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First-Ever UN International Day of Play – 11 June 2024

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International Day of Play - June 11 2024The first-ever United Nations (UN) International Day Of Play (IDOP) was observed on 11 June 2024 to celebrate the power of play. The day aims to preserve, promote, and prioritise the essential role of play in human development and well-being, especially for children.


i.IDOP emphasises the need for policies, training, and funding to integrate play into education and community settings globally.

ii.IDOP also addresses barriers to play, including harmful practices, disabilities, gender discrimination, conflict, and learning poverty.

Note: Play is recognized as a fundamental right of every child under Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989.


i.On 25th March 2024, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/78/268, proclaiming 11th June as the International Day of Play.

ii.The resolution invited member states, members of the specialised agencies, organisations of the UN system, etc. to observe IDOP with activities that promote education and raise awareness about the significance of play.

2024 Event:

A high-level event was organised at the UN Headquarters in New York, the United States of America (USA) on 11 June 2024 to mark the inaugural IDOP.

UNICEF, in collaboration with Bachpan Manao, Bhadte Jao (BMBJ) initiative by EkStep Foundation, announced the first-ever ‘Hour of Play’ in India to be observed on June 11, marking the International Day of Play.

Key Facts:

i.71% of children say play is important because it makes them happy, and 58% believe play helps them make friends and have a good time with others.

ii.It is estimated that 160 million children worldwide are working instead of playing or learning.

iii.Only 1 in 4 children play outside regularly, compared to nearly three-quarters of their grandparents’ generation.

iv.41% of children had been told to stop playing outside by parents or other adults such as neighbours.

UNICEF: Nearly 400 Million Young Children Worldwide Regularly Experience Violent Discipline at Home

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s new estimates released on the 1st ever International Day of Play, nearly 400 million children under 5 (6 in 10 children) regularly undergo psychological or physical punishment at home globally. About 330 million of these children face physical punishment.

  • The data also shows significant disparities in caregiving and access to play, with approximately 4 in 10 children aged 2-4 lacking responsive interaction at home.
  • The new estimates of violent discipline are based on a subset of 100 countries with internationally comparable data between 2010 and 2023 covering 52% of the global population of children under 5.

Key points:

i.The data also show that around 1 in 5 children aged 2-4 years do not play with their caregivers at home, while roughly 1 in 8 under age 5 do not have toys or playthings at home.

ii.Over half of the 66 countries that banned physical punishment have enacted legislation in the past 15 years.

  • Despite progress, around half a billion children under 5 remain without adequate legal protection.

iii.Harmful social norms persist globally, with over 1 in 4 mothers and primary caregivers believing physical punishment is necessary.

iv.1 in 10 children miss out on crucial developmental activities with their caregivers.

v.The Evidence-Based Parenting Programs improve caregiving, reduce family violence, and enhance the mental health of children and parents.

vi.They promote positive approaches, build strong parent-child relationships, and support nonviolent discipline and communication.