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Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale - FMSI

09/12/2009: General House

FMSI (Fondazione Marista per la Solidarietà Internazionale), faithful to its annual Advent rendez-vous, offers us this year a new booklet to accompany the spiritual journey of Brothers, teachers, students, fraternities, lay men and women, and members of the Marist family. This year it brings us echos of the 21st General Chapter and the 20th anniversary of the Convention on Children’s Rights. In the preparations for the General Chapter, FMSI looked for a way of getting the voices of the young heard in the Chapter discussions. They thought it important that, during the 20th anniversary of the Convention, children and young people should have the opportunity to propose some matter for reflection to the capitulants. The means chosen was to mount an exhibition of photos of children and young people from all over the world, and this remained open right through the Chapter. Many went to visit it and it gave them « matter for reflection » (Download the Advent Brochure).

The Advent brochure this year, as well as keeping the subject of the General Chapter in mind, provides an opportunity for reflecting on the text of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, on the international treaty of human rights which details the rights children and young people all over the planet should have. In its pages it invites everyone to read the text of the treaty during Advent. One can find the complete text and its two titles – one about children in armed conflict, and the other about the sale of children and their exploitation in prostitution and pornography – on the web page of the High Commission of the United Nations for Human Rights www.unhchr.ch

This little guide for the season of Advent provides reflections on the Biblical readings of each day and on what the young have to say to us about the new world they hope to see one day. It invites us as well to devote a moment to examine how we personally can promote the rights of children in our situations. Children have rights … not because they are children … not because they are small … not because they are young, but because they are human beings. In any case, it is because they are children, because they are small, because they are young, that we have the responsibility to see that their rights are protected, promoted, and recognized.

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