Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lasallian regional leadership advocates for children’s rights

The Lasallian leadership in the USA-Toronto Region signing the public statement “Standing for Children” before a gathering of over 250 Lasallian educators: (L-R) Bro. Timothy Coldwell, Provincial, New Orleans-Santa Fe District; Bro. Dennis Malloy, Provincial, District of Eastern North America; Bro. Larry Schatz, Provincial, Midwest District; and Bro. Robert Schieler, General Councilor. Not in photo, Bro. Donald Johanson, Provincial, San Francisco District.

The leadership of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in the USA-Toronto Region has given its full support for the promotion and protection of the rights of children with the signing of a statement advocating and committing themselves to helping children achieve their full human dignity. The public signing was held on Nov. 19, before a national gathering of more than 250 Lasallian educators in Washington, D.C.

This public expression of support and solidarity for the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted in 1989 and ratified by all countries except the U.S. and Somalia, calls upon political and religious leaders, as well as civil society organizations in this country and throughout the world, to move toward achieving real progress in the protection of children's rights. Today, 14.1 million children in the U.S. are economically poor and much work remains to be done.

The Defense of the Rights of the Child has become a focus of the Lasallian Mission since the turn of the 21st century with the release of the Pastoral Letter from Superior General, Brother John Johnston, FSC, to the Brothers and to all members of the Lasallian family in 1999. A year later the delegates to the 43rd General Chapter of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools overwhelmingly endorsed this initiative. Since that time there have been educational and formation events promoting the Defense of the Rights of the Child in the United States-Toronto Region, culminating in the April 2010 Lasallian Convocation at the United Nations.