IPA/USA is the national affiliate of IPA World, an international non-governmental organization founded in Denmark in 1961. It is interdisciplinary and embraces in membership persons of all professions working for or with children. Membership is open to any individual, group, or organization which endorses the United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), especially Article 7, paragraph 3, which states:
"The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavor to promote the enjoyment of this right;"
The IPA endorses its belief in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990).
IPA is governed by a Board of Directors and a Council of National Representatives together with five members-at-large elected for three years, and the IPA/USA is governed by a Board of Directors, five which are elected triennially.
The IPA works in close association with many international organizations, is recognized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and recognized by UNICEF as a non-governmental organization with consultative status.
The IPA links national action groups through its members in over forty countries and provides for an exchange of ideas, issues, problems and innovative solutions.
The purpose of IPA/USA is to protect, preserve, and promote play as a fundamental right for all humans.
Play makes possible maximum development of self and society by facilitating creativity, individuality, and, social, physical and intellectual growth.
Play encompasses experiences that provide enjoyment and emotional fulfillment that will ultimately lead to productive and contributing members of society.
Specific interests include environments for play emphasizing universal access, leisure time facilities, programs that develop the whole child, play leadership training, toys, and play materials.
To meet the primary goal of protecting, preserving, and promoting play as a fundamental right for all children; we
● produce the e-journal quarterly three times a year and an IPA/USA Newblast four times a year,
● hold a national conference every three years,
● hold consultations, special seminars, symposia, and workshops on current issues (national and international),
● support the World Congress every three years. The next one is planned for Calgary, Canada in 2017,
● act as a resource for other national and international organizations and UN agencies by providing consultations, speakers, and serving on committees, and
● promote Article 31 of the Convention for the Rights of the Child.
IPA is determined to sustain the momentum created by the International Year of the Child in 1979 to arouse world opinion for the improvement of the lives of children; and:
AFFIRMS its belief in the United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which in Article 7 states, "The child shall have full opportunity to play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavor to promote the enjoyment of this right;" and endorses its belief in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
RECOGNIZES that the population of children in developing countries is three quarters of the world's total child population, and that efforts directed at the promotion of education and literacy, and the stopping of environmental deprivation would improve the capacities of the poorest.
AFFIRMS its commitment to working with other national and international organizations to ensure basic conditions of survival for all children in order that they may fully develop as human beings.
ACKNOWLEDGES that each country is responsible for preparing its own courses of public and political action in the light of its culture, climate and social, political and economic structure;
RECOGNIZES that the full participation of the community is essential in planning and developing programs and services to meet the needs, wishes, and aspirations of children;
ASSURES its cooperation with UN agencies and other international and national organizations involved with children;
APPEALS to all countries and organizations to take action to counteract the alarming trends which jeopardize children's healthy development and to give high priority to long term programs designed to ensure for all time: THE CHILD'S RIGHT TO PLAY.
In 1971, the IPA Board decided it was important to cooperate with the UN organizations. We are recognized by ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) and UNICEF, and work in agreement with their principles. They give a context to our work as follows:
● Our focus on human rights, specifically the Child's Right to Play as stated in the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and now embodied in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
● Our feeling of solidarity with children all over the world.
● Our involvement in peace education. The IPA has been appointed as a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations.
● Our commitment to the development of each individual to the maximum of their potential, the protection and enhancement of their culture, and the importance of the family and the community.
The International Play Association (IPA) is proud to announce the release of a summary document on the General Comment on Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The IPA played a critical role in the General Comment and has written the summary for easy understanding and distribution. It is currently being translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. A children's version will also be available shortly.
If you would like to translate the document into another language please contact Reece Wilson using the form below.