FICE Declaration of Sarajevo

At the FICE Congress in Sarajevo, 6 – 8 September 2006, the participants adopted a
declaration on the theme “Shaping a positive future despite a difficult childhood”. It
serves as a guideline for the further work of FICE International and the other signatory organisations. The Declaration has also been drafted in French and German, and will be subject to further editing.

Article I
FICE is committed to the rights of children, their participation in all affairs and
takes the special interests of young girls and boys into consideration.

Article II
It is our goal to concentrate to the utmost on the need of children in personal
crisis situations or in crisis areas to re-establish security, safety, and a sense of belonging for them.

Children mostly find themselves in crises and traumatic situations due to the impact of their environment. In such cases they depend on protection as parents normally provide it. Children without such parental protection need third persons and often professional, socio-pedagogical care, which recognizes their special circumstances and provides fast relief measures for safety and health and against abuse and exploitation. FICE promotes the provision of such needed expert care and its professional quality. It advocates providing children who find themselves in crisis situations without parents quickly with reference persons who are able to give them consistency and a sense of belonging. Such measures strengthen the personal resilience, the long-term ability of these young persons to overcome difficulties and continue to develop positively despite difficult circumstances.

Article III
We promote targeted educational and vocational support measures. For children in crisis situations without parental support these are of particular importance in providing assistance with integration and personal development.

High-quality educational and vocational support multiplies opportunities for finding
perspectives and shaping one’s future more positively. It enhances self-confidence and social competences, creates a sense of security and provides every-day routines and structures. Special attention needs to be paid to the particular needs of disabled children.

Article IV
It is a key long-term professional goal of FICE to give children the opportunity to find out their own origins or to find accepting orientation with their own parents and family despite past difficulties.

Children must have trust in adults who are close to them, in particular in their parents, and must be able to build feelings of respect and esteem. It is therefore important, if at all possible, to support parents in their parental role and to strengthen their competence and stability in educating their children.

Article V
Appropriate therapeutic aid helps in coping with traumatic experiences and
promotes the development of personal strengths and abilities to cope with
adversity. Particular attention needs to be paid to the needs of disabled children.

Article VI
The experiences and the suffering of innumerable persons with difficult
childhoods motivate us to strive for additional preventive efforts, to permit
children to grow up in reliable relationships, in security and peace, and not in
permanent conflict, in poverty or war.

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