Dr Naomi Lott praises launch of the first International Day of Play 2024

11 June marks the first official International Day of Play.  Earlier this year in March, the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted a resolution to create this annual International Day of Play, with joint support from over 140 countries.  

The campaign surrounding this day, led by the LEGO Group, aims to create a global play movement for children everywhere across the world. By dedicating a day to celebrate the right to play, the global effort seeks to generate a systemic change, helping to elevate the importance of play as a central part of children’s early development and wellbeing.  

Naomi Lott, John Fell Research Fellow at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, recently published ‘The Right of the Child to Play: From Conception to Implementation’ – investigating the basis for, importance of, and current state of children’s right to play.  

Group of children standing on green field during breaktime

Naomi says: 

“This first International Day of Play is an important moment for recognising that children of all ages, from all walks of life, have a right to play. Having studied this right for over ten years, I am delighted to see this level of recognition for a right that was consigned to a status of “forgotten” or “neglected”. Yet, I am mindful that so much more needs to be done to ensure this right is implemented fully for all children. Whilst implementation of the right to play is critical for children’s development and wellbeing, they face barrier to enjoying this right from a multitude of directions. 

Last summer, I was thrilled to launch my book The Right of the Child to Play: From Conception to Implementation, and engaged a range of stakeholders, national and international, in a 3-day symposium on the right. This event opened new avenues of conversation, built new relationships and partnerships across sectors, and highlighted the value of the right to play for children at the international level. The book covers an in-depth examination of the importance of play for children (which also has a wider positive impact on society), the legal basis of the right to play, what it requires of the State and other actors to support the implementation of the right and lived experiences of advocating for the right to play. Over the past year, I have been able to supplement this research with an empirical project working with ~100 children across England to garner an insight into their experiences of play. From this and my previous research, I have developed a framework that operationalises the right to play, to support the full implementation of the right.” 

Dr Naomi Lott joins new national enquiry into the importance to children of the right to play

Read Naomi's lastest research project - Exploring children's right to play through the lens of Human RightsFor the Inaugural UN International Day of Play: A Framework for Implementing the Right to Play

Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash