WYAE Celebrates Decade of Dignity and Development – Education for Life and Dignity!

Press release: Youth challenges sexual and human rights education

Brussels- Belgium, 3 rd September 2009

The World Youth Alliance is gathering youth leaders across Europe for the “HUMAN project”, a week long conference on education from the 2nd to 6th September 2009.

This celebrates the World Youth Alliance’s 10th anniversary in Brussels as part of multiple events across Europe and its four other offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin and North America. François Jacob, European Director of WYA, introduced this final event declaring:”In 1999, World Youth Alliance formed to represent the unheard voice of young people who believed in an integral approach to the development of the individual and society…10 years onwards, materialistic visions of the human person are implemented in sexual education and other school curriculums. The Human Project is our contribution to this essential debate! ”

Young people will discuss with MEPs and academia in the European Parliament (Jan 6Q1) on Thursday, September 3rd from 15:00 to 17:00. Besides representatives of youth grassroots initiatives from Belgium, Austria and Slovenia, speakers include:

–         Prince Nikolaus von Liechtenstein (Ambassador to the EU, Liechtenstein)
–         Mr. Nirj Deva, MEP (UK)
–         Mr. Gay Mitchell, MEP (Ireland)
–         Mr. Sergej Koperdak (Head of Youth Policy Unit, European Commission)
–         Mrs. Christine Marcellus de Vollmer (Chairwoman, Alliance for the Family)
–         Prof. Christiaan Alting von Geusau (President, Phoenix Institute Europe)

Please find the Statement on Education for Integral Development below.

The World Youth Alliance is a global coalition of young people committed to promoting the dignity of the person and building solidarity among youth from developed and developing nations. We train young people to work at the regional and international levels to impact policy and culture. Through this lived experience of the dignity of the person, young people are able to affirm life at all levels of society. WYA represents 1 million members through its 4 regional offices and more than 3000 members and 40 member organizations across Europe.

Contact: HUFNAGEL Gerlinde (World Youth Alliance Europe)
Rue Belliard, 23A (Bte 6)
1040 Bruxelles, Belgique
Telephone : +32 2 732 7605 | Mobile : +32 486.656.011
Statement on education for integral development

World Youth Alliance seeks to answer the question of education based on the following universal principles:

Every human person has intrinsic dignity that begins at conception and ends at natural death. Each human person is free, and this freedom is most fully lived out in the gift of oneself to one another. Thus love is the experience of freedom lived for the good of the other, which creates the conditions for genuine human flourishing or the common good. The common good arises from the free decision to live outside of oneself and for the benefit of the community. Education, the process of imparting or acquiring knowledge, developing the powers of reason and judgment and preparing oneself for a mature life, teaches us to live out this freedom in our daily lives. It is a human right, and therefore a primary driver of integral human development.

The right to education must be pursued in the context of respect for the human person and the family, especially the prior right of parents to educate their children. Family, as the fundamental unit of society, is a school of solidarity and the ideal place for education and integral development to take place, especially within its specific cultural and religious contexts. When education is placed in a context of respect for the family, utilitarian and ideological drivers of education will be avoided, and education will be based instead on the reality of human lives. In this context, the human person can develop freely and with an understanding of the nature of the human person and his ultimate purpose: self-gift. True knowledge cannot be achieved without acknowledging that the human person is a being with intrinsic, inherent dignity.

We urge international institutions, governments and all actors of the civil society to respect and implement these basic principles in all formal and non-formal education programmes.


For more information on the HUMAN project, click here to download the media package.