So grandfather went out again in the morning and – coming back in from the cold -declared grimly that they should try and get some sleep as the ice was sound enough now, and they would go ice-fishing at nightfall … Continue reading
“As you know the town was chartered by the authority of the State, Aug. 17th in the year of the Lord over 150 years ago.” I said, imitating Uncle Joe’s voice. Fiona smiled a bit. Encouraged, I continued:” It was … Continue reading
Monsters for Children’s Rights. Clausnitz: On this day when some who felt they were entitled to do so, took pride in scaring and rough handling already traumatized refugee children, I point out: Have a close look at our Constitution, and realize that those who threaten others with violence do not represent anything remotely resembling German values.If you’re looking for a true German value, read Art. 1 GG : “Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority. The German people therefore acknowledge inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every community, of peace and of justice in the world.”
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was written to protect children, all children, worldwide and to guarantee their birthright: to be held gently, to be loved by someone best of all, to be raised respectfully, to find protection. The Magna Charta Libertatis for Children conceived by Janusz Korczak, ratified now by all nations save two. “For all children wherever they are.” I am a lawyer and I say: Building fences to “protect” European borders violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 50 % of all refugees worldwide are children.
30 Million children worldwide are refugees. Building fences against children: is that our European vision? We can do better. I need to believe that as a Union we have the intellectual, moral and political capacity to respond with solutions that will turn out to be stepping stones in a foundation for increasing global stability instead of increasing political isolation of nations eager to defend their wealth against the human tide which in turn will lead to war. Europe is not – and has never been – an Island. Ultimately, finding humanitarian solutions that respect UN Children’s Rights will be a way for peace inside and outside Europe. Janusz Korzak knew this when he wrote down the Magna Charta in an orphanage in the midst of the Warsaw Ghetto: if you want peace you need to start with the children. Within a generation you raise or destroy a culture. We have the legal framework to respond to the challenge. Let’s use it.
A bit of madness, an inch of kindness, 2 grams of compassion, a squeeze of foresight, a millimeter of imagination … if you want peace for Europe you need to strive for peace outside Europe. Integrating newcomers to Europe, keeping refugee children from drowning and securing them safe passage instead ( as agreed to in the UN convention on the rights of the Child), offering them education and safety as the convention requires us to, is not charity but a powerful instrument for global stability within a generation.