Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-190"

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"Mr President, our children have independent personalities, they have an inviolable right to the protection of their fundamental rights, which means no degrading treatment and violence, no inhuman working conditions, no exclusion from education, no poverty, no sexual exploitation and abuse, no child soldiers at war. And children have greater need of these universal values than adults do. Firstly because they are, by definition, young and vulnerable. Secondly, because the parent or teacher or priest and all those with whom they come into contact are always in a position of authority towards them; and thirdly, because if anything goes wrong during childhood, this ultimately has a decisive effect on a child’s future life. These are the rights which we are called upon to support today. I shall focus on two: Firstly, the children of immigrants are perhaps the most vulnerable. Those who are born amongst us, at least, must immediately acquire the nationality of our country. They should not be stigmatised from birth, and should of course go to school regardless of their parents’ status, and should not be condemned to social exclusion. Secondly, protection of children on the internet: children who often go online and surf unsuspectingly and talk to strangers, and children who may be victims of sexual exploitation - commodities in a very profitable business. Mr President, the internet is the new village square. Just as parents warn their children not to talk to strangers in the village square, so they should be educated and made aware that similar concern and advice are needed when it comes to the internet. Europe should play its part in providing such education as well as helplines for parents and children faced with such situations."@en1

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