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Lasallians Respond to the Call for Social Transformation

Who will speak for those who do not have a voice?

Students and faculty of Lasallian schools and colleges in the United States and Toronto, Canada, will assemble from April 25-27 at the United Nations in New York City for the Lasallian Convocation on the Rights of the Child, a teach-in on how and why to move towards achieving a world fit for children. Participants will join thousands of other Americans in their call for the US to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Since the adoption of the CRC in 1989, the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools has advocated for the human rights and guiding principles enshrined in the treaty, which sets legal and moral standards for the human rights of children. The Convention emphasizes the rights of children to survival; to develop to their full potential; to protection from abuse, neglect, discrimination, and exploitation; and to participate in family, cultural, and social life.

The Convention was largely negotiated during the Reagan administration. During the 10 years of negotiations, the US influenced nearly every substantive provision and proposed more articles on freedom of speech, association, assembly, and privacy than all other governments combined.

The Lasallian Convocation at the UN is part of a global effort within the Lasallian world towards achieving a culture of action on behalf of the rights of children. The three-day event is packed with activities and presentations that are designed to inform, educate and inspire the way Lasallians think, judge, decide, and act as individuals within the community. The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, has endorsed this gathering and will deliver an address to the assembly.

The convocation marks the beginning of a concrete effort by the Lasallian educational community to wed service activities with justice-oriented advocacy reflective of Lasallian education as it moves forward in the 21st century. Together, 140 Lasallians gathered in the United Nations will send a clear message for the United States to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.