International Children's Day

INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S DAY – 1st June

The World Conference for the well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1925, proclaimed June 1st to be the International Children's Day. After nearly a century we can now celebrate the widespread consensus that children are individuals with rights, that must be respected and safeguarded.

However, maltreatment, neglect, sexual abuse, abandonment, human trafficking, sexual trafficking, slavery, children’s work exploitation, contact deprivation with their loved ones, are just some of the ways these rights are still being violated. They may also be victims of violence within their own family, from the community, from the professional system. Furthermore children are victims of environmental disasters, wars, political conflicts, discrimination and prejudice, and disrespect for their own individuality and human rights.

How can we, psychologists, contribute to fully safeguarding children’s rights? How can we help prevent these situations? And how can we intervene?

Psychologists assume a very important role regarding individual interventions, focused on children. However, this has to be complemented with more global action, centred on family and community’s issues. A focus on prevention is central, but also responding to crisis situations, in order to minimize the negative consequences and preventing post traumatic impacts.

This kind of intervention is only possible in an adjusted and structured international policy framework, supplemented by a multidisciplinary professional system that must have the necessary resources, allowing for its effective implementation. A professional system oriented by ethical principles, respecting the human being in it’s totality.

Because children grow and carry with them a familiar and cultural heritage that will influence them as future adults we need to ask what heritage do we want them to have? What memories do we want them to recall? We believe the best we can give them is the opportunity to grow in a warm and secure environment. Only in this way can we all contribute to a better world.