Faith-based organizations and religious leaders are key to mobilize communities to prevent and respond to violence against children

New York, 16 September 2021 - Special Representative on Violence against Children, Najat Maalla M’jid, joined an online event on “Faith-Based Actors and Preventing Violence Against Children: A Global Perspective” organized by the ENDViolence Partnership and the Lutheran World Federation.

As part of the Together to #Endviolence Solutions Summit Series, this event brought together faith-based actors worldwide to discuss how to contribute to the most urgent challenges of violence against children and raise awareness on this issue.  

In this high-level interactive dialogue, global leaders, child-rights experts and advocates, religious leaders and children expressed their commitment to ending violence against children.

Special Representative Maalla M’jid highlighted how religious leaders and Faith-based organizations are a crucial constituency in safeguarding children’s right to be protected from violence. "They are well-placed to act as persuasive and influential advocates for children’s protection from all forms of violence. They also have a key role in raising awareness and mobilizing local communities and families, influencing thinking and behavior change, promoting values and culture of peace, mutual respect, and non-discrimination.” 

In his opening remarks, the executive director of the ENDViolence Partnership highlighted the importance of a cross-cutting and multisectoral approach to respond to violence. “Faith-based organizations and communities make a unique and critical contribution to the elimination of violence against children. By working across parts of the society, faith-based actors play a powerful role shaping positive attitudes, behaviors, and social norms to prevent and respond to violence.” added Dr. Howard Taylor. 

Rev. Dr. Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), highlighted the vulnerability of children and the importance of raising awareness about violence, and on how to effectively prevent and respond to it which should be an ongoing task of faith-based organizations and religious leaders worldwide.

Rev. Prof. Dr Loan Sauca, acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches added that, “as faith-based actors, we directly influence communities at grassroots level, and at the same time influence policies for the prevention of and response to violence against children, seizing the possibilities offered by human rights mechanism.”  

This event concluded with four pledges of LWF aiming to raise awareness and advocate for change working with children in communities around the world.

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