Brussels, 20 November 2019

On the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), FAFCE recalls the importance of caring for our children, with a special attention on their well-being through an adequate education. In a context of human rights inflation, it is important to recall what children rights cover.

Children’s Rights are Human Rights
Human rights concern every human person, children included. A child has a right to life, to have a mother and a father, who have the responsibility to care for him. Indeed, as our President, Vincenzo Bassi, pointed out, “since most children do not have yet the capacity to exercise their rights, it is the parent responsibility to care for them”. It is therefore impossible to distinguish children rights from family rights, as a child is directly dependent on his parents. For example, child poverty is family poverty. The difference between those two different “rights”- human rights and children rights – is only theorical. In practice, children rights are the family’s responsibility to care for the upbringing of their child, as the first and essential level of community.

Education and Parents’ Responsibility
Consequently, education is first a parent’s responsibility, as recalled by the Article 18 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: “Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child.” Parents have the primary right to educate their child according to their religious and moral beliefs, including dimensions of human love and related matters concerning the nature of sexuality, marriage and the family.

Recognizing the role of the family to better respect the best interest of the child
In a context of demographic deficit and aging population, children are the future of Europe. Today’s society has the duty to build a safe environment for them to grow in. States and international institutions need to recognize the role of the family and its contribution to the common good. When celebrating children’s rights we cannot avoid to recall our common responsibility for our future.