Skip to content

Holy See to U.N. on Child Violence

"Millions of Young Victims Are a Symbol of Failing Systems"

GENEVA, APRIL 2, 2007 (Zenit) - Here is the March 23 address which Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations at Geneva, delivered to the fourth session of the Human Rights Council.

* * *

Mr. President,

1. The delegation of the Holy See very much welcomes the attention given to child protection and to children's rights in recent studies and debates. In fact the child should not only be placed high on the political agenda but right at the center of concern: The future of society depends on children and on how they are prepared for it, and their vulnerability calls for special protection.

A child is neither an instrument nor an object. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child attributes to the child the fundamental rights of a person; it recognizes the child to have the same equality and dignity as any adult person. In its preamble, it affirms that because of its immaturity the child "needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth." Respect for children is respect for humanity.

2. In many cases, due to lack of will and of resources, good legal provisions and public policies are not implemented, with grave consequences for children. They often become the first victims of famines and wars. They are crippled by unexploded munitions, deprived of schooling, lack sufficient food, are obliged to sleep and survive on sidewalks in urban centers, sick with AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis without the possibility of medicines, sold to traffickers, recruited into irregular armies, uprooted by forced displacements, compelled into long hours of debilitating work.

These millions of young victims are a vivid symbol of existing inequalities and failing systems. Unfortunately these are not the only contradictions affecting children in our globalized world. To many children the right to life is denied; prenatal selection eliminates both babies suspected to be with disabilities and female children simply because of their sex and thus denies the equal and intrinsic value of disabled persons and of girls for their families and for society. In a variety of ways violence against children goes on, a humiliating violation of their rights as human beings.

3. If respect for the human rights of children measures the health of a society, then the legal recognition of these rights is urgent. The first right of children is that of being born and educated in a welcoming and secure family environment where their physical, psychological and spiritual growth is guaranteed, their potential is developed and where the awareness of personal dignity becomes the base for relating to others and for confronting the future.

The target of eliminating violence against children and of providing a constructive and healthy context for their development demands that the state and society concretely support and enable the family to carry out its task. A vital way, in fact, to counteract the vulnerability of children is to strengthen the families in which they are meant to grow, to thrive, and to be formed as responsible and productive citizens in their local communities and in the wider society.

Governments must assume their rightful role to protect and promote family life because the family has obvious vital and organic links with society. The creation of conditions leading to peace and economic progress, a continued responsibility of the national and the international communities, will open the way to reducing and eventually eliminating those situations that hurt children in a disproportionate way. My delegation certainly agrees that all forms of violence against children are unjustifiable, preventable and must be stopped.

4. A coherent effort to eliminate violence against children will therefore reject the exaltation of violence in the public culture of society. Education becomes a critical instrument to instill not just tolerance for coexistence in today's societies experiencing everywhere a greater pluralism, but appreciation and respect of others, openness to dialogue in a concerted search for the common good, and even to love as a more constructive bond for the orderly functioning of society.

It would turn into a new form of violence against children if the state were to impose a specific model of moral conscience on children without taking into consideration the moral and religious convictions of parents. Civil society has a major role to play in supporting the family and counteracting all forms of violence against children. For its part, the Catholic Church's over 300,000 social, caring and educational institutions work daily to ensure both a peace-oriented and creative education for children, and the development of their talents, and to provide the reintegration of abused and neglected children into their families, if possible, and into society.

Mr. President,

5. Children are both weakness and hope. To pursue the defense of their rights and the elimination of all forms of violence against them remains an institutional challenge for the international community. Success will be reached if priority is given to the natural role of the family and to the public culture that recognizes that children, too, are full human persons.

Thank you, Mr. President.

[Original text: English; text adapted]


Catholic Online CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000



Children, Violence, U.N., Freedom, Human, Rights

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.