Commemorating the World Children’s Day through the voice of Gino Strada

(in memoriam)

“Conceiving a world without war is the most stimulating task the human race is facing. We might call it utopia, as this never occurred before, however, the term like utopia does not designate something
absurd but rather a possibility that still has to be explored and accomplished. I appeal to all of you:
working together for a world without war is the best we can do for the generations to come”.
Gino Strada, founder of Emergency NGO, Right Livelihood Laureate 2015


In 2015, doctor Gino Strada was awarded the Right Livelihood prize “for his great humanity
and skill in providing outstanding medical and surgical services to the victims of conflict and
injustice, while fearlessly addressing the causes of war”.

Gino Strada (1948-2021) was an Italian surgeon and an outstanding humanitarian who
provided high-quality medical and surgical services to victims of war for two decades. From
Afghanistan to Sudan, EMERGENCY, the organisation that he co-founded in 1994, runs
over 60 hospitals, clinics, and first-aid posts, often collaborating with local governments and
operating to transfer medical knowledge and expertise to local health service professionals.
Strada and EMERGENCY have also campaigned forcefully against the root causes of war
and human suffering, speaking out against Italian military involvement in the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq and playing a leading role in the successful campaign that resulted in
Italy banning the production and use of antipersonnel landmines in 1997.

With the dramatic rise of armed conflicts worldwide and the disproportional impact that these
increasingly have on children, especially on their rights to a dignified life, access to health,
and education, we are proud to commemorate the 2023 World Children’s Day of November
20 th with a communication campaign in memoriam of Dr. Strada.

As noted by UNICEF “the Convention of the Rights of the Child is still not fully implemented
or widely known and understood. Millions of children continue to suffer violations of their
rights when they are denied adequate health care, nutrition, education and protection from
violence. Childhoods continue to be cut short when children are forced to leave school, do
hazardous work, get married, fight in wars, or are locked up in adult prisons”.
Established in 1990 on the date of the anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the
Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
(1989), this UN commemoration is an opportunity for global reflection and mobilization for the
promotion of children's rights under the slogan “for every child, every right”.
On November 20 th the Global Campus and Right Livelihood will releasr a video animation
based on Dr. Strada’s deeply moving and inspirational acceptance speech for the Right
Livelihood Award, a powerful testament that stirs the soul and must not be forgotten after his
untimely passing. The video, also produced in Italian and Tetum languages, will serve as
educational material for in-class and online activities with our students and trainees.

This activity is implemented as part of the GC Capacity Development programme. For more
info contact the programme manager at