The severe crisis we are experiencing, exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic, affects everyone, but we must not forget that children and adolescents pay the highest price. This is precisely why it is crucial to keep the focus on the rights of the youngest children and the most effective strategies to protect them. The International Day of the Rights of the Child and of adolescents is celebrated on 20 November, the 33rd anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (20 November 1989).
Like many countries around the world, ours also participates in the celebrations with a rich calendar of conferences, meetings, seminars and other events that invite us to reflect on the central role of the new generations. Here are some of them.
The Department for Family Policies has organised an initiative dedicated to children that will take place on 18 November in Rome (MAXXI Museum, via Guido Reni 4A). The event includes the screening of the film Ragazzaccio by Paolo Ruffini and, later, a direct exchange with the institutions and exceptional testimonials. The focus will be on the impact of the pandemic on adolescents and their lives. Information on the meeting – at which Eugenia Roccella, Minister for the Family, Childbirth and Equal Opportunities, will speak, and students from some of Rome's high schools will participate - is available on the website of the Department, in the dedicated news section.
Rediscover the future. Rights, responsibilities and pathways in the juvenile criminal justice system is the conference organised by the Ombudsperson for children and adolescents, which will be held on 17 November in Rome (Auditorium dell’Ara Pacis). The study day will address various aspects: the relationship between hardship and deviance among children; the support to be offered to victims of crimes between peers; the implementation of the recent juvenile penitentiary system and the circulation of restorative justice tools among under-18s. The programme is published on the website of the Authority, in the dedicated news section.
UNICEF Italy dedicates the Day to the theme of mental health and psychosocial well-being and highlights the fact that one in seven adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 suffer from mental health problems worldwide. "Around the world – reads the website of the organisation -, most of the 800,000 people who commit suicide every year are young: suicide is the fifth most common cause of death for young people between 15 and 19 years old, and the second most common cause in Europe. Almost 46,000 teenagers worldwide die from suicide every year - more than one every 11 minutes". Other data and information can be found on the UNICEF website, in the dedicated news section.
In light of its anniversary, Save the Children has launched the thirteenth edition of the Atlante dell’infanzia a rischio (Atlas of Childhood at Risk), entitled How are you? The publication highlights the need to put the health of children and adolescents at the centre of all policy choices, from the protection of the urban environment to school canteens, to spaces for sport and movement, with particular attention to the issue of the mental health of adolescents, who have been greatly affected by the pandemic. The Atlas of Childhood at Risk is available on the Save the Children website under the "Publications" section.
The social enterprise Con i Bambini presented the fourth edition of the survey Gli italiani e la povertà educativa minorile (Italians and child educational poverty), carried out with Demopolis as part of the Fund for the fight against child educational poverty and dedicated this year to the theme How much future do we lose? The role of the school and the educating community in the country. The results are online on the Con i Bambini website, on the dedicated page.
To further explore the theme of the Day, we are recommending the following study materials selected by the Biblioteca Innocenti Library A.C. Moro: bibliographic research on the application of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children (and adolescents); bibliographic research on the rights of the child; bibliographic research on the rights of the girl child.
Other materials and news can be found on this website under the theme International Day of the Rights of Children (and adolescents), accessible from the "Topics" navigation menu.