International Childrens Day 1st June and 1979 the International Year of the Child

Happy International Children’s Day everyone!

Children’s Day is recognized on various days in many places around the world, to honour children globally. It was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in 1925 and then established universally in 1954 to protect an “appropriate” day.

The International Day for Protection of Children, is observed in many countries as Children’s Day on June 1 since 1950, was established by the Women’s International Democratic Federation on its congress in Moscow (22 November 1949). Major global variants include a Universal Children’s Day on November 20, by the United Nations‘ recommendation.

JUNE 1 USE THIS international childrens day soviet 1979

Here is a Russian pin badge celebrating UNESCO’s declaration that 1979 would be the International Year of the Child.

The Cyrillic translates as follows:

международный = International
год ребенка = Year of the Child (lit. Year Child)

UNESCO proclaimed 1979 as the International Year of the Child. The proclamation was signed on January 1, 1979 by United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. A follow-up to the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the proclamation was intended to draw attention to problems that affected children throughout the world, including malnutrition and lack of access to education. Many of these efforts resulted in the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

Numerous events took place within the UN and in member countries to mark the event, including the Music for the UNICEF Concert, held at the UN General Assembly on January 9. WBZ-TV 4 in Boston, Massachusetts, along with the four other Group W stations, hosted and broadcast a celebratory festival, ‘Kidsfair’, usually held around Labour Day ever since, from Boston Common. Canadian animator/director Eugene Fedorenko created a film for the National Film Board of Canada, called “Every Child“, which centred on a nameless baby who nobody wants because they’re too busy with their own concerns. This was used to explain the importance of how every child is entitled to a home. Sound effects were created with the voices of Les Mimes Electriques.

…The pin badge, to a modern eye, does look more than a little bit racist doesn’t it?

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2 thoughts on “International Childrens Day 1st June and 1979 the International Year of the Child”

  1. Why do you think the pin looks rasist? I remember this kind of propaganda from those days, and it always had a very positive conotations, mainly all children in the world are there to be loved and looked after, no matter where they are from and what colour their skin is. Nothing fishy about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In it’s original context it wasn’t perhaps as they just needed a simplified way of indicating racial diversity. However to a modern, Western European, audience to have a pin featuring a ‘gollywog/blackface’, a slant eyed Asian caricature and a blue eyed, blonde haired, Aryan could be deemed to be racially insensitive.

      In it’s original context it wasn’t racist I agree but to a modern audience it could be seen as such. Just as Gollywogs, which have no inate connection to the depiction of black people, were deemed racist due to their association with black and white minstrels and stereotyping depictions of people which were deemed racial insensitive if not racist and thus have not featured on television in any context, even archival documentaries unless they are focused on condemning the practise, since the 1970s.


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