As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the dispositions of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Children, and other rights established in current international instruments, children are people, and thus entitled to the same rights as all human beings. Children have specific needs; they are a collective who is especially vulnerable to the violation of fundamental rights; therefore, children have the right to additional protection from the International Community, nation states, society, and their families.
Statement of Principles
The DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) movement abides by the following principles:
FIRST TITLE: Generalities
Art. 1 (Constitution and Denomination). - DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL, whose acronym is “DCI”, is an independent, international organization created on July 5, 1979. It abides by the rules set forth in this statute and the provisions of articles 60 and those following of the Swiss Civil Code related to non-profit associations.
Art. 2 (Address and Duration).- The headquarters of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) is the city of Geneva – Republic of Switzerland - Helvetica Confederation; it may have national sections in different countries. DCI has an indefinite term of operation and may only be dissolved in event of the cases expressly determined by law and by the present Statute.
Art. 3 (Goal).- The goal of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI), is to promote the full exercise of the fundamental individual and collective human rights of children in the international community and in nation states.
Art. 4 (Objectives). - The general objectives of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) are the following:
Art. 5 (Non-profit nature).- The non-profit nature of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) lies in the fact that the resources and income it obtains for its projects are not to be distributed among its associates and are consolidated as patrimony of the organization to carry out its activities and achieve its objectives.
Art. 6 (Definition).- The associates of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) are natural, legal, individual or collective persons who have been accepted as members of the association and who have not lost their status as such, according to the present statute.
Art. 7 (Requisites for admission).- Every new associate of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) shall be recognized as such according to the vote of at least two thirds of the General Assembly. The general requisites for all persons or entities to be admitted are that they:
Art. 8 (The National Sections).- The national sections are those institutional representatives of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) in a determined country and are constituted exclusively as such.
Art. 9 (Requisites).- The general requisites for a section to be fully recognized as such are:
Art. 10 (Organization).- Every national section will be created according to the criteria and guidelines of the national jurisdiction, but subjected to the guiding principles and policies of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI).
Art. 11 (Rights).- The rights of the national sections are:
Art. 12 (Obligations).- The obligations of the national sections are:
Art. 13 (Definition).- An associated member of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) is a national or international organization that does not have the full status of a national section, but complies with and works for the institutional objectives. This type of member lacks an organic bond to the movement and requests accreditation.
Art. 14 (Admission).- The admission of an associated member may be carried out directly by the International Executive Council in a country in which no section exists. When the request is made from a country in which a section does exist, the respective section must be consulted.
Art. 16 (Rights).- The rights of the associated members are:
Art. 17 (Obligations) - The obligations of the associated members are:
Art. 18 (Sympathizers).- The sympathizers are persons who are ascribed individually as such to DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI), when in their respective countries of origin there are no sections or institutions that are associated members. Their interaction with the movement is carried out through the International Secretariat.
Art. 19 (Suspension and withdrawal).- An institution or individual's loss of their status as Associate, National Section, Associate Member or sympathizer is a disciplinary measure which may be ruled temporarily by the International Executive Council, as long as an International General Assembly confirms or revokes the measure in final instance.
Art. 20 (Applicable norms).- In order to enforce a disciplinary measure, the relevant statute -determined according to the role of the relevant institution or individual- applicable at the moment of the sanctioned act will be used. At the international level, the present statute is applicable; at the section level, the corresponding national statute will be employed; in other cases, a statute will be applied according to the type of ascription a member has.
Art. 21 (Appealing) .- All of the sanctions may be appealed institutionally or individually to the immediate higher instance. If the decision is taken by the International Executive Council or a General Section Assembly, the appeal will be presented to an International General Assembly.
Art. 22 (Organs and structure).- DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) has a hierarchical and functional organic structure whereby all its organs and components are structured in the following order of precedence:
Art. 23 (International General Assembly).- The International General Assembly of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) is the highest authority, deliberating organ and decision maker, that works to achieve the most important and transcendental acts of the organization and, therefore, of the movement.
Art. 24 (Ordinary or Extraordinary Meeting).- The International General Assembly ordinarily meets every three years. It also meets in extraordinary cases by summons of the International Executive Council, or at the request of one fifth (20%) of the sections entitled to vote. In the latter case the session must be held in the six months following the demand.
