Bookbird announces auction to benefit IBBY Children in Crisis.
Roger Mello 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award winner donated Bookbird Cover Artwork. Learn more here.
Launch of major appeal to re-open the IBBY libraries in Gaza
For information about the project and how to make your donation, please follow this link: IBBY Appeal 2014
2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award Winners Acceptance Speeches
The medals were presented to the winners at the 34th IBBY World Congress in Mexico City, Mexico on Wednesday 10 September 2014. To read the speeches from the ceremony click here.
IBBY Honour List 2014 film
Watch the IBBY Honour List 2014 film presented at the 34 IBBY International Congress in Mexico City, 12 September 2014 here
16th edition of FNLIJ Book Salon for Children
Around 40 thousand people attended the 16th edition of FNLIJ Book Salon for Children and Young people in Rio. The event brought together 180 authors and 67 publishers that exposed more than 11 thousand publications on their stands.
Read the complete release here
NEW!! Asian-Africa-Oceania Newsletter August 2014
Read the latest news from the IBBY sections in the region here
News from Gaza: 12 August 2014
The IBBY library in Beit Hanoun was housed in the building of the al-Ataa Society. In April 2013 the IBBY President visited the centre in Beit Hanoun. He went with the President of IBBY Palestine, the President of the IBBY Trust and the IBBY Executive Director. The IBBY library was a place of peace. The children could go to read, draw or just play. This visit was so impressive in many ways, not least the dedication of the librarians and the families who participated and encouraged their young ones to go. The library was a bright, clean and welcoming place.
Today the library and the neighbourhood is a pile of rubble. The children’s homes have either been totally destroyed or partially destroyed. All of them have been displaced with their families.
IBBY will be launching a new appeal for donations to rebuild and restock the IBBY-run libraries in Gaza. The launch will be at the 34th IBBY World Congress in Mexico City on 10 September 2014
25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We call upon all people to remember Article 6, which states:
- Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
- Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified by Israel on 3 October 1991. Only Somalia and the USA have not yet ratified the Convention.
At the General Assembly in 2012 IBBY members voted to add a new section under the Aims of IBBY (Clause 1) to its Statutes:
- To protect and uphold the Rights of the Child especially concerning the articles 14, 17, 23, 28, 29 and 30 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
These articles state:
Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the child has access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health.
Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions, which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community.
Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity.
Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practice his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.
The full text can be read at http://www.ohchr.org
We also feel that the following articles are particularly relevant in the current situation:
States Parties shall ensure that:
(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;
(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner, which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.
1. Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts, which are relevant to the child.
2. Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
3. Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces.
4. In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population in armed conflicts, Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.
Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment, which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.
IBBY Libraries in Gaza: 29 July 2014
The very sad news is that it looks that the entire community centre (al Ata’a) in Beit Hanoun, which hosted one of the IBBY libraries, has been completely destroyed. At the beginning of 2014 a second library was opened in the centre. According to a report by the Guardian “scores of homes were pulverised, roads were blocked by wreckage and power cables dangled in the street” in Beit Hanoun neighbourhood. The librarian had moved out with her family, as have the children who used the library and their families.
There is no clear news from our library in Rafah as it is a military zone and no one is allowed to go there. The Rafah librarian his family and all the children of the library with their families had been displaced earlier.
There are now reportedly 182,604 internally displaced people in 82 UNRWA shelters in Gaza.
Yesterday the roof of the building and the upper floor of the building where the PBBY (IBBBY Palestine) coordinator and her family live, have been bombarded and damaged. Many buildings in the neighbourhood have been destroyed or damaged. There is no water as the tanks on the roof were destroyed and the electricity supply is almost non-existent.
Last week in Gaza, the United Nations noted with alarm that a child was dying every hour.
IBBY Libraries in Gaza 19/7/2014
The two IBBY library areas that are border areas (Rafah and Beit Hanoun) have been heavily bombarded by Israeli military, thousands of Palestinians living there have been displaced. The two areas are now military zones after the Israeli land invasion. PBBY received this message from the librarian in Beit Hanoun, Abla Hassan, about the situation there before she was displaced two days ago.
The al-Ata’ community based centre that hosts the library has been targeted and very badly damaged. The children's court yard has been destroyed as well as books, computers, windows and walls. As to the children's homes who use the library, three houses have been completely destroyed and thirty houses partially destroyed. The number of children or their family members killed is not known yet.
No known news about the library in al-Shawka – Rafah. All families are displaced including the librarian Mahmoud who left two days ago and described the situation as ‘horrific tens of civilians killed and tens of houses destroyed no specific news about the situation of the children using the library and the library building.
Open Letter from IBBY Foundation President
IBBY Statement Regarding the Current Situation in Gaza
The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) was established shortly after the close of World War II. IBBY’s founder, Jella Lepman, believed that books could build bridges of understanding and peace between people. The children needed to know what all good readers know: you are not alone; others have experiences, feelings and needs just like you do, and there is a whole world out there you know nothing about. The children of Gaza are trapped in a life that revolves around hate and oppression.
Since 2008 IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People) has been supporting two new children’s libraries in the Gaza Strip. One library is situated in the northern community of Beit Hanoun near the Israeli border. The other is in the south in the South in the town of Rafah, close to the border crossing with Egypt. The funding for the libraries came from the great American children’s author Katherine Paterson and her family foundation. The books selected by IBBY experts in the region took months to arrive. The librarians had to be trained long distance. People from the region could not visit Gaza and the residents of the Gaza Strip were forbidden by the Israelis to travel for their training.
