World Children's Day Unites Everyone's Brilliance and Lights Up for Children
BEIJING, 20 November 2022 – Children led the celebrations with football, sports and arts alongside celebrities and athletes, marking this year's World Children's Day in the capital and across China.
UNICEF's day of action for children, by children shone a spotlight on their rights to inclusion and protection from discrimination under the tagline: 'Unite everyone's brilliance, light up for children'. Every child, no matter their gender, race, religion, language, ability, or other status, deserves a fair chance in life. Sports have the power to unite people and enhance inclusion.
Thirty-seven cities and counties lit up iconic monuments, sport centres, and stadiums in blue - the largest number of cities and counties since celebrations began in China in 2017. UNICEF social media channels including Bilibili, Douyin, Kuaishou, and Weibo livestreamed the flagship event from UNICEF’s office in Beijing.
Supporters in other cities and counties used creative and innovative ways to symbolize their commitment to child rights, including hosting inclusive football games, organizing show-and-tell child rights lessons, using a football to spray paint a myriad of blue works of art, and painting their palms in blue.
Ahead of the special day, UNICEF hosted a workshop for children aged 8-14 years to express their perspectives on their right to survival, development, protection, participation, inclusion, and non-discrimination.
“[To highlight] for every child, the right to inclusion, I made this drawing. This little girl has a physical disability. She wants to help her mother with grocery shopping. But she has a hard time getting into the supermarket,” said Peng Xinyu, a nine-year-old girl. “A kind-hearted boy is helping her, and the supermarket now has a ramp that makes it easy for people to access it.”
He Muyu, a 12-year-old boy said, “I love drawing trains. I hope children can be like all kinds of trains. We can all travel far toward a bright future. [This shows] for every child, the right to non-discrimination.”
UNICEF Representative to China Amakobe Sande said, “World Children's Day is a fun day with a serious message. Children and young people from different backgrounds need to have their voices heard. We are all on the same team. Let's listen, take action, and resolve to promote a more inclusive, safe, and sustainable world for every girl and boy.”
“We hope that children all over the world will live in a peaceful, friendly and loving environment, where they could live and learn happily, make friends with people from different countries and cultures and people speaking different languages,” said Mr. Li Xikui, Vice President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with the Foreign Countries who attended the livestream.
UNICEF Ambassador and famous singer Wang Yuan joined children singing his theme song, composed for World Children's Day, and asked them about their aspirations for the future.
“When working and exchanging with other musicians to find inspiration to create musical works, communication is essential. And for some other types of work, it is also important to work with people with different specialized skills, to achieve the best possible results,” Wang Yuan said. He also explained that music and sports bolster social and emotional learning and teach children and young people key skills: how to get along well with different people from different places, and how to work as one team and be resilient and creative.
A famous female football player, Wang Shuang, was appointed UNICEF Special Advocate for Sports and Child Development. She took centre stage with David Beckham and other stars in a compelling global video, sending a positive message to all children everywhere that they are valued, no matter who they are or where they come from.
UNICEF Ambassadors including actor Chen Kun, actress Ma Yili and basketball player Jeremy Lin participated in the World Children's Day digital campaign to speak up for children and call for people to cast aside exclusion and judgement, to respect and applaud the unique brilliance of every child, and to ensure a caring, enabling, and inclusive environment for all children.
The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and other partners worked with UNICEF to rally cities and counties to light up landmarks and demonstrate their commitment to children's rights. Cities and counties that turned blue include: Baoding, Binzhou, Changsha, Chaozhou, Chengdu, Chongzhou, Daning County, Dunhuang, Foshan, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Hangzhou, Heze, Huizhou, Jieyang, Jinjiang, Luoyang, Maduo County, Mile, Nanchong, Nanjing, Qingdao, Quzhou, Quanzhou, Ruili, Shantou, Shanwei, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Taiyuan, Weifang, Weihai, Wenxi County, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Wuxi, Xi'an, Xinxiang, Zhuhai, Zhumadian. The capital lit up the Beijing Olympic Tower, the 2022 Winter Olympics Big Air Shougang ski jump platform and the Millennium Monument.
Xinhua News Agency reported various events across the country in text, photograph, video, and digital formats and in various languages through its multimedia channels.
CCTV Children produced and broadcast a series of special programmes dedicated to World Children's Day, featuring children and young people who have benefited from sport.
The New York Times for Kids China issued a special blue edition around inclusion of children with disabilities.
This year, people posted their digital avatar adorned with their selected child rights blue sweaters, as part of a festive digital light up via a UNICEF-hosted H5 page. UNICEF worked with partners to co-launch a series of digital activations: on Weibo, topics on World Children's Day were initiated and a dedicated photo frame was launched, jointly supported by Weibo Gongyi and Weibo Sticker. The activations have attracted many celebrities, social organizations and other netizens. Supported by Douyin Social Good, over 50 celebrities, experts and influencers joined in the topic #Light up for Children in Douyin, calling for actions to protect child rights. An exclusively created 'magic' sticker was launched for people to participate in the virtual light-ups. On Kuaishou, users posting images and video especially for the day were promoted by Kuaishou Overseas.
Sign language and live captioning was available on all digital platforms so that people with hearing impairments and others who need assistance can follow and enjoy the livestream, with Bilibili adding audio description for people with visual or cognitive impairments.
World Children's Day commemorates the adoption on 20 November 1989 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which China ratified in 1992. UNICEF and partners are calling for every child to be included, and for an end to all forms of discrimination.
UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
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