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The theatrical art is a universal expression of humankind. It possesses the influence and the power to link large groups of the world’s people with a culturally unifying voice promoting equality, peace, education and racial harmony. Considering the role theatre can play in the education of younger generations, an autonomous international organization has been formed which bears the name of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ International). ASSITEJ International recognizes the right of all children to enrichment through the arts and their own cultural traditions, especially theatre culture.
Theatre for young people respects its young audiences by presenting their hopes, dreams and fears; it develops and deepens experience, intelligence, emotion and imagination; it inspires ethical choices; it helps awareness of social relations; it encourages self-esteem, tolerance, confidence and options.
Above all, it helps young people to find their place and voice in society.
ASSITEJ International endorses Article 31 of 1989 United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child which affirms the right of children to leisure time and the enjoyment of arts and cultural activities. It shares common values with the UNESCO Conference on Cultural Policy, 1998, calling for the rights of children and young people to cultural participation and activity. It holds with the belief of the Report of the World Commission on Culture and Development, “Our Creative Diversity”, that young people must be given a cultural identity and made visible everywhere in society. ASSITEJ International is a political advocate for the promotion of theatre for children and young people in principle and practice. It calls on all national and international organizations which recognize the potential of children and young people and their capacity to contribute to the development of society, to recognize and support this Charter.