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GNRC Joins other Religious Leaders in Kyoto, Japan to Endorse Declaration on Violence Against Children

Over 800 delegates and observers from over 100 countries, drawn from the world’s religions gathered inKyoto,Japanfor the 8thAssembly of World Conference of Religions for Peace that took place from 26 - 29 August 2006. The Assembly endorsed the Declaration on Violence Against Children.

The Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) joined more than 800 other religious leaders and members of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) in Kyoto, Japan on 29 August 2006 to endorse the Declaration on Violence against Children that commits religious communities to confront violence against children and protect children in their communities.

 

The declaration which was handed over to children by religious leaders in a brief ceremony at the end of the WCRP 8th Assembly,  calls all religious communities to help end all forms of violence against children.

In the endorsement, religious leaders have declared that
“we find strong consensus across our religious traditions about the inherent dignity of every person, including children”.

 

The endorsement called on the religious leaders, and all religions to be a part of the solution to end violence against children. The Declaration read in part “this requires that we reject all forms of violence against children, and protect and promote the sanctity of life in every stage of a child’s development…We believe that religious communities must be part of the solution to eradicating violence against children, and we commit ourselves to take leadership in our religious communities and the broader society.”

 

Speaking on behalf of UNICEF, Ann Veneman, Executive Director, stated that UNICEF had a long tradition of working with religious communities the world over. She noted the moral authority of the religious leaders, including their vast constituencies, put them in a unique position to address violence against children at the grassroots.

 

The declaration which was presented at the end of the 8th World Assembly of the World Conference of Religions for Peace was a culmination of a process that GNRC participated in.

During the consultations which discussed and drafted the Declaration that took place in
Toledo, Spain, the Arigatou Foundation and the GNRC was represented by Ms. Agneta Ucko, who is also the Secretary General of the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children.

The GNRC Coordinator for Europe Ms. Marta Palma representing the World Council of Churches, also participated in the Toledo consultations, as was a member of the GNRC’s global initiative – the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children, Dr. Vinu Aram. A Rapporteur for the Toledo conference, Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe was provided by the Arigatou Foundation.