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Statement by President Mattarella to mark the Universal Day of the Rights of the Child and Adolescent

(mi-lorenteggio.com) Rome, 20 november 2022 – The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, released the following statement:

«The International Convention on the Rights of the Child and Adolescent has placed children and adolescents at the centre of a system of fundamental rights: the right to non-discrimination, the right to have the best interest of the child respected, the right to life and to a well-balanced development, the right to have their views heard.

Global conflicts, widespread poverty, and climate change are a threat to the full enjoyment of the rights of children already deeply marked by the years-long pandemic.

The risk is not only the curtailment of fundamental rights. War and poverty, too often the backdrop for abuse and violence against the weakest, evoke stories of broken childhoods, of children forced into adulthood without being equipped to face life.

Today we celebrate the inclusion of every child: a goal that can only be achieved if we recognise the role of education within society as an effective tool to combat poverty, exploitation, and inequality.

Protecting children and adolescents means safeguarding the future of humankind; it means laying the grounds on which to build a community of free and responsible citizens.

We must put our best efforts into assuring that all girls and boys have a childhood in line with their needs and aspirations, offering them opportunities of growth and, embracing the values of peaceful coexistence, become the adults of tomorrow, capable of turning the world into a better place for everybody. »

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