Google marks Universal Children’s Day with kid-filled illustrated doodle

20 Nov 2013

The Children's Day doodle on the Google homepage

To celebrate Universal Children’s Day, an occasion established by the United Nations, Google has transformed its homepage into an illustration of children from around the world.

There are many different Children’s Days celebrated worldwide, but 20 November is the day selected by the United Nations to promote the objectives outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and prompt action to benefit the welfare of the world’s children. 

While today’s doodle presents an idyllic picture of happy children, Universal Children’s Day is also key to raising awareneess of those children suffering around the world from abuse, exploitation, discrimination, child labour, armed conflict, abduction and the recruitment of child soldiers.

A 2010 estimate puts the world population of children aged nought to 15 years at 1.847bn people, and the UN Convention acknowledges the basic rights of each of these children.

As much as it can be a tool for good, the internet has also been used by people as an instrument to exploit children, but efforts are being made to use technology to fight these despicable acts. Along with Microsoft, Google is currently working to block child porn searches on its search engine, and Terre Des Hommes Netherlands (a children’s rights organisation) has created a virtual 10-year-old girl to combat webcam child sex tourism.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.