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Rights of the child: Bilateral Commission of Delegations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See, “special obligation towards the more vulnerable members of our communities”

“The Commission noted the significant advance in modern society regarding the subject of human rights as evidenced in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and in particular the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. These principles of the inviolability of human life and the inalienability of human dignity find their full expression in relationships between the individual and the Divine and the individual and his/her neighbour; with responsibility to provide for such expression throughout society. We have a special obligation towards the more vulnerable members of our communities and in particular towards children, the guarantors of posterity, who are not yet able to express their full potential and to protect themselves”. This is according to the joint declaration signed by the Bilateral Commission of the Delegations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, at the end of their meeting that was held in Rome from 18 to 20 November. Participants, who were received in audience by Pope Francis on 19 November, stressed that “respect for the personal dignity of children must also take the form of offering the widest range of stimuli and instruments to develop their reflective and operative capacities. Not only is it necessary that children perceive themselves to be the object of appropriate and loving attention, but also that they be dynamically engaged in such a way that their cognitive and practical capabilities are stimulated. In order for this development to take place in consonance with the aforementioned values, it is necessary to nurture authentic and stable loving relationships, and provide for adequate nutrition, healthcare and protection, as well as the necessary religious education, schooling, informal learning and creativity”.

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