Cities and netizens light up for children

On World Children’s Day, the Water Cube, among other monuments and buildings across China, was lit up in blue for a brighter future for kids

20 November 2018
The bubbles of the National Aquatics Centre (also known as the Water Cube) are lit up in Beijing on 20 November 2018 to celebrate World Children's Day.
UNICEF/China/2018/Zhang Wanbao
The bubbles of the National Aquatics Centre (also known as the Water Cube) are lit up in Beijing on 20 November 2018 to celebrate World Children's Day.

Beijing, 20 November 2018 -- Cities and communities in China joined hands with their youngest citizens today to celebrate World Children's Day by lighting up their iconic monuments and buildings, and holding various online and offline events, vowing to create a brighter future for this and future generations of children.

The cities participating in the light up initiative include Beijing, Guiyang, Hohhot, Jinan, Jieyang and Shenzhen. In joining UNICEF's global activation to “Go Blue”, cities are also holding events and forums to focus attention on creating a bright future for their kids.

World Children's Day on 20 November is the day when the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the Convention on the Rights of the Child – was adopted. It is a day to celebrate the progress made for children, to hold leaders to account on promises made for them, and remind us of the work that remains to be done. But above all, it is a day to celebrate children.

In Beijing, the bubbles of the prominent Olympic building – the National Aquatics Centre (also known as the “Water Cube”) was lit up in blue by children and other participants during an event co-hosted by UNICEF China, Xinhua News Agency, and supported by other partners including the China National Children's Center.

Children light up the bubbles of the National Aquatics Centre (the Water Cube) in blue in Beijing on 20 November 2018.

Lighting up the Water Cube symbolizes the lighting up of children's future and the pursuit of creating a better environment for children's development, so that every child can become a better self," said Zhang Chenxi, a 12-year-old student from Beijing Dongzhimen Junior School, after lighting up one bubble of the Water Cube.

An event led by children, for children, was held inside the Water Cube prior to the lighting up ceremony, and included an introduction on child rights conducted by two young people. As the world is gearing up to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child a year from today, ensuring the participation of girls and boys themselves, in identifying and helping to find solutions to problems in their communities remains an important focus for the work of Governments worldwide.

"Regardless of your identity, origin, background, accent, belief or status; no matter if you are a boy, a girl, or a disabled person; no matter if you are rich or poor, we treat you equally," said Zhu Shenghe, one of the child representatives from Tianjin, who translated the contents of the Convention on the Rights of the Child into Tianjin rhythmic clapper talk, a local folk art, and has performed in schools for classmates and teachers to advocate for children's rights.

The forum also engaged four child representatives and four adults in a discussion about issues concerning children's lives, followed by a children's announcement of their initiative for World Children's Day.

Four child representatives and four adults engage in a discussion about issues concerning children's lives at a forum.

"We call on the whole society to realize that children are the hope of the nation, the future of humanity; thus, the supportive environment requires the attention and efforts from everyone, from all walks of life!" the children's initiative read.

"Today is a global day of action 'for children, by children'," said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to China. "And children here in China have raised their voices in solidarity with the world's most disadvantaged and vulnerable children appealing to the world to support children to grow to be the best they can be, respecting and protecting their rights regardless of their race, religion or where they are born."

UNICEF Ambassador Chen Kun joined the event to share his commitment to children's rights as well as to create a better world for children.

"The children have spoken up," said Chen Kun. "Let each one of us do our part for a better future for children, and let us join our forces to call on world leaders to commit to fulling the rights of every child now and in future generations, so that they are in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potential."

Netizens have been called upon to join the online activation on the World Children's Day page on UNICEF China website, where they can learn more about the Day and may call on world leaders to prioritize child rights. They may also participate in a virtual light up through a UNICEF H5 co-branded by UNICEF China and CCTV Children. UNICEF is leading digital discussions on Weibo with the hashtags #WorldChildren'sDay and #LightUpforChildren with support from Lego and Mattel.

UNICEF Ambassadors Ma Yili, Chen Kunand Wang Yuan (Roy Wang) have also shared their aspirations for a better world for children on social media channels.

On 17 November, Wang Yuan, the former UNICEF Special Advocate for Education, was appointed as UNICEF's Ambassador for children at his 18th birthday gala.

On 18 November, with the support of UNICEF, the China National Children's Center organized an event themed "Protect Childhood, Light Up the Future" to celebrate World Children's Day, to promote and advocate for the protection of children's rights, and to advance the work on children's welfare and education.

UNICEF has worked in collaboration with its non-governmental organization partner – Sustainable Urban Development and Liveable Garden Community Programme (SUC Programme) Pilot Project Office on the lighting up initiative in Guiyan, Hohhot, Jinan and Jieyang.

Media contacts

Liu Li
Communication Specialist
Tel: +86-10-85312612
Hai Mingwei
Tel: +86-10-85318422


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