Terre des Hommes welcomes the Pope’s motu proprio initiative to complete the Vatican’s normative system with the approval of laws for the protection of children, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the redefinition of the category of crimes against minors.

“This act of the Holy Father is of epochal importance with regard to the Vatican’s assumption of the implications deriving from, among others, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989, the Trafficking Protocol, and the Protocols on child soldiers and sexual exploitation of minors,” declares Raffaele K. Salinari, President of Terre des Hommes International. The Holy See fulfills this with unacceptable lateness, but at the same time places the establishment of the Church at the service of respect for childrens’ rights not only in condemning violations but in introducing them as crimes within its own penal code. Pope Francis’ decision will certainly have implications from an international relations point of view.  In this way, from an international perspective, the decision opens a new phase in which the Church authorities will finally be able to be supportive to those NGOs and international institutions that defend children’s rights.

For 50 years Terre des Hommes has been at the forefront to  protect children around the world from violence, abuse, and exploitation and to ensure school, informal education, medical care, and food for every child. Currently, Terre des Hommes is present in 64 countries with over 840 projects favoring children. Terre des Hommes Italy is part of the Terre des Hommes International Federation, works in partnership with ECHO, and is accredited by the European Union, the UN, USAID, and the Italian Ministy of Foreign Affairs.

For more information: www.terredeshommes.it.


Rossella Panuzzo
Ufficio Stampa Terre des Hommes
02 28970418 – 340 3104927