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Florence turns blue to celebrate World Children's Day 2020

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

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Florence landmarks 'go blue' to celebrate World Children's Day 2019
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Florence landmarks 'go blue' to celebrate World Children's Day 2019

Brunelleschi's Loggiata degli Innocenti illuminated in blue with a World Children's Day multi-media display projected against it's walls in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 600th anniversary of the Istituto Degli Innocenti and the 30th year since the establishment of UNICEF's Office of Research - Innocenti.(20 November 2019) The City of Florence today joined UNICEF Innocenti and the Istituto degli Innocenti in '#GoBlue,' an initiative launched by UNICEF around the world to celebrate World Children’s Day Iconic Florentine monuments were illuminated in blue: the six ancient gates of the city; the Basilica of S. Miniato; and the facade of the Istituto degli Innocenti. The ‘blue landmarks’ event commemorates the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 600th anniversary of the founding of the Istituto degli Innocenti and the 30th year since establishment of the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti here in Florence, housed in the same complex as the Istituto.World Children’s Day is commemorated each year on 20 November, the date the Convention was adopted in 1989. The Convention is the most widely ratified UN human rights treaty in history, and has the backing of 196 countries. Italy was among the early signatories of the Convention and has demonstrated its commitment to promoting child rights with through a financial contribution to found and sustain UNICEF’s Office of Research-Innocenti. Washed in blue light, the Loggiato degli Innocenti and the historic monuments of the City of Florence will remind thousands of visitors and residents about the importance of the commitment to children that the world made thirty years ago by approving the Convention. From sunset on 20 November, a multi-media presentation on the theme of World Children’s Day will run continuously until midnight on the original façade of the Istituto degli Innocenti in Piazza SS Annunziata.“Today Florence goes blue, joining cities in Italy and throughout the world in calling for greater attention to children’s rights and a brighter future for all children,” said Priscilla Idele, UNICEF Innocenti Director, a.i “We are especially proud to be part of this huge global initiative, but we are even more proud this year to commemorate 30 years of our presence in Florence, as well as the 600 years of the Istituto degli Innocenti that has hosted us for thirty years.” "The Istituto degli Innocenti, a special place where we have been working to defend the rights of children for 600 years, is perhaps the most suitable place to celebrate World’s Children’s Day in Florence’, remarks Maria Grazia Giuffrida, President of the Istituto degli Innocenti.  “Thanks to UNICEF, this Renaissance loggia in Piazza Santissima Annunziata -- where there is the small window which represents the first care provided by the Istituto -- is going blue on this special evening. This helps us to reflect on what remains to be done to ensure that the rights claimed 30 years ago in the UN Convention are fulfilled for all children of the world. The celebrations of the 600th anniversary of the Istituto degli Innocenti serve to remember us of history of child care and protection that have taken place here. Above all, it allows us to renew our commitment to institutions and cities and regions that support policies in favor of children and adolescents.”"The blue light that today, exceptionally, illuminates the Brunelleschi's Loggia of the Istituto degli Innocenti, reminds us to turn the spotlight onto children and their rights,” states Giovanni Palumbo, Director General of the Istituto degli Innocenti. “I am thinking of the rights of those children who run away from their countries and wars, and who experience incredible suffering and difficulties and are unwillingly forced to become adults before time. Blue is already the color of the Istituto degli Innocenti and is also the color of UNICEF. We therefore hope that blue will increasingly become the color of children and their rights, their hopes, and their future. We will continue to paint blue our thoughts and our concrete daily actions in support of the protection and promotion of the rights of children and adolescents.""The attention to the rights of children and adolescents is fundamental, and days like this are important to keep high the attention on the risks they are exposed to in Italy and everywhere," says City Councilor Sara Funaro. "This year we light up the Basilica of San Miniato, the Istituto degli Innocenti and the ancient city gates as a symbol of the opening and embrace of Florence towards the realization of children's rights. There is a universal consensus about the importance of guaranteeing the rights of the youngest citizens, but unfortunately we still have some work to do because many of them are -- in Italy too -- victims of violence or abuse, discrimination, marginalization or seriously neglected.”Sara Funaro, Councilor of the Municipality of Florence and Priscilla Idele, Director a.i., UNICEF Innocenti, stand in front of the San Miniato al Monte basilica, considered one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany, illuminated in blue as part of UNICEF's #GoBlue campaign to celebrate World Children's Day 2019.According to a new UNICEF report, Every Right For Every Child, launched today, historic and undeniable gains have been made for children in the past three decades. The global mortality rate for children under 5 has decreased by around 60 per cent. The numbers of children of primary-school age who do not go to school decreased from 18 per cent to eight per cent.  Routine immunization coverage reached 86 per cent of children in 2018.But there is still much work to be done to ensure that every child has all of their rights met. Despite the fall in mortality rates, around 15,000 children under of 5 died every day in 2018; more than 1 in 4 children live in countries affected by conflicts or natural disasters; and almost 20 million children are at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. Moreover, rising inequality, climate change, mental illness, school drop-outs, and online protection represent new challenges for the protection of future generations and of their rights.Children’s rights are universal and timeless, but childhood has changed a lot over the last 30 years, and today children are increasingly the agents of their own future and claiming their rights. We must act on the promise made 30 years ago to ensure no child will be left behind.The World Children's Day "#GoBlue" blue illumination and multi-media display projected onto the walls of the historic Loggiata Degli Innocenti designed by renown Renaissance architecht Filippo Brunelleschi in 1419.A brief ceremony to turn the Loggiato degli Innocenti blue was held in front of the Istituto degli Innocenti in Piazza Santissima Annunziata in Florence. The ceremony was attended by: Maria Grazia Giuffrida, President of the Istituto degli Innocenti; Priscilla Idele, Director a.i, UNICEF Innocenti; Sara Funaro, Councilor for Education, Rights and Equal Opportunities of the Municipality of Florence; Stefania Saccardi, Councilor for Welfare of the Tuscany Region; Eugenio Giani, President of the Regional Council of Tuscany; and Giovanni Palumbo, Director General of the Istituto degli Innocenti.

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