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UN International Day of Families 2012

Day of Families Observed at the Former Senate Hall in Quito


Quito, Ecuador - A commemoration of the International Day of Families entitled “Ensuring Work Family Balance” was observed in the former Senate Hall of the National Assembly in Quito on May 16.

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Messages for the International Day of Families were received and read from Mrs. Lucia Salamea-Palacios, representative of UN-Women in Ecuador and Colombia and Director of the Andean Region of UN Women [text in Spanish], and Dr. Carlos Ramírez Romero, President of the National Court of Justice of Ecuador [text in Spanish].

There were four speakers at the event, and their main points are summarized as follows:

Dr. Artemisa Gutiérrez, representing Ing. Paulo Rodríguez, President of the Judicial Council of Ecuador, explained about the recent activities of the Council. The family is the fundamental nucleus of society, and the role of the family is transcendent. The Judicial Council of Ecuador has been reforming the varied judicial systems for ten months, giving priority to the administration of justice for children, adolescents, and women in family. Fifteen judicial centers for children, adolescents, and families were recently established, and magistrates have been trained to deal with issues of domestic violence against children, adolescents, and women. To eliminate juvenile delinquency and domestic violence is not just the responsibility of the judicial system; everyone is responsible to prevent problems and promote a culture that respects, values, and upholds family love in daily life. These human rights based on universal values should be guaranteed under the Constitution.

Mr. Diego Herdoiza, representing Dr. Francisco Vacas, Minister of Labor Relations, said that the previous Ministry of Work has now been renamed the Ministry of Labor Relations. The Ministry is wrestling with relationship problems among human beings at all levels. To dignify the family is to dignify everyone as Ecuadorians. Given new impetus to guarantee equal benefits to both women and men in the family, including mothers and fathers who take the care of their children, the Ministry is seeking good relationships between family and work responsibility, dignity in work of all levels, and protection as human beings. The family is not simply a bond of blood relationship but involves extended relationships. The Ministry seeks to promote better relations on all levels in order to redress unjust labor conditions and conditions that hinder human development. The Ministry seeks not only to reform labor laws but also to establish better living conditions. Let's walk together for the sake of improving human dignity and human rights.

Dr. Cesar Rodríguez, Assemblyman from Pichincha, spoke about the conflict which exists in contemporary society and the principle of a democratic society is that is responsive to the human conscience. There is no recipe for equilibrium between family and work. The only tool for confronting internal reality and moving towards equilibrium is dialogue among members of the family.

Dr. Edualdo Villarreal, Ambassador for Peace and member of UPF's Character Education Committee, talked about the challenges facing families and the trend toward individualism due to the diminution of the time to relate with other family members in the home. The parents work hard for the sake of the children's well being and education, but this comes at the cost of time for dialogue among family members; therefore, children lack self-confidence, the ability to relate well with others, and a giving heart. A focus on material pursuits affects the relationships among family members. People need to return to the point of origin, that we are made in the likeness of God. God gives us the intelligence to face difficulty and the heart of love for others. Remedying these problems will start from us. Don't seek to blame others. Don't seek peace outside the home but inside the home.

To read more about UPF observances of the International Day of Families 2012, click here.

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