ASIA/INDIA - An alliance based on faith to combat violence against children

Saturday, 9 September 2017 childhood   human rights   violence   women

Ranchi (Agenzia Fides) - A "National action plan against violence on children" was born in the Indian state of Jharkhand. The organization is part of a network already present in several South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and will develop links with other South Asian associations committed to violence against women and children. The group is made up of UN agencies, associations, interreligious leaders, NGOs, civil society organizations. Many Indian Christian and Catholic leaders and communities have adhered to the group that intends to raise awareness of each citizen's rights and responsibilities and build a society free from child violence.
"India is committed to eliminating any kind of discrimination, exclusion and exploitation of children. We hope that these initiatives will generate greater awareness in society", explains to Agenzia Fides Sr. Sophia Baxla, of Patna, who joined the group.
In particular, Christian communities reflect on the role that leaders and religious communities can play in helping to end violence against children. "One of the goals is to "make a net" and to establish a national alliance among communities of different faiths, to prevent violence and violence against minors. It is about promoting a coordinated approach, thus helping to strengthen state, national and community protection systems at all levels", says to Fides Manbendra Nath Mondal, president of the organization in southern Asia. "An alliance based on faith can be valuable in sensitizing consciences and generating consensus at a mass level", he notes.
"Our traditions of faith have a holistic view of a child's life and seek to promote all the rights of the child within his family, community context, and the broader social, economic and political context. We must ensure that children enjoy these rights, particularly education, protection, health, and social development", adds Saryu Rai, Minister of the Government of the State of Gujarat.
Religious communities are the largest and most organized part of civil society across the country, and religious leaders have significant social influence: for this reason, an alliance between religious communities can be very effective in creating a change. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 9/9/2017)