In 1991, Italy put the spotlight on the need to respect and look after children when it signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Thirty years later, from 18 May, the volume Dalla parte dei bambini - Il libro sui diritti dell'infanzia e dell'adolescenza, published by Edizioni Piemme-Il Battello a Vapore, in collaboration with UNICEF Italia and the ICWA (the Italian association of children's writers), is in the bookstores: an illustrated book of twenty stories by well-known Italian children's writers, inspired by the articles of the Convention.
'For us, the best way to make people aware of the rights laid out in the UN Convention is to write stories, in contemporary settings or a more evocative dimension, about children who are still denied these rights, even in developed western countries like Italy,' observes writer and ICWA President Fulvia Degl'Innocenti in the introduction to the book. 'In every story there is hope, because growing numbers of organisations and bodies are fighting to ensure these rights are fully enforced.
UNICEF is the symbol of this, and its collaboration with the ICWA at various levels including this book is a powerful reflection of synergy and shared attention to childhood.' 'Il Battello a Vapore has always devoted special attention to issues of fundamental importance for children's development and education, and taken great care in how they are narrated,' explains Lorenzo Garavaldi, General Manager of the Mondadori Libri Children's Business Unit.'Dalla parte dei bambini is a special project for us, not only because we have the honour of working together with the ICWA and UNICEF, but also because it gives us the opportunity to tell children about self-respect and respect for others. We are never too young (or too old) to learn to live in a better world and we could not have thought of a better way of celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the Convention than by portraying it through words and pictures.'
'On 27 May we shall be celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Italy's ratification of the Convention, which sets out the rights of every human being from their birth and recognises children not just as minors under the protection of adults, but as people with civil, social, cultural, political and economic rights,' says Carmela Pace, President of UNICEF Italia. 'We want to thank the Piemme publishing house, the Italian association of children's writers and, above all, the authors, who have contributed to this collection of stories, generously giving their time, creativity and skills to ensure that every child who reads this book will be able to identify with it, to find out something about themselves, to look at the world with new eyes and to develop an awareness of their rights.'
Dalla parte dei bambini (pages: 256; price: € 13.00) is a vital tool to learn about people's rights, foster discussion and develop the awareness that every child should be listened to. The right to a name, to be listened to, to a family, to freedom of expression, thought and religion: every child is born with rights that adults must know, respect and promote. The stories of Omar who is adopted by the family of young Francesco; of Lisa, deaf from birth, who nevertheless manages to communicate with Tommaso; of Min Min, who receives a tin containing all the words she doesn't know; of Marta who decides to stand up to the bullies to protect her classmate Milan, and many others help us to listen, to understand and to be aware of our rights.
The authors who took part in the project are all members of the ICWA. They are: Fabrizio Altieri, Cristina Bartoli, Stefano Bordiglioni, Patrizia Ceccarelli, Carolina D'Angelo, Emanuela Da Ros, Vichi De Marchi, Fulvia Degl'Innocenti, Giuliana Facchini, Chiara Lossani, Alberto Melis, Roberto Morgese, Daniela Palumbo, Angelo Petrosino, Livia Rocchi, Isabella Salmoirago, Manuela Salvi, Anna Sarfatti, Chiara Valentina Segré, Valentina Torchia. The illustrations are by Silvia Crocicchi.