But they did manage to open at last. And to re-open after the invasion of Gaza, even though some of the young users were killed.
Reports from our libraries were encouraging but no one from IBBY had actually ever had the chance to visit them. Finally in that hopeful but brief moment known as the Arab Spring there was an opening. In 2013 a small IBBY delegation travelled to the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing and finally crossed over into Gaza. IBBY's President, President of the IBBY
Foundation, the Executive Director, and the head of our Palestinian section took this exceptional opportunity of seeing those libraries with our own eyes. They exceeded our expectations.
We found Gaza a quite unexpected place. At that moment the tunnels were still operating. Qatar had provided construction materials to rebuild the smashed buildings and crippled infrastructure destroyed during the invasion. There was plenty of food on store shelves. It all seemed much better organized and less poverty-stricken than we had imagined.
But this first impression of peace and order quickly started to shred as we talked to the families and children who used the Rafah library. The older kids work in the fields after school to help to support their families. But the library loomed large in their lives. Whether after school or work children would walk often as far as a kilometre to get to the library. When they get there they have options.
Some choose to play football in a small enclosed yard that surrounds the library. Or they may go inside to read books, take turns on the sole computer, sing songs, write and illustrate stories, or just sit around chatting. When they are in the library they are safe. No one can come in and try to recruit them. They are free to choose their own books and write and say what they feel. Amazingly enough they reported that their favourite book was Cinderella! The children and their parents waited six hours for us to cross the border so that they could tell us how important this place had become for them. It was their sanctuary – the world outside the library simply wasn't safe.
The children in Beit Hanoun in the north were less easy-going, more nervous even though their parents told us that the kids were less agitated and restless when they came to the library. They told us a lot about how frightening it was to hear drones overhead because they all knew someone who had been killed in a supposedly “surgical, targeted” strike aimed only at militants. These kids had experienced the brunt of two invasions of Gaza. They claimed the second shorter invasion was worse because they knew what was in store for them. There are no bomb shelters in Gaza. Should one stay home when bombs started to fall or go out? They had friends and neighbours who died doing both.
Today these children’s worst fears have come true. The borders are closed tight again. Bombing has resumed. Rafah is being targeted. An invasion is possible. But the people living in Gaza cannot become refugees. They have nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide their children when they are being bombed. Even Syrians, terrible though their situation might be, can flee and seek refuge. Children and their families in Gaza are locked in while war is being made upon them. And as is always in true in a war, children are dying daily in disproportionate numbers.
Gaza residents are invisible. Anything, apparently, can be done to them with impunity. There is a stated policy justifying targeted killings, firing into houses, knowing that there will be “collateral damage”. Where else in the world is this considered acceptable? Does this not qualify as a crime against humanity?
IBBY’s libraries are now closed, who knows for how long. The children who relied on them as a safe space where they could read and write and play are forced to live in fear at home. A young man that we met on the bus as we were leaving Gaza was on his way to Egypt to meet his mother for the first time in 15 years. She had gone to visit relatives and never been allowed back leaving him with an indifferent father and a not very enthusiastic stepmother. He was unbearably excited at the idea of seeing his mother again, but terrified that an arbitrary Egyptian official wouldn’t let him in. He asked us why the Israelis hated him when he had never done anything to them. One wonders where he is right now.
With this brief, but first-hand impression of Gaza and its children, I hope that you will be moved enough to urge your heads of governments to listen to IBBY. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This offensive by the government of Israel is abhorrent to all people, especially to the children of Palestine.
Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khariruddin, President of IBBY, Malaysia.
Patricia Aldana is the President of the IBBY Foundation, member of the Order of Canada.
Jehan Helou, President of IBBY Palestine
Liz Page, IBBY Executive Director, Switzerland
11 July 2014
Read the Arabic version here
Read the French version here
Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature 2014
Call for submissions to the Etisalat Award 2014.
Download the Award brochure here
SAVE THE DATE: BOLOGNA 2015 From Monday March 30 To Thursday April 2
IBBY Statutes translated into French
Now available in the website at > About IBBY > Membership > Statutes or in the Member's Site > Statutes
European Newsletter April 2014!!
Read the latest news from the IBBY sections in Europe here
Bookbird call for papers
Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature invites contributions for a special issue exploring the relationship between children’s fiction and post humanism and a special issue exploring global nonsense literature.
Call for papers here
IBBY Documentation Centre for Young People with Disabilities
The complete collection of the IBBY Documentation Centre for Young People with Disabilities has moved to Toronto, Canada.
Visit the collection at North York Central Library, or visit online at:
For more information go to: www.ibby.org/disabilities
ICBD 2014 Imagine Nations through Story
View the ICBD 2014 message and poster.
Download Brochure and poster here
IBBY Appeal for Syrian Children in Lebanon 2013
Please help us to help IBBY Lebanon bring relief to the children caught up in this latest disaster that has struck again at the very people who struggle throughout their normal lives. The proposed therapeutic programme using books, theatre, and other methods to help children understand their own feelings, express them and recognise those of others was administered to 5,000 children between the ages of 7-14, who were exposed to violence during the war and then the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006. In both situations the results achieved with children proved successful and rewarding.
Learn more and donate