Bolivia: Defending the world’s children

For ten years, from 1979 to 1989, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child drafted the rights of children the world over. Defence for Children International (DCI) galvanised the NGO community to play an active role not only in the drafting process but also in ensuring that as many States as possible ratified and implemented the convention’s proposals. 

For its continuous commitment to the cause of children, DCI has been awarded the Dutch human rights prize Geuzenpenning in 2003. The President of DCI International, Jorge Vila Despujol SJ from Bolivia represented the organisation at the ceremony in March. The DCI movement has 45 chapters and is active in all continents. The Bolivian chapter ( has some Jesuits working in the country’s six offices, promoting education and social participation, and lobbying with policy-makers to respond to the social needs of children. It publishes the quarterly magazine “Protagonistas.” In its work to recognise full citizenship for all children, particularly in Bolivia, DCI has become a reference organisation for the whole society.