FLM and End Violence Partnership join forces to raise awareness and fight violence against children
(LWI) – On September 16, 2021, as part of the Together to #EndViolence Solutions Summit Series, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) pledged to raise awareness and strengthen advocacy on how to prevent violence in violence against women. against children with the support of member churches and in collaboration with key partners.
LWF and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children (Partnership to End Violence) co-hosted an online event titled “Faith-Based Actors and Violence Prevention in against children: a global perspective from LWF ”. The event brought together 80 participants from around the world and showcased the engagement of LWF member churches and LWF humanitarian and development work while highlighting partner perspectives.
Respect the sacredness of children
Each year, at least 1 billion children – half of the world’s children – experience violence, according to United Nations (UN) reports. The UN report “Keeping the Promise: End Violence Against Children by 2030”, states that refugee and migrant children often find violence to be a “constant companion: driving them out of their homes. country of origin, accompany them on their journey and wait for them at their destination.
In his opening address, LWF General Secretary Pastor Martin Junge said: “Every person is endowed with dignity, with a sacredness that is part of the person. It is one of the deep beliefs of churches around the world, of many denominations, on the inherited value of life, including human life. Through its member churches and humanitarian operations, LWF advocates for the most vulnerable and is a strong advocate for ending violence against children.
Videos and presentations from national LWF programs and member churches in Colombia, Uganda, Nepal, Argentina and Sweden were shown online at the event. In response, Dr Howard Taylor, Executive Director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, expressed gratitude for being part of “such a powerful event where we have seen the scale and impact of violence against children around the world; and children’s voices, and most importantly, what can and is being done to prevent and respond to violence and child abuse.
Faith-based organizations are unique partners
Working with End Violence Partnership, LWF is committed to advocating for and raising awareness of the crisis of violence against children, thereby helping to end violence suffered by children around the world in their homes. , their schools, online and in their communities until 2030.
“Religious leaders and faith-based organizations such as the Lutheran World Federation with its 148 member churches in 99 countries and 77 million people are uniquely positioned to play a key role alongside children and survivors in this emerging movement,” said said Dr Taylor.
LWF General Secretary Junge added that he was grateful “for the partnership that is being developed, for our shared commitment to say a clear and unequivocal ‘no’ to violence against children.” .
Dr Najat Maalla M’jid, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children said: “Religious leaders and faith-based organizations are a crucial electorate. They are well positioned to act as persuasive and influential advocates for the protection of children from all forms of violence. They also have a key role in sensitizing and mobilizing local communities and families. Additionally, Dr M’jid added that COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities. “We need to learn the lessons of the pandemic and recognize child protection as an essential service. We need to do more and act together now, not tomorrow, for children and with children.
Prevent violence for and with children
Recognizing the role played by churches, the Acting General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca said, “Every church should have a strong child protection policy and check that measures are in place to prevent misconduct in activities. involving children and adolescents.
Lokiru Matendo Yohana, global focal point for child protection at LWF, said preventing violence against children was “particularly urgent in contexts of war and conflict, forced migration and in marginalized communities ”. Mr. Yohana added that LWF intends to strengthen existing programs with updated child protection guidelines and policies.
Since 2020, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is part of Swedish law, these laws include the right to spiritual development of children and the assessment of the impact of all decisions on children. The Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, Dr Antje Jackelén, said: “In the Church and in society, children should have a special role. They should be invited, encouraged and empowered to participate and be heard.
Together, we can do much more to ensure the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
Archbishop Dr Jackelén also said that in Swedish society there was “an awkwardness in relation to the faith and [the] spiritual development ”of children. In the name of so-called “religious neutrality, children are sometimes denied access to the knowledge and experience that religious traditions provide”. However, she added, “we fail our children if we do not give them the well-known tools to face the existential challenges that they will surely face in their lifetimes.”
“Together, we can do much more to ensure the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development,” said Archbishop of the Church of Sweden Jackelén.
The event ended when the LWF offered four engagements for:
- Sensitize its member churches to the prevention of violence against children
- Integrate the prevention of violence against children into its global humanitarian development operations
- Advocate globally and locally to end violence against children
- Intensify efforts to prevent violence against children in Latin and Central America by working with the community of partners within the #ENDViolence partnership
“We are happy to commit to this commitment as we enter into a partnership and offer our hands, our lives and our testimony to make it happen together,” said LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr. Junge, in conclusion.
By LWF / T.Rakoto and LWF / A.Gray