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Building Bridges to Promote the Rights and Well-Being of Children Worldwide
To build a better world for and with children, we need to join hands in collaboration, and create a global movement that is “All for Children.”
The Geneva office represents Arigatou International in several platforms in its efforts to advocate for the protection and promotion of children’s rights and to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Child Rights Connect
Arigatou International has been a part of the Child Rights Connect network for many years. The Geneva office co-convenes the Working Group on Children and Violence alongside World Vision International, bringing together more than 12 international civil society organizations working on child rights and human rights to collaborate in advocating to end violence against children through the various human rights mechanisms in the United Nations (UN).
This year, the Working Group finalized a thorough analysis of how violence against children has been addressed in the UN mechanisms, shedding light on the requirements that should guide child rights advocacy with UN mechanisms and Permanent Missions. The scope of the analysis includes the Concluding Observations issued by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to 47 countries in the last five years; the last Universal Periodic Review of 47 countries, and the Human Rights Council resolutions related to violence against children of the last five years.
The report concludes that, even though considerable progress has been made, the limited alignment of the UN mechanisms is a missed strategic opportunity to end violence against children. The report lists specific recommendations to strengthen their capacity and impact on addressing violence against children.
This report will guide the advocacy work of the Working Group, provide spaces and strategic opportunities to collaborate with the CRC and Permanent Missions in Geneva, and inform the development of key advocacy messages to ensure that issues regarding violence against children are more strategically mainstreamed in the CRC Concluding Observations, that good practices are championed, and that resolutions are stronger, more strategic and implemented.
The report was presented to Dr. Najat Maalla Mjid, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children, who provided recommendations to create synergies with other actors at the global level and strengthen the advocacy to protect children from all forms of violence.
Joint Statements delivered to the 46ths session of the Human Rights Council:
Statement to Support Advocacy on Issues of Violence Against Children
Delivered on 8 March 2021 by Arigatou International during the Interactive Dialogue with the SRSG on Violence Against Children.
The statement addresses issues related to investment, particularly on child protection systems; prioritization of child protection programs based on evidence, including mental health and psycho-social support, and investing and scaling up child-led actions as well as prioritizing children’s participation.
Co-signed by: Arigatou International, ATD Fourth World, Child Rights Connect, DNI Costa Rica, ECPAT International, Plan International, OMCT, Save the Children International, World Council of Churches, World Vision International and Women’s World Summit Foundation.
Protection of Girls in Armed Conflict
Delivered on 08 March 2021 by Plan International during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba.
The statement asked for increasing capacity building to address gender dimensions of children in armed conflict; to support the monitoring and reporting mechanisms with sex-disaggregated data, and support the SRSG to develop gender-responsive plans with listed parties to the conflict; as well as cease the recruitment and use of children, and ensure their reintegration.
Co-signed by: Plan International, Arigatou International, the Child Rights International Network (CRIN), Save the Children, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, and World Vision International.
G20 Interfaith Summit Education Working Group
As part of its membership in the G20 Interfaith Summit Education Working Group, Arigatou International is supporting the organization of a global listening exercise with children ages 14 to 18 about the impact of Covid-19 on education.
Arigatou International – Geneva will support consultations with children in Brazil, Indonesia and Portugal. The results of the exercise will influence the policy brief that will be presented to the G20 as well as strategic discussions with Ministries of Education around the world.
International Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development
Arigatou International is a member of PaRD, the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development. This platform brings together governmental and intergovernmental entities with diverse civil society organizations and faith-based organizations, to engage the social capital and capacities vested in diverse faith communities for sustainable development and humanitarian assistance in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This year, Arigatou International participated in the PaRD General Assembly of Members and Annual Forum that took place virtually from 1 to 4 September. The virtual forum brought together governmental entities, intergovernmental organizations, academia and faith-based organizations/ faith-inspired organizations (FBOs/FIOs) to discuss funding needs/gaps and invisibility of FBOs/FIOs, especially of local faith actors (LFA) and grassroots organizations as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs. Maria Lucia Uribe, Executive Director of Arigatou International Geneva, joined the meeting as a member of the PaRD Steering Group.
Arigatou International Geneva, represented by Ms. Vera Leal, Ethics Education Senior Program Officer, also joined a Steering Committee to guide a research study on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS). The study commissioned by the PaRD health work-stream and developed by Queen Margaret University will produce faith-sensitive guidance for MHPSS, in an effort to improve children’s wellbeing in fragile contexts.
Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies
Arigatou International – Geneva became a member of the Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies, a new initiative launched as the result of a pledge made at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum to make a difference in the education of crisis-affected and displaced children and youth.
The Geneva Global Hub for Education in Emergencies was launched on 25 January 2021 by Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the Global Education Cluster (GEC), the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), the Government of Switzerland, UNICEF, the University of Geneva, UNESCO and UNHCR.
The Geneva Global Hub aims to leverage the Geneva international community by convening actors and creating synergies for joint action so that all crisis-affected and displaced children and youth have their right to education fulfilled, respected and protected. The membership in this network has led to increasing involvement in issues regarding education for refugees in Europe, as well as involvement with several strategic organizations working in Europe for the inclusion of migrants and refugees in society.
KAICIID Network for Dialogue
Arigatou International continues to be actively involved in KAICIID’s Network for Dialogue through its office in Geneva.
During this period, we participated in various meetings organized by the Network and contributed to the policy brief “Inclusive Education for Migrants and Refugees” developed by the group, advocating for the importance of transformative pedagogy in education to contribute to more inclusive and peaceful societies.
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