The General Assembly of the United Nations declared 20 March the International Day of Happiness in resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 during the first ever UN Conference on Happiness. The resolution was initiated by Bhutan who, according to the UN, has understood the value of national happiness since the seventies. Bhutan also implemented the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.
The International Day of Happiness shows that the UN recognises the importance and relevance of happiness for all people in the world. According to the UN, happiness is a fundamental human goal. Therefore, the United National General Assembly calls for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples”.
During the first International Day of Happiness, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon stated: “Happiness for the entire human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations. Let us dedicate our efforts to filling our world with happiness.”
Here on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, issues related to the happiness and well-being of children and young people online, as well as children's rights in the digital environment, are among our top priorities and objectives. We recommend reading the following:
- In summer 2021, on behalf of the European Commission, we consulted children, young people, parents, carers, teachers, and educators from across the European Union on the priorities they see to promote, protect, respect, and fulfil children’s rights in a digital world and on their vision for a #DigitalDecade4YOUth. You can read the consultation report for an overview of the findings.
- Children live in a world that is completely different from that of earlier generations. Relationships between peers often occur online, mediated by applications, social networks, and devices that many parents and carers do not know or fully understand. As a result, many parents are not equipped to support their children in this process, while equally having concerns about their children's ability to socialise in real life. Read more about managing the well-being of digital natives in this article from the Romanian Safer Internet Centre.
- Read more about the recent EU and international policy developments regarding children’s rights in the digital environment as young people are increasingly using technologies to share their views, engage with others, participate, and search for information online on a daily basis.
- The Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC) aims to ensure positive online experiences for younger children through child-friendly digital offerings. In 2022, a new edition of the Positive Online Content Campaign will highlight additional resources throughout Europe, provide special tips from experts for parents and educators, and seek the voices and views of children themselves. It will also explore emerging technologies and consider providers’ responsibilities, alongside much more.
- If you or another young person is struggling with well-being issues online, you can contact your national helpline for further information, guidance and support. Helplines provide information, advice and assistance to children, youth and parents on how to deal with harmful content, harmful contact and harmful conduct.
For more information about the International Day of Happiness 2022, visit the United Nations' website or follow the celebrations of the day on social media with the hashtag #InternationalDayOfHappiness.