World Days - Observance Days - Compassion International

International Observance Days
Recognized Around the World
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Calling the World to Action


The following world days relate to the work we do in the developing world. Select a day to learn more about the history and purpose of the specific world day of observance, as well as the world day's relationship to poverty, the poor and our child development ministry.

World AIDS Day

a girl wearing a red shirt and pink pants sits on a rock

World AIDS Day (December 1) is a world day to celebrate the progress made in fighting HIV and AIDS and raise awareness about what remains to be done.

World Day Against
Child Labor

A young boy wearing a red sweater and green pants sits on a stoop with his chin in his hands, his elbow on his knees and a frown on his face.

The World Day Against Child Labor (June 12) is a world day to raise awareness and prompt action to stop child labor in all of its forms.

World Day Against
Trafficking in Persons

a teenage boy in a pink polo shirt has a serious expression on his face

The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (July 30) is a world day to raise awareness about human trafficking and to advocate for the rights of trafficking victims.

World Environment Day

A Thai farmer stands in a flooded field.

World Environment Day (June 5) is a world day for encouraging public discourse and generating political momentum for action on urgent environmental issues.

World Food Day

A group of children wait in line to receive food.

World Food Day (October 16) celebrates the global progress made toward zero hunger and highlights the world’s commitment to ending hunger by 2030.

View more featured world days.


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World Health Day

a medical professional in a white coat gives a health presentation

World Health Day (April 7) is a world day commemorating the founding of the World Health Organization and calling attention to global health priorities.

World Heart Day

A young smiling girl holds her hand over her heart

World Heart Day (September 29) unites people in the fight against cardiovascular disease and global efforts to reduce the global disease burden.

World Malaria Day

a boy sitting crossed-legged lifts up the sides of an insecticide-treated bed net

World Malaria Day (April 25) is a world day to share information and educate communities and at-risk populations about malaria and the global effort to control it.

World Photography Day

a young boy holding a camera tilts his head back laughing

World Photography Day (August 19) is an internationally recognized day for photographers "to share their world with the world" through a single photo.

World Population Day

A large group of children wearing yellow shirts look up and wave to the camera.

World Population Day (July 11) is a world day to raise awareness about world population trends and global demographic issues affecting sustainable development.

World Poverty Day

A young boy wearing a yellow shirt and necklace.

World Poverty Day (October 17) is an international day to raise awareness about the need to end poverty in all its forms everywhere.

World Smile Day

Two smiling girls wearing red dresses

World Smile Day is the first Friday in October. It's a day devoted to smiles, acts of kindness and spreading good will and good cheer around the globe.

World Teachers' Day

A teacher stands in front of a chalkboard with his arms crossed

World Teachers' Day (October 5) celebrate teachers, the contributions they make in our classrooms and communities and the role they play in building a sustainable global future.

World Toilet Day

A young woman holding a roll of toilet paper stands next to a bathroom door

World Toilet Day (November 19) draws attention to the global sanitation crisis and promotes action on behalf of the billions of people living without a toilet.

World Water Day

a girl cups her hands to catch and drink water flowing from a water pipe

World Water Day (March 22) is a world day to increase public knowledge about the essential role water plays in global development and human prosperity.

Human Trafficking
Awareness Day

a teenage girl sits on a concrete table with her head resting in her hand.

Human Trafficking Awareness Day (January 11) is a day to bring attention and opposition to human trafficking.

Children's Day

a young Peruvian girl with long black hair wears a pink shirt and stands in front of a yellow wall

International Children's Day (June 1) is one of the premier days recognized around the world for celebrating children.

Day of Charity

Three Indonesian girls stand with their heads pressed against one another

The International Day of Charity (September 5) calls the world to act with solidarity and compassion in the face of human suffering.

Day of Families

a family stands together outside of their home

The International Day of Families (May 15) raises awareness about the global issues relating to and affecting families.

Day of Friendship

two friends hug one another

The International Day of Friendship (July 30) is a day about promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity.

Day of Happiness

a happy woman smiling and laughing

The International Day of Happiness (March 20) is the day the world recognizes the importance of happiness in our lives.

Literacy Day

A group of women learn the alphabet

International Literacy Day (September 8) is a day dedicated to motivating nations around the world to promote the value and power of literacy.

Women's Day

a smiling young african woman wearing a blue headband in her hair

International Women's Day (March 8) is an international day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Youth Day

A young girl stands in a dance-like pose with her arms held out.

International Youth Day (August 12) recognizes the efforts of young people in conflict prevention, inclusion, social justice, and peace across the globe.

Universal Children's Day

a young Honduran girl holds her hands to her cheeks as she laughs. She is wearing a pink and green plaid hat.

Universal Children's Day (November 20) Day is celebrated each year "to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare."