We want to shine a light on three key awareness days taking place today: World Children’s Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance and World COPD Day. How will you show your support?

World Children’s Day

Today is UNICEF’s global day of action for children, by children. And this year marks an extra special anniversary - 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. That’s three decades of child rights that have helped transform the lives of children around the world.

On this day 30 years ago, world leaders made history by committing to the world’s children by adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international agreement on childhood. To this day, it is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, but there are still children who are unable to enjoy a full childhood.

“It is up to our generation to demand that leaders from government, business and communities fulfil their commitments and take action for the child rights now, once and for all. They must commit to making sure every child has a right,” say UNICEF.

Since the agreement 30 years ago, the world has seen more than a 50% reduction in deaths of children under 5, the proportion of undernourished children has almost halved, and 2.6 billion more people have cleaner drinking water today than in 1990.

But change is still needed. Currently, 262 million children and young people are out of education. 650 million girls and women have been married before turning 18, and one in four children will live in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040.

All around the world, children and adults alike are speaking up and taking a stand. It’s 2019 and it is time for every child, to have every right.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Formed in 1999, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-trans violence. Today, it is a recognised day of awareness and memorium for all the people who are still losing lives to anti-trans violence.

This year, there have been 331 known killings of trans people worldwide.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost.

“With so many seeking to erase transgender people - sometimes in the most brutal ways possible - it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice,” said founder Gwendolyn Smith.

LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall note that the majority of those killed are trans women and transfeminine people of colour. While the Trans Murder Monitoring Project reported that, of those whose professions were known, 61% of murdered trans people this year worked as sex workers.

“Sadly, some trans people – particularly women – are most at risk of fatal violence from cis male intimate partners, such as boyfriends. The stigma, family rejection, limited employment opportunities and social isolation experienced by many trans people can leave them particularly vulnerable to abuse in relationships,” they write.

“As is the case for cisgender women, trans women in relationships with cisgender men are at highest risk of the most serious forms of violence. It is important to recognise that, for many trans women, the experience of intimate partner violence and domestic abuse is similar in nature to the kinds of domestic violence other women experience.

“On Trans Day of Remembrance, many of us, whether cis or trans, can reflect on how we can work together to end gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination in all their forms.”

Visit Stonewall for LGBTQ+ support and information.

World COPD Awareness Day

Organised by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) in collaboration with health care professionals and patient groups worldwide, World COPD Day aims to raise awareness and improve COPD care around the world.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe a number of progressive lung diseases, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and refractory asthma. COPD is characterised by its increasing breathlessness.

First held in 2002, World COPD Day is now an annual day of awareness, whereby activities are organised by health care professionals, educators and members of the public worldwide. The theme this year is All Together to End COPD emphasising the fact that many people are involved in the fight to end COPD.

At every stage and at any age, there is an opportunity to prevent or treat COPD. From care providers, families and patients, to policy makers and employers - everyone can make an impact.