UN adopts International Day of Play
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > UN elevates the importance of play by adopting an official International Day of Play

UN elevates the importance of play by adopting an official International Day of Play

by Freya Lucas

April 10, 2024

June 11 2024 will be the inaugural International Day of Play, designed to champion and protect children’s right to play.


Global research surveying more than 25,000 children across 36 countries reveals that as many as 73 per cent of children don’t believe adults take play – and how it can help them learn – seriously.


With only 30 per cent of adults aware that play is a fundamental birthright adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 1989 the UN says there is an urgent need to “put play back on the agenda.”


To drive this ambition forward, a dedicated network of global organisations, play experts and, most importantly, children and youth themselves, have called on UN member states to support the resolution for an International Day of Play. 


The LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation are founding members of the movement.


“We believe that all children should benefit from the power of play,” Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group said. 


“For more than 90 years we have championed children’s right to play, as we know that it can change lives. It strengthens family bonds and helps children develop essential skills and reach their full potential.” 


“We have hosted our own World Play Day the past two years to celebrate the importance of play. Now, we are excited to turn it into a global movement to engage and impact even more children together with our partners. The adoption of an International Day of Play by the UN is a true testament to the power of play and the need to collectively champion and protect all children’s right to play.”


For the LEGO Foundation, having a day which reinforces the idea that children are creative, lifelong learners who thrive in a constantly changing world is a driving force in the work of the organisation. 


For Foundation CEO Sidsel Marie Kristensen, CEO of the LEGO Foundation play “fuels curiosity, sparks creativity, unlocks essential skills, boosts wellbeing and inspires a lifelong journey of learning.”


“Play is the superpower of children, but not all children experience the benefits of learning through play,” she said. 


“The challenge for all of us is to make play a part of every child’s reality. An International Day of Play is an important recognition of a child’s right to play. Let’s work together to ensure every child has the space and time to play and be the superheroes they are.”


The work was initiated by the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation in partnership with ADEA, ARUP, BRAC, Change X, Concerned for Working Children, Eurochild, Hasbro, INGKA, International Play Association, IRC, KidZania, Mattel, NIKE inc., PEDAL, Plan International, Right To Play International, Save the Children and Sesame Workshop.


The LEGO Foundation aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow; a mission that it shares with the LEGO Group. Learn more at www.learningthroughplay.com 

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