Welcome to Bern!
Every child is special. Every child has the right to be special. It is the duty of society and politics to protect and nurture all children in their uniqueness, and to guarantee their participation in society. Switzerland pledged officially to do this when it ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1997.
The FICE international congress on inclusion reminds us of this. For four days, the focus is on the right of a particularly vulnerable group to be included in society: of children and young people who are unable to live with their parents.
As the motto “Ways toward Inclusion” suggests, the Congress Night in the centre of Bern is open to all. The inclusion in society of children and young people will be discussed, presented and performed in a range of different venues. Questions will be asked such as: How can children and young people have their say? Do they have a voice in public, in homes, in schools and in vocational education? How and where do children and young people want to get involved?
I hope you find the Congress interesting and stimulating.
Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs
The City of Bern, ideally located in the heart of Switzerland, is perfectly suited for holding the FICE 2013 Congress. Bern is ideally-sized to allow visitors to walk to many important destinations from the railway station. Other places, within the city limits and outside, can be easily reached by our state-of-the-art public transport system. But the City of Bern of course has a lot more to offer than an impeccable infrastructure. Bern is simply a beautiful city. The charming Old Town with its kilometres of pergolas and covered walkways was already declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1983. You will be surprised to see how many small shops, cafés, and restaurants you can discover in Bern.
As its mayor I’m delighted that FICE Switzerland has chosen the City of Bern as the venue for the FICE 2013 Congress. Our capital city, the political and administrative centre of Switzerland, a centre of education and research, is an ideal venue for the Congress of an international federation, at which support for disadvantaged children and adolescents will be discussed from political, social and economic aspects. With the Congress taking place in the midst of the City of Bern this will encourage the local population to join in the dialogue, making the issues accessible to a broader public.
I look forward to welcoming you to Bern in October 2013!
Following the 2010 Congress in South Africa with its lasting impressions and its great atmosphere the 2013 Congress will give us an opportunity to meet again in Europe, in Switzerland, the country in which FICE was founded. Our colleagues at FICE Switzerland are organising a Congress which will provide us with a broad range of ways and models of participation and inclusion.
For healthy development children and young people need sufficient protection, support, and incentives, either from their parents or in institutions providing care outside the family. This also includes experiencing participation and learning how to participate. Such experiences are the basis on which children, young people, and adults will master their lives more easily and will be able to take responsibility for their actions.
FICE International is an organisation which brings together people from around the globe, who support children and adolescents at risk, as well as their families. For this work models and experience of inclusion and participation from all over the world play an important role.
I look forward to welcoming you to our Congress in Bern in October 2013.
President of FICE International
We invite you to participate at the 48th FICE Congress. It will be the fifth congress organised by FICE Switzerland on behalf of FICE International, following Congresses in 1948, which led to the foundation of FICE, 1960, 1968, and 1988.
For more than 60 years FICE International has organised meetings and congresses for people from all over the world who support families in difficulties, and who promote the development of those, particularly children and adolescents, who for various reasons cannot live and grow up with their parents, either wholly or in part.
With the Congress, the Youth-Practice-Exchange, and the 4-year-Project we strive to promote international dialogue, support means for the increased participation of children and adolescents as provided for in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and offer opportunities for presenting and discussing important practical experiences as well as findings in research, education, and training. There will be a special focus on the innovative implementation of development-promoting programmes serving children, adolescents and their families. We cannot change what is often a painful past for these people, but we can help to make their future more positive by providing professional services and persons who are committed to supporting others in special life situations. The Congress theme will therefore be of great significance for the FICE Sections and for FICE International in the next few years when it comes to tailoring methods and programmes of care outside the family to the needs of children and adolescents of the 21st century.
President of FICE Switzerland