On the impulse of Father Courtois who answered the appeal of Pope Pius XII and presented him with the idea of an international catholic bureau devoted to children wounded by the war, the BICE was founded on January 17th, 1948. At this time, it concentrated upon an action of wide reflection in different areas.
BICE thus actively participated to the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1959 and then, along with Defence for Children International, led an NGO group which helped elaborating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Step by step, in order to defend children’s rights in the field, BICE started developing programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, central and eastern Europe and also western Europe.
To build those programs, it had to rely on conception of a child’s development is founded on his capacity of resilience, his active participation and his community attachment.
2009: Launching of the World appeal to a new mobilization for childhood
In Geneva, BICE placed an Appeal on the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The appeal, placed under the sponsorship of Marguerite Barankitse, collected more than 10 000 signatures, such as Adolfo Pérez Esquivel’s,Nobel Peace Prize, Gulnara Shahinian’s (UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of slavery) or Jean Zermatten’s.
1996: BICE was entitled the Human rights Award from the French Republic
1989: Adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
There was a unanimous adoption of UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.For BICE, which led along with Defence for Children International and Radda Barnen (Save the Children – Sweden) the group of NGOs that negotiated the Convention, this was the crowning of an intense 10-year period of work.
As proof of this upheaval in the child status, in 1990, the New York congress gathered worldwide leaders to fight against children’s biggest issues.
1979: International Year of the Child
On Canon Joseph Moerman’s call, BICE launched the International Year of the Child which offered a fertile ground in which the Convention on the Rights of the Child could germinate and develop. This event gave BICE’s actions an international credibility and an unprecedented scope.
1959: United Nations’ Declaration of the Rights of the Child
The BICE actively participated to the elaboration of this Declaration, which allowed for a major step in the promotion of children’s rights.
1948: BICE’s creation
BICE was officially born on its founding congress of January, 1948, following the appeal of Pope Pius XII towards wounded children in the aftermath of the war (Encyclique Quemadmodum, 1946)
1924: First Declaration of the Rights of the Child
The Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924 (in French) was elaborated by Eglantyne Jebb for the International Save the Children Union (UISE). It is a founding document.