Peru Episcopate and UNICEF Sign Pact to Protect Children
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LIMA, Peru, DEC. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Peruvian episcopal conference and the United Nations Children's Organization signed an agreement of mutual cooperation to implement programs for the development and protection of children and adolescents.
The three-year agreement to support Peruvian children is in keeping with the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.
In addition, the document is inspired by the principles of the U.N. Convention on Children's Rights, and the Child and Adolescent Code of Peruvian legislation.
The signing took place Thursday at the headquarters of the Peruvian episcopal conference, in the presence of Bishop Hugo Garaycoa of Tacna-Moquegua, conference president; Bishop Juan Antonio Ugarte Pérez of Yauyos-Canete, president of the episcopal Commission for the Family; and Andres Franco, UNICEF representative in Peru.
With the signing of the agreement, the Church in Peru hopes to foster the work of pastoral agents in all the country's dioceses to establish centers for the protection of abandoned children and adolescents.
The Peruvian Catholic Church and UNICEF began to cooperate 15 years ago. According to the National Institute of Research and Statistics of Peru, more than a third of the country's population is under 14 years of age. The children represent 60% of the population living in poverty.