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Advent and Marist Solidarity 2008

27/11/2008: General House

This year’s reflection commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international treaty which sets standards for the protection of children and young people. This text was compiled and edited by Br. César Henriquez, our Child Rights Advocacy Officer in Geneva. We hope this year’s reflection will expose all who use it to become more familiar with some of the children’s issues and groups that are working for the benefit of children on the international level.

ConventionFor the past three years Br. César has worked on two fronts in order to advance the work of BIS and the Foundation for children and young people. His first area of work was in Geneva before international organizations. Geneva is home to the United Nations Council on Human Rights and several UN based human rights mechanisms such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The Committee monitors compliance of those nations that have signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In Geneva, Br. César has joined several coalitions and working group that study and research the relevant children’s issues such as a violence against children and a child’s right to an education.
 Br. César’s second area of work has been directed within the Institute of the Marist Brothers and its extensive network of lay colleagues around the world. Here, his focus of concern has been to raise consciousness about the Convention, the work of the Committee and the current issues children and young people are facing around the world. Some of you have attended presentations he has given and read our newsletters in which he reported on the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

I want to thank Br. César for putting together this year’s Advent text and for his work as our Advocacy Officer in Geneva. He will be finishing his term at the end of November, just as Advent begins. All of us here in the BIS office wish him well in all his endeavors as he returns to his home province of Central America to take up a work which will put him in more direct contact with children and young people. We are confident that the experience of these past three years as the BIS/Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale onlus Child Rights Advocacy Officer has made him an even stronger advocate for child rights.

Br. Dominick Pujia - President/Director
Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale onlus
Bureau of International Solidarity



 
Presentation
 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on November 20 1989. It has become the document on international rights most generally accepted by the community of nations, with 193 ratifications. On November 20, 2009, the Convention will be 20 years old. For our part, the Marist International Solidarity Foundation (Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale onlus) would like to join in the celebration of this important anniversary and we are doing so by dedicating this Advent pamphlet to the boys and girls throughout the world, and to all of those who are working to have their rights recognized and respected at every level.
 The Advent reflection booklet contains reflections written by people within and beyond our Marist environment, particularly organizations with which we share this task of promoting and defending children’s rights in Geneva. In this way, we would like to show our determination to work and unite our efforts in this task which already, for several years, has been carried out by many organisations for and with the children.

The Child’s Rights start, mainly, from a need: that of guaranteeing the children the power to grow and to develop integrally as people. When the most fundamental thing for that development is lacking, it is not sufficient to remember that health or education are important for this. It is necessary to demand it. The season of Advent which the Church offers us every year reminds us that justice is part of the project of God for his people, for the whole of humanity.

We hope that this booklet will aid personal and community reflection; that this reflection can nourish our prayer, and that, finally, the Spirit of God received in prayer will move us to action for children and young people around us and in our countries to extend to them words and projects of hope.

Faithful to the foundational intentions of Champagnat, we want to renew our commitment to telling and showing young people how much Jesus Christ loves them; feeling calls to come closer to the rejected, to those whom nobody looks after. Children and adolescents continue to need our presence and our educational action, from the different environments where we are… mainly where those in material and spiritual poverty await the revelation of Christ” (Cf. Const 83). They expect a better life.
 We hope with them.

We should not just stand around with our arms folded.
May you have a Good Advent!

Br. César Henríquez - Advocacy Officer
Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale Onlus
Bureau of International Solidarity

 

Download the booklet in PDF:

English - 1 MB | Spanish - 1,2 MB | French - 1,1 MB | Portuguese - 1,1 MB

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