Over 40 cities in China light up in blue for World Children's Day, to support a child-friendly society for all
Opinion poll survey results also released and new youth advocate appointed at event in Beijing
Beijing, 20 November 2023 – With support from UNICEF, 49 cities and counties across China are lighting up buildings and communities in blue on World Children's Day, today, to show their commitment to children's rights1. This year, skyscrapers in Beijing's Chaoyang District and in the Shanghai Bund are turning blue. Other areas are doing creative light-ups. In Malipo County, Yunnan Province, for example, children lit up their school with glow sticks.
The theme for 2023 is 'building a child-friendly society for all'. An online opinion poll conducted by UNICEF in the run-up to the event revealed that 98 per cent of children and young people under the age of 25 believe that building a child-friendly society for all is “very important”2. There are five key pillars of a child friendly society: Equality and inclusion; children's participation; quality social services; safe living environments; and play and leisure with family. Of these, 32 per cent of young poll respondents said that safety and inclusion was most important to them.
In Beijing, UNICEF hosted a flagship World Children's Day event, with support from the Ministry of Commerce and the China National Children's Center.
“UNICEF's expertise and experience could contribute to a more child-friendly society and brighter future for children in China, which will in return be a positive part of China's high-quality development." the representative from the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, said at the event.
“The China National Children's Center is willing to work with UNICEF and partners to continuously improve a child-friendly society, so that everywhere is friendly to children,” Cong Zhongxiao, Secretary General of China National Children's Center, also commented.
The child-led event was themed around building a child-friendly society for all. It featured an exhibition of photos taken by children and young people across China, which raised awareness of issues faced by children with disabilities. Children also shared their own reflections of a child-friendly society through artwork, calligraphy, theatre and song, including a performance of ‘In the Future’, a song written by UNICEF Ambassador Wang Yuan for World Children's Day.
"UNICEF has been in China for more than 40 years. Over those four decades, we have worked closely with the Government of China and other partners to help fulfill the theme of this year's World Children's Day – building a child-friendly society for all." UNICEF Representative to China Amakobe Sande said at the event.
Towards the end of the Beijing event UNICEF Representative to China Amakobe Sande announced the appointment of a new UNICEF Youth Advocate, 14-year-old Yin Chuming, who will lead on water and climate action. Yin Chuming has already been advocating for protecting water resources, by independently launching a survey of 1,300 of her peers in urban and rural areas across China on water issues. She also recently spoke on the issue at the UN Water Conference 2023 in New York in March.
“As UNICEF youth advocate, I will be actively engaging in the protection of water and environment and raising awareness on climate change,” Yin Chuming said in her acceptance speech. “I hope to work with young people to promote sustainable development, contribute ideas to help shape policies, and make innovations to address challenges in these areas.”
UNICEF Ambassador and actress Ma Yili also participated in the flagship event, where she spoke on equality and inclusiveness. She pointed out that people should not neglect children's feelings because they are young; instead, we need to listen to children's voices, respect their will, appreciate and take their opinions seriously, and create a friendly and safe environment for children's development.
UNICEF Ambassadors including actor Chen Kun, actress Ma Yili, singer and song-writer Wang Yuan, basketball player Jeremy Lin and UNICEF Special Advocate for Sports and Child Development and footballer Wang Shuang, participated in the World Children's Day digital campaign to speak up for children and call for people to build a child-friendly society.
World Children's Day 2023 was supported by many UNICEF partners across China. These included:
- The 49 cities and counties that lit up buildings or turned their communities blue were: Baoding, Beijing, Binzhou, Chaozhou, Chenzhou, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Dezhou, Dongying, Foshan, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Heze, Hengyang, Huzhou, Huangshan, Jinan, Jieyang, Jiuquan, Malipo, Mile, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qujing, Quzhou, Quanzhou, Rizhao, Ruili, Shantou, Shanwei, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Suzhou, Weihai, Weifang, Wenzhou, Wenxi, Wuxi, Wuhan, Xi'an, Xianning, Yantai, Yiwu, Yinchuan, Zhengzhou, and Zhuhai.
- Xinhua News Agency supported the online youth survey and reported World Children's Day events across the country in various formats and languages through its multimedia channels.
- CCTV Children produced and broadcast a special programme for World Children's Day, showcasing how to build the five key pillars of a child-friendly society.
- The World Children's Day event was livestreamed through digital channels on Xinhuanet.com, Weibo, Bilibili, Kuaishou, Douyin and WeChat.
- Weibo also initiated discussions on World Children's Day topics and a dedicated photo frame was made available for users. On Kuaishou, a special page was promoted. On Bilibili, key opinion leaders were mobilized.
- Magazines including 10000 WHYs, XUXUDUODUO, Marie Claire China, and Bankers offered free pages themed around World Children's Day.
- Posters and videos raising awareness of World Children's Day featured on China's high-speed rail network and Beijing subway Line 10.
- Businesses that have contributed advertising space and event venues included: City Window; Huatie Media Group; Intercontinental Beijing Sanlitun and Beijing Topwin Investment Group; NewWorld China; Shanghai Panlong TianDi and Yuz Museum; Summit Ad and Media; Ascott China.
World Children's Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, on 20 November in 1989.
Notes to Editors:
1. Results of the online survey can be found at: https://www.unicef.cn/wcd-child-friendly-society-survey
2. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted in November 1989 and ratified by China in 1992. The CRC acknowledges that children are individuals with their own special rights. It says that childhood lasts until 18 and is a special, protected time, in which children must be allowed to grow, learn, play, develop and flourish with dignity. The CRC also gives UNICEF its mandate to work for children in China and around the world.
3. UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of more than 298 million children across China. Since 1979, we have worked in partnership with the Government of China in the areas of child protection, education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, especially for the most vulnerable children. UNICEF also provides humanitarian support during emergencies.
Photos and videos:
More World Children's Day resources, including high resolution photos and videos, can be downloaded here: https://pan.baidu.com/s/1ZmQ4rh29C64OAEtAjScuTQ?pwd=3mbph
The event is livestreamed on several social media channels. Please watch the livestream record on Weibo
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