Well-being & Rights of Children
Religions for Peace is committed to protecting the rights of children within the family. Since the 1990s, Religions for Peace has worked with UNICEF and other child protection actors to ensure the health of children at all critical stages of development and make a lasting impact on their safety and well-being.
Caring for Orphans
The poverty, displacement, and deaths caused by the Liberian Civil War led to the proliferation of orphanages that often engaged in abusive practices, a situation that the 2014 Ebola epidemