The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, has issued the following statement:
«Universal Children’s Day takes on a special meaning this year, due to a global pandemic having a strong impact on those most vulnerable and exposed to the risk of discrimination and rights violation.
By crossing all boundaries, the virus is undermining the future of next generations.
In Italy, even before the health emergency, the number of children living in extreme poverty was dramatically high and is set to increase. Each of us has to make a responsible effort to protect the youngest and support parents in need, in order to avoid a further widening of the economic and educational inequalities of families.
Children, just like adults, who are faced with major changes in their daily lives due to the health emergency caused by COVID-19, may feel the consequences, as anxiety and concern may affect even the youngest. The challenge we have to face is to give our young people peace of mind by informing them about what is happening in the world and protecting them from anxiety.
Children need safety, transparency and simplicity, ensuring that their perception of reality is correct and not altered by fears and tension. Nowadays, more than ever, the priority is to protect the youngest, those living uncomfortable situations in families or suffering from disabilities and who need assistance that families are not always able to provide.
In coping with the emergency, it is necessary that educational and social tools become increasingly effective and fair for children and their families.
We need to ensure that our children can make their dreams come true, we must target our intervention and prevent them from dropping out of school because education drives the development and growth of a country and is one of the rights of children and teenagers.
The state of health of children and teenagers is influenced by the social context they live in. It is therefore necessary to decisively intervene in order to prevent children and young people from feeling lonely, to overcome all forms of inequality and to hand over a better and more responsible world to future generations».