The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, on the occasion of World Children's Day, issued the following statement:
"On the day we commemorate the approval, by the United Nations General Assembly, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, one of the fundamental principles of the Charter, that of non-discrimination, must be firmly asserted: every child is entitled to enjoy the same rights, without exception.
The Convention affirms the right to a happy childhood and reiterates that any form of exploitation of children and adolescents is prohibited, and today is the symbolic date to call attention to their rights and ensure that their defence is based upon concrete actions.
The number of States that, through the ratification of the Convention, have legally bound themselves to respect the principles stated therein is extremely high. However, despite our best efforts, to this day we witness their denial all too often. Children who lose their childhood and their freedom because they are "enrolled" in war zones. Refugee children, forced to flee to gain life expectancy. Children employed in child labour or recruited by organized crime because they were born in contexts of economic and educational deprivation. Girls used as bargaining chips, forced into often unwanted and precocious marriages, forced to live every day in a veritable nightmare: girls whose dreams, and expectation of a free life, are crushed.
The Republic, the international community bear the responsibility of offering childhood a future.
On it, on the abilities of children, rests the future of us all".