Art. 25 (Attributions of the International General Assembly).- The General Assembly of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI), as the highest authority of the institution, is sovereign and can assume or distribute powers and rights it considers necessary, according to the norms of this Statute. Its particular attributions are:
Art. 26 (The International Executive Council).- The International Executive Council is the Movement’s governing authority in the interregnum between General Assemblies. It is made up of a maximum of 13 persons, representatives of at least 10 countries, and a minimum of 7 persons, each from a different country and representing the four regions acknowledged in institutional geography: Europe, Asia-Middle East-Australia, Africa, and America. In the event that the President is ill or impeded in any way, the Council will elect a substitute from its Vice-presidents.
Art. 27 (Attributions and responsibilities).- The International Executive Council is responsible for the execution of plans, policies and activities that have been approved by the International General Assembly in ordinary or extraordinary sessions. Besides complying with this general responsibility, the council must:
Art. 28 (Requisite to be a directive member of the council).- To be a candidate elected to a directional post of the International Executive Council, it is necessary to have worked in a national section for a minimum of six years.
Art. 29 (Election Committee).- An election committee is designated by the International Executive Council, in order to receive and carry out the necessary consultations to present the proposed candidates. Its work must be completed one year before the General Assembly is held and presented in writing.
Art. 30 (Resolution).- The International Executive Council makes decisions by simple majority vote of at least 50% of its present or represented members. Representation can only be delegated to an appointed colleague through the written power of attorney.
Art. 31 (International Secretariat).- The International Secretariat is the technical and administrative organ of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI), that works to accomplish its plans, programs and activities. It answers directly to the Secretary General.
Art. 32 (The Presidency).- The President of the Movement and the International Executive Council have the following attributions and responsibilities:
Art. 33 (The Treasurer).- The Treasurer, along with the President and Secretary General, is responsible for the treasury. Its functions are:
Art. 34 (Secretary General).- The Secretary General has operative and administrative responsibility for the execution of the directives of the International General Assembly, the International Executive Council and the Presidency of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI).
Art. 35 (Instances of permanent and special support).-
Art. 36 (Institutional Patrimony).- The patrimony of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) shall be legally registered under the name of DCI and shall specifically have the following possessions:
Art. 37 (Contracts and agreements).- All contracts and agreements of patrimonial nature must be subscribed by the President, Treasurer and the General Secretary.
Art. 38 (Financial Management).- All incomes and properties of DCI shall be used exclusively to carry out the goals and objectives of the Movement, and will be used in the context of legally approved plans, budgets, and obligations.
Art. 39 (Institutional Responsibility).- The obligations contracted, legally and correctly, by the legitimate representatives of DCI are guaranteed exclusively by the goods registered under the international secretariat's name.
Art. 40 (Patrimonial Withdrawal and Consolidation).- An associate, of whatever nature, who for whatever reason withdraws or is withdrawn from the DCI has absolutely no right to exercise any claim or request economic devolution, participation or compensation from the organization.
Art. 41 (Financial year).- The financial year of DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) begins on January 1 st and ends on December 31 st.
Art. 42 (Internal procedure).- The present statute may only be modified by the International General Assembly, following a meeting in which the subject must be expressly mentioned and with approval of at least 2/3 of the members present at the Assembly. The modification shall be in effect following the day of its approval.
Art. 43 (Languages used).- DEFENCE FOR CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (DCI) officially and regularly uses three languages in all of its work documents: English, Spanish and French. The International Secretariat shall provide written and oral services in these three languages, according to its possibilities.
Art. 44 (Procedure).- Since DCI has an indefinite term of duration, its dissolution can only be achieved by summoning an International General Assembly specifically to discuss this issue a minimum of 90 days before the meeting takes place and gaining the approval of at least 2/3 of the total members, according to the most updated register.
Art. 45 (Liquidation).- Once the dissolution of DCI is agreed upon, the same International General Assembly shall name a committee that shall proceed to implement the liquidation of the active and passive resources, and, once all dues and charges are paid, whatever remains shall be donated to an institution or institutions with similar goals and objectives as DCI. The beneficiaries’ choice shall be carried out through a resolution of no less than two thirds of the assisting members present at the International General Assembly that determined the dissolution and in accordance with Swiss legislation.
Art. 46 Transitory (Electronic vote by internet or fax).- In order to do a consultation and make the decisions demanded by the CEI, an electronic vote will be put into effect for qualified sections. This vote must be requested a minimum of ten working days in advance, according to the schedule of the International Office.
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