(ANS - Santo Domingo) – Fr Víctor Pichardo, Provincial of the Antilles, in a letter has announced the appointment of Silvia Mazzarelli, the representative of the International Voluntary Service for Development (VIS) and the person responsible for Human Rights in the Dominican Republic – “Muchachos con Don Bosco” (MDB), as the Caribbean Regional Representative of the International NGO Council on Violence Against Children.
The election was organised by the Latin-American and Caribbean Network for the Defence of Childrens Rights (REDLAMYC) at regional level; each of the NGO Networks or Coalitions for Latin America and the Caribbean presented a candidate for the election. At present there are 35 NGO Networks from 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean involving 2,200 NGO in the Region.
“It is indeed a great honour for me to be able to take part in such a high level international working group and I really hope that I am up to it ,” Silvia said when the news reached her while she was in Tanzania for the IV World Forum of the Global Network of Religion for Children (GNRC).
In his letter Fr Pichardo explains: “It is a top level Council created to provide support for Marta Santos País, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations on violence against children, implementing a study of the UNO in 2006 ensuring in particular that all the countries in the world put the recommendations into practice.”
There are 19 members of the Council to which Silvia Mazzarelli now belongs as the representative of VIS/ MDB: 9 members of the large International NGO (“Human Rights Watch”, “Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children”, “Defence for Children International”, “World Vision International”, “Save the Children”, “ECPAT International”, “World Organization Against Torture”, “Plan International” e CRIN); 9 Regional Representatives (North America, Latin America, Caribbean, Central and West Africa, South and East Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, North Asia, Pacific and East Asia). At present the Committee is chaired by the representatives of “Human Rights Watch” and “Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children”.
The Provincial of the Antilles speaking of the honour of the appointment of Silvia Mazzarelli adds: “There is no doubt that for the Salesians, the subject of the protection of children has always been a priority. Love and loving kindness has always been one of the pillars on which Salesian pedagogy, the Preventive System rests. In his writings Don Bosco in many ways anticipated the contents of the General Observations of the Committee on Childrens Rights of the United Nations on the subject.”
Silvia says: “My daily work will benefit greatly and I am convinced that it will also strengthen the work being undertaken in the defence of childrens rights in the Province of the Antilles, and will make the voice of the Salesians heard by the Special Representative of the United Nations on Violence Against Children.”