Dear Humanity, find your lost childhood!

Today, all of us go back and we are little kids again. On November 20th, the World celebrates the International Day of the Child. This
day reminds us of the date when the General Assembly of the
United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
Dignity. That is the
magic word.
Dignity was born together with the human being, you can read it in his
eyes. It is not transmitted through DNA.
Dignity is something you take care of, with devotion. Dignity must be
stated, not conquered as a war chest. It is both gift and responsibility.
It is not a privilege. It is the beating heart of life.  
Dignity gives you
freedom; it is not the stone that an oyster transforms into a beautiful pearl
after an enduring sufferance.
My child, that pearl
belongs to you, already. It should belong to you already.
Forgive me if I am
forced to speak of it as a dream, instead of an actuality.
We must
forgive this world that disfigures your right!

A preamble is
unfortunately necessary. Even if it should not be.
Fifty-four articles
and two Optional Protocols in the Convention are there to remind us of who is a
child and which rights he is supposed to have.  
In 1923, The
Declaration of the Rights of the Child was written, followed by Geneva
Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1924. On November 20th,
1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a much-expanded version as
its own Declaration of the Rights of the Child; in 1989, UN General Assembly
adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Law stands as a warranty
device: legislative instruments organize the protection of children’s rights.
The interest of the minor is identified with the broadest possible application
of the right to education, through the creation of conditions conducive to the
widest and most complete development of his or her personality, progressively enhancing autonomy
and accountability. In theory, at least.
In fact, if we take a
walk through History, we realize how hard it is being children, if no one
chooses to protect them in practice.
Several questions
resound: what about care of children without a family? What about protecting
the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse,
neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation?
It is not surprising,
after all. Some among the States in our globalized world, which boasts itself
as civilized and reverent, you may leave a reminder to the United States (and
why not, to Somalia), recalling that there would be a Convention to ratify (and
to be respected, if possible!).  Maybe
they forgot…
Exceptions should not
be given, if we are talking about human beings. There should be no exclusions, when
we talk about children.
Unfortunately, violations of the rights of children have no borders. They
are perpetrated everywhere and no State is immune. There is no class, no
civilization, and no culture to serve as a barrier that prevents the violation.
It is not enough to talk about this in an impersonal
way. So…
My Child, you die everyday.
You are killed by hunger, misery and extreme poverty
and by the more common diseases.
My Child, you suffer violence and that will be part of you
You don’t go to school. Maybe you would like to go.
You are forced to learn by what you are living, even when pain is your teacher.
My Child, you are a soldier and war is raping your eyes and your
My Child, bad men and women force you to work, they are abusing
the more intimate part of your dreams, they sell you as if you were worthless
and they humiliate you.
Childhood is denied,
because of the reverence men show to the god of money, because economic
priority wins over children’s rights: it is just a collateral damage for
powerful men who give a speech from the podium.
There is an echo of
fear. That is not our own. That is not yours.
We weep for a pain
that does not belong to us. Or at least we deceive ourselves, and all the drama
arrives late on the story.
Remember? “No
one can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matt
6:24) At some point everything will become a spiral of suffering. It already
is. We already are inside that vortex. We are powerlessly trying to get out
from under the one who forgot how to be human, of those who, almost absolved by
the rules of business, or justified by relative morals, continue to steal
dreams, to break voices, to tear dolls made of rags.
The real problem is
that too many people have forgotten that they were children once.
Maybe it’s time to
apply that article 12, about the children’s right to expression. Maybe children
would like to be heard. Do we ever question them? Do we ever ask for their
Dear Humanity, every child has a right to play.
It is enshrined in
Article 31 of that Declaration that you committed to respect. Here we are: a
bitter smile, what a joke! The child has the right to play, to run with the other
children, to be relieved from the burden of the world, having fun and enjoying
childhood. It’s something that is so natural  that it is unnatural to need it signed in
black and white, in order to comply.
Dear humanity, every
child has a right to his childhood.
Do not ask him to
grow up so fast. Do not force him to become an adult without first having been
a child. Do not force him to defend himself from you, to learn how to survive
and to rely only on himself.
We are the result of the
love we have experienced; of the voice we have been hearing and of the
education we have been receiving. 2014 is coming and still man undermines the
dignity and self-esteem of children. Which kind of adult are they going to be
tomorrow? What will they remember of that childhood they never had? What will
they tell us about their troubled life?
The beauty of a child
has no criteria, no rules, and no repeats. It is unique. Here comes again that dream
that should be an actuality.
Children are usually
told stories. The stories that help them to grow up, those made up of heroes
and happy endings.
What would you tell a
street child, or to one who has suffered violence, and who won’t forget it, as
a brand on his skin? How could we explain to him,  “You know, my child, all men are born
free and equal in dignity and rights.” What would you say when a slave of
hunger and misery, or even worse, of the shallowness of men, asks “so I’m
free as well?” And you’ll have to look him straight into his eyes, telling him “no,
that doesn’t apply to you. And you have to accept it, but without whining.”
Children are subjects
of debate in universities, recipients of compassion, banner of the struggle,
while the parliaments debating the issue, ideologies justify them, religions
console them.
Meanwhile, good
people stand silent.
Wake up, World! It is
the International Day of Children and they are not just extras. They want to be
actors, directors, creators, designers, writers and lighting technicians, composers
of the soundtrack and costume designers of the great spectacle that is Life.
Imagine some scenes
of everyday life, which are repeated in every corner of the world, but
according to different rules. There are those who are privileged and those who
are victims.
There should only be
IIMA was created to
promote the right to education for children and young people and it encourages
education to the Human Rights. Together with VIDES, we strongly believed for years in education as
a driving force for Life.  
Today is a joyful
celebration day, but it’s also the day for suffering and for fighting.
That’s why, Dear
Humanity, we wish you the best, towards a future for real freedom:
You will take the best interests of the children as a primary
. (Article 3)
You will recognize that every
child has the inherent right to life.
 (Article 6)
You will ensure that a child shall
not be separated from his or her parents against their will.
(Article 9)
You will state the right of every
child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental,
spiritual, moral and social development.

(Article 27)
You will protect the right to
education for children.
(Article 28)
You will protect them from
economic exploitation.
(Article 32)
You will never reduce them to
soldiers again and you will guarantee respect for rules of international
humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts, which are relevant to
the child.
(Article 38)
All your children will have the same right to grow up.