for all children. But not alone: ​​it does so together with global citizens who find respect for children’s rights equally important.

Day for the rights of the child

Today is the International Day of the Rights of the Child: a day when the official fundamental rights of children were first established in 1989. A rather young birthday, but a very important one. Only from that moment was a child recognized as an independent bearer of rights. Children’s rights are certainly not only related to children who, for example, make clothes from big brands while they should be in school: children’s rights apply to all children, even children who simply go to school in the Netherlands. They also have the right to privacy, freedom of belief and the opportunity to express their opinion.

There is something strange at first, because did you know that the United States has not ratified the treaty? The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been adopted by almost 200 countries. The United States has also signed the treaty, but many Americans oppose the treaty. You can hardly imagine it, but not everyone wants the country to commit to fighting discrimination against children and child poverty. Minors can also no longer be sentenced to life imprisonment for serious crimes. In other words, the United States does not want it to interfere with sovereignty.

Also in the Netherlands we have not been the fastest to ratify the treaty: since 1995. On the other hand, it is not a treaty with 10 rules, and it is: it contains 54 articles on a wide range of topics: health, freedom, education , expression, but also the right to a name and a roof over one’s head. An important right in the treaty is the protection against ill-treatment and the right to leisure and play. These agreements ensure that countries are hard on children: so don’t work all day and then go to bed, or just leave it alone if a parent is known to beat the child regularly. Children must be able to grow up well and develop optimally.


This is also why UNICEF is so important: it is the treaty’s ‘controller’. UNICEF ensures that countries respect and comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In addition, a UN committee has also been set up to ensure that the countries comply with the treaty. The governments themselves must also make an effort: every five years each country must make a report, and the countries can be held responsible if something does not go as agreed in the treaty. Read here the latest variant that we delivered in the Netherlands (in 2020). Did you know, for example, that parents have a duty to provide for children? This means that until a child is 21 years old, parents must provide for the maintenance and education of a child. This immediately shows why it is so important that, for example, there are subsidies from the public, so that children of parents who are worse off can still exercise their right to education.

In short, there is reason to reflect on such a convention on the rights of the child: it is certainly not just a document that the countries have made together and with which nothing else is done. Compliance is considered very important and is also monitored. Together we ensure that people from 0 to 18 can feel safe and can grow up in an environment that allows and hopefully even accelerates that growth.

If you are at the Zandvoort circuit or the Soestdijk Palace today, you can see a lot of blue: after all, blue is the color of UNICEF and therefore the color of our children’s rights.

[Fotocredits – vejaa © Adobe Stock]

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