International Year of the Child, 1979, The Tree of Life
Date of Issue
October 24, 1979
Perforation or Dimension
Designed by Jean Morin.
Marie-Annick Viatour, "L'Arbre de vie"
During the Year of the Child, perhaps more than ever, Christmas is a time to contemplate the needs of children. Twenty years ago the United Nations looked into the matter and issued the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It stated that children had a right to affection, love and understanding; to adequate nutrition and medical care; to free education; to full opportunity for play and recreation; to a name and a nationality; to special care, if handicapped; to be among the first to receive relief in times of disaster; to learn to be a useful member of society and to develop individual abilities; to be brought up in a spirit of peace and universal brotherhood; to enjoy these rights, regardless of race, colour, sex, religion, national or social origin. The Year of the Child marks the twentieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration and stresses once again that mankind owes children the best it has to give. In Canada the lot of children has improved considerably during this past century. Shortly after 1900, "a new-born baby had less chance of living a week than a man of ninety, and of living a year than a man of eighty." The child mortality rate in Canada has declined and the worst abuses in child labour have disappeared. Education has expanded and corporal punishment has become less fashionable. People are also beginning to take a more enlightened attitude toward childbirth. Nevertheless, Canadians could still take a number of positive and simple steps to improve conditions for children. For example, more widespread use of existing immunization programs for children would prevent much unnecessary illness. Such things as proper nutrition of pregnant women and breastfeeding can also be important factors in the health of children. More attention to their physical fitness could help endow children with a lifetime of vigour and activity. The environment would be more pleasant for everyone if as much thought and as many resources were dedicated to ma housing developments suitable for children as are dedicated to making them suitable for the automobile. Perhaps everyone could try to treat children with courtesy, to make certain they have equal opportunities, and to regard them as individual human beings. In this way, Canada may produce men and women capable of fending for themselves and of making a contribution to society. The illustration featured on the Year of the Child stamp depicts a child nurturing the Tree of Life, whose branches bear both flowers and fruit. With this delightful design, young artist Marie-Annick Viatour has interpreted in a charming way the joy of health and growth, and the beauty of fruition - all that the world wishes for its children.
Canada. Post Office Department. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1979.
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