The Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20th, a recurrence which reaffirms the need for a universal undertaking to defend the sacred and inviolable rights of children and youths.

In the spirit of  Universal Children’s Day Cesvi works to guarantee opportunities, protection and a future for children and adolescents in Italy and many countries in the southern hemisphere.

Even though the UN Convention on children’s rights was approved almost 30 years ago (20 November 1989), the living conditions of millions of children and adolescents are still unacceptable. Fundamental rights, to life, to a family, to health, to protection from every form of abuse and exploitation are continually violated.  Universal Children’s Day is an important occasion for reflecting on how to guarantee the application of the Convention in the life of every child.

Cesvi has always paid particular attention towards the weakest and most vulnerable: in particular in situations of serious humanitarian emergencies, in countries burdened by chronic and forgotten economic, political and social crises (like Somalia), in the favelas and the shanty towns that spring up around the biggest capitals of the southern hemisphere (through the Houses of Smiles).

On Universal Children’s Day the commitment is also renewed for the children and youths who live in our country, where Cesvi is part of the “CRC” group, a network of non-profit organisations devoted to the promotion and protection of the rights of children and adolescents. In Italy more than one child in ten lives in conditions of absolute poverty. Adolescents are ever more at risk because of easy access to alcohol and drugs, because of the growing problem of bullying and cyber-bullying, because of the lack of adequate sexual education. Another aspect  consists of those unaccompanied minors of foreign origin who arrive on our shores with no assistance, legal defence or possibility of integration.