Last week in his My Brilliant Career review, David Ashton reminded us that 1979 was the International Year Of The Child. You may remember that many supermarket chains contributed by giving away children at the check-out – although this often led to car-parks full of discarded children that people had been too polite to turn down in the store. A lot was learned from this experience – Woolworths, for one, announced they would not be repeating the offer during the International Year Of The Disabled Person.
International Years are usually designated by the UN and since 1959 they’ve been using them “in order to draw attention to major issues and to encourage international action to address concerns which have global importance and ramifications”. That’s why 2008 has been the International Year of The Potato. No, really, it has. 2009 is the International Year of Natural Fibres, which should at least make for good T-shirts.
While obviously not as exciting as International Space Year (1992), International Year of the Ocean (1998), International Year of Rice (2004) or International Year Of Microcredit (2005), International Year Of The Child was a very important year for a group that often feels ignored and powerless – stamp designers.