2012-04-27 16:13:13

Vatican tells UN parents, not states, have duty to educate children

(April 27, 2012) The Holy See has decried a “disconcerting trend” in the world to “downplay the role of parents in the upbringing of their children, as if to suggest somehow that it is not the role of parents, but that of the State.” The Holy See’s delegation made the point on Tuesday at the 45th Session of the Conference on Population and Development at the United Nations headquarters in New York. At the April 23-27 meeting organized by the UN’s Economic and Social Council, the Holy See drew attention to the 250,000 Catholic schools around the world that “assist parents who have the right and duty to choose schools inclusive of homeschooling,” saying “they must possess the freedom to do so, which in turn, must be respected and facilitated by the State.” Citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Holy See stressed that “the natural and thus essential relationship between parents and their children be affirmed and supported, not undermined.” Focusing on education, in the context of the unemployment and illiteracy rates among the world’s youth, the Holy See recalled UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statement that “ensuring universal primary education and expanding enrolment at the secondary level can yield many dividends, especially with regard to improving skills for productive employment, reducing risky behaviours and developing habits that can influence health for the rest of young people’s lives”.

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