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International Children’s Rights Day 20th November: Protect the childhood!

Press release

Brussels, November 20, 2014

International Children’s Rights Day 20th November: Protect the childhood!

One fifth of the European population are children. Today, November 20th, marked as International Children’s Rights

day, the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA) encourages its 36 national member associations

to speak up and share psychological knowledge to raise awareness on children’s rights and well-being.

Universal Children's Day

In 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children's Day devoted to

promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The date 20

November marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), in 1989.

The Declaration states that: “The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by

law and by other means, to enable him/her to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a

healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the

best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration”.

In a world with declining mortality rates, rising school attendance and increased awareness of children´s needs, still

too many children are exploited, mistreated and deprived of the most fundamental needs and rights. This year, 2014,

the Task Force on Human Rights of EFPA celebrates the 55th anniversary of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child

and the 25th anniversary of the CRC and takes this day to encourage all member associations to speak up and share

psychological knowledge to raise awareness on children´s rights and well-being.

Healthy development rests on sensitive care and feeling safe. Adverse childhood experiences put development at risk

at all levels: neurobiological, psychological, behavioral and social. Hence, Prof. Robert Roe, EFPA’s President states

that protection of children and promotion of healthy childhoods should be a prime priority to all psychologists.

Roe explains: ‘In a professional psychological context we can contribute to defend and strengthen children’s rights by

actively incorporate the Convention on the rights of the child into psychological practice. Conversely, psychological

knowledge can fill the Convention and the central principle of the best interest of the child with theory, evidence and

substance.’

About EFPA Task Force on Human Rights

In 2013, EFPA established a Task Force on Human Rights to address the ongoing threats to human rights in the world

and to more strongly articulate psychologists’ responsibilities to do what is within our scope and capabilities to

 Raise awareness of human rights and (risks of) human rights violations

 Prevent human rights violations

 Alleviate the effects of human rights violations

Related links:

General comment No. 14 (2013) on the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary

consideration: http://www2.ohchr.org/English/bodies/crc/docs/GC/CRC_C_GC_14_ENG.pdf

Investing in children: The European child maltreatment prevention action plan 2015-2020:

http://www.euro.who.int/prevent-child-abuse

Note to the editor, not for publication

To be released: November 19, 2014

Further information on this press release can be provided by Kerstin Söderström, member of EFPA Task Force Human

Rights at kerstins(at)online.no or Polli Hagenaars, convenor of Task Force Human Rights at

pollihagenaars(at)hotmail.com

European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations EFPA

Grasmarkt 105/39 – Agora Galerij – B-1000 Brussels – Belgium – www.efpa.eu – Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.

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