Written for the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, the Declaration on the Family formed a critical part of the Europe4Family bike-ride and celebrations. This WYA Declaration recognizes that the family is the most basic unit of society and the place where free and responsible citizens are best formed. In order to develop free and just societies, the family must be cultivated and protected in culture and law.
We affirm that the family is a school of deeper humanity within which each member learns best what it means to be a human person. There, each member of the human family, from conception to natural death, experiences the gift of unconditional, enduring love. Thus each human person is carefully taught by the family to be responsible, to commit, to share, and to love.
Within the family children first come to understand their own intrinsic and inviolable human dignity. Through their complementary roles, mother and father, equal in dignity, show their children that the freedom of the human person is most fully and rightly lived in the gift of self. True love freely received and given within the family is an image of the transcendent love that makes possible the fulfillment and completion of every human being.
The family sustains society as it gives life to the next generation. It also has the privilege of forming free and responsible citizens, thus securing democracy. As the fundamental unit of society the family ensures the sustainability of civilization and culture. It takes on essential tasks in the care of all and especially the weakest and most vulnerable.
In honor of this joyful commemoration of the year of the family, we invite every individual to join us in solidarity and seek to strengthen his or her own family; we ask individuals in business, arts, and media to support us by creating a family friendly climate; and we ask national, regional and international politicians to hear us and respond by creating the framework for a family friendly society.