IBBY is the International Board of Books for Young People, representing national organizations working with children and books all over the world. Here is an extract from their new year’s message.
2015 was a worrying year with terrorist attacks and wars that have made millions of scared people take flight in search of a safer life. None of us can escape the sometimes, cruel world events, even though we would like to.
Jella Lepman, founder of IBBY, wrote in honour of the first international children’s book fair in Munich in 1946, that children hold no responsibility for war, regardless of the side they are on. IBBY continues her work by working to protect the rights of the child on all sides.
When these rights are being violated, we will always choose to protect the child. IBBY Italy gave us a perfect example when they chose to help the flood of refugee children arriving on the small island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean. The political leaders of Europe had not moved an inch by the time the IBBY international community had rallied around this project.
In 2015 IBBY and its partners called on the US Government to care for the thousands of unaccompanied refugee children and families after they cross the Mexican/USA border on their incredible journeys from their war-torn and violent homelands in search of a place to live and grow.
Thanks to these activities, refugee children will be introduced and welcomed to the library and will be seen as individuals. A human being is a human being. A child is a child. An individual. Not an anonymous statistic. Books and reading save lives and give traumatised children a chance to become whole, contributing citizens as they grow up. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who were involved in these important projects.
To find out more about IBBY, go to: www.ibby.org