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Loggia of Istituto degli Innocenti and the historical gates of the city are lit in blue as part of a global celebration of children’s rights

The City of Florence joined UNICEF Innocenti and the Istituto degli Innocenti to #TurnTheWorldBlue, an initiative launched by UNICEF around the world to celebrate World Children’s Day 2020. Iconic Florentine monuments including Istituto degli Innocenti's loggia were illuminated in blue.

 

The loggia of the Istituto degli Innocenti in Piazza Santissima Annunziata and the historical gates of the city turned blue in celebration of World Children’s Day on 20 November, 2020.

An initiative launched by UNICEF to #TurnTheWorldBlue, this year’s event is dedicated to reimagining the post-pandemic future of all children at a time when millions around the world have been hit hard. Coronavirus is having severe impact on the health, well-being and education of children; hence, World Children’s Day aims to empower children to play an active role in creating a more child-friendly world.

"Today, children of the world are talking about the issues that concern them most," said Gunilla Olsson, Director of the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti. “On this special World Children's Day, as we navigate a global pandemic, we hope everyone will have a chance to be mindful of what children and young people are going through and take every opportunity, virtual or otherwise, to listen at what they have to say about their hopes for the future. A wish and a warning of how urgent the needs of children are.”

The lighting of the loggia of the Istituto – made possible thanks to a donation from Silfi, a Florence lighting company –  as well as  of the historical gates, also remind thousands of visitors and residents to renew the pledge made on November 20, 1989 of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most widely ratified international treaty, signed by 196 countries. Italy was among the first signatories of the Convention, reconfirming its commitment to children.

UNICEF Innocenti's Director, Gunilla Olsson, joined partners from the City of Florence, Region of Tuscany, Istituto degli Innocenti, and the lighting company that generously donated the blue light, in a ceremony on 20 November, 2020 to mark World Children's Day. From left to right: Giovanni Palumbo, Director General of the Istituto degli Innocenti; Gunilla Olsson Director of UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti; Eugenio Giani, President of the Tuscany Region; Maria Grazia Giuffrida, President of the Istituto degli Innocenti; Sara Funaro, Councilor for Education, Rights and Equal Opportunities of the Municipality of Florence; and Claudio Vallario, Silfi Florence lighting company.

 

"As per tradition, the Istituto degli Innocenti, which has been working for the rights of children for six hundred years, participates in World Children’s Day,” said Maria Grazia Giuffrida, President of Istituto degli Innocenti. “By turning the Loggia blue this evening – a window which is such an important symbol of caring for children – we can continue the dialogue about children with the city and with the Florentines even in the moment we are living in. Remembering the 31 years of the UN Convention, it is important to reflect on what remains to be done to ensure that children's rights are respected everywhere in the world.

"The Istituto degli Innocenti celebrates on this day and every year, but especially in this period of difficulty, because of the pandemic,” said Giovanni Palumbo, Director General of the Istituto degli Innocenti. “By turning the facade of the Institute, and consequently the city, blue, a color which unites the Institute and UNICEF, it is a reminder not to forget, especially in this difficult emergency time, the needs and rights of children.”

The lighting ceremony of the Loggiato degli Innocenti was attended by: Gunilla Olsson Director of UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti; Maria Grazia Giuffrida, President of the Istituto degli Innocenti; Eugenio Giani, President of the Tuscany Region; Sara Funaro, Councilor for Education, Rights and Equal Opportunities of the Municipality of Florence; Giovanni Palumbo, Director General of the Istituto degli Innocenti; Claudio Vallario, Silfi Florence lighting company.

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About the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti in Florence
The UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti, established by an agreement between the Italian Government and UNICEF in New York in 1986, undertakes research on emerging or current issues to influence the strategies, policies and programs of UNICEF and partners; to stimulate global debates on children's rights and development; and to impact on the global research agenda and policies for all children, especially the most vulnerable.
For more information on research programs, consult the website and the following social channels
www.unicef-irc.org @UNICEFInnocenti facebook.com/UNICEFInnocenti

For information:

Dale Rutstein, drutstein@unicef.org cell 335 7582585

Patrizia Faustini pfaustini@unicef.org cell 3471168687

Ufficio Stampa Istituto degli Innocenti: Francesca Nieri nieri@istitutodeglinnocenti.it

Ufficio Stampa Comune di Firenze: Francesca Padula francesca.padula@comune.fi.it