Iconic landmarks around the world turn blue in symbolic stand for child rights on World Children’s Day

November 20, 2019

  Acropolis, Empire State Building and Al Noor Mosque among buildings lit up as Convention on the Rights of the Child turns 30

NEW YORK (November 20, 2019) – Iconic landmarks around the world turned blue to mark World Children’s Day today, as UNICEF celebrated the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.

In Christchurch, New Zealand, the Al Noor Mosque, the scene of a tragedy in which 51 people lost their lives in an attack on the Muslim Community in March 2019, was lit blue as a symbol of unity.

In Greece, the Acropolis of Athens shined blue. This is the very first time that the UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world’s most iconic ancient monuments has been lit in colour. 

In New York, UNICEF China Ambassador Wang Yuan will light up the Empire State Building in blue, the second year that the famous landmark has celebrated World Children’s Day.

Other buildings that lit up in blue included the European Parliament in Belgium, Shanghai Tower in China, House of Peoples’ Representatives in Ethiopia, Panthéon in France, Rashtrapati Bhavan in India, Petra in Jordan, Frida Kahlo House in Mexico, Peace Palace in the Hague, Netherlands, Panama Canal in Panama, Monument for African Renaissance in Senegal, Cristo Rei monument in Timor-Leste and Galata Tower and the bridges on the Bosphorus in Turkey.

At the United Nations Headquarters in New York, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors David Beckham and Millie Bobby Brown headlined a global summit where they joined children and young people in demanding action to protect and promote child rights. Children participated in similar summits in more than 50 countries, from Armenia to Jordan and from Ethiopia to Indonesia.  

“Children everywhere dream of a better future,” said David Beckham, opening the global summit. “I have worked with UNICEF for almost 20 years and I have met children in all corners of the world, young people that have ambitions for a better education, a life free from disease and for peace. All children deserve the opportunity to reach their potential and I’m very proud to support the young people speaking up for change today.”

“Young people my age are facing so many new challenges today that 30 years ago were hard to predict,” said Millie Bobby Brown, UNICEF’s youngest Goodwill Ambassador. “I’m proud to add my voice to all those around the world who are asking for solutions to today’s problems such as bullying, access to education, mental health awareness, suicide prevention and climate change.”

World Children’s Day – celebrated on November 20th every year – aims to raise awareness and funds for the millions of children that are denied their right to adequate health care, nutrition, education and protection.

For this year’s celebration, United Nations Member States have been invited to align to a Global Pledge promising to renew their commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and implement child rights fit for the 21st century.

“Around the world, children and young people are taking the lead and demanding urgent action on the issues they care about, like the climate crisis, the rise of mental illness and the lack of opportunities,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “This World Children’s Day provides world leaders with a momentous opportunity to heed these calls and recommit to the rights of every child now and for future generations.”


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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.


For more information, contact
Emma Quong, UNICEF USA, 917 720 1323, equong@unicefusa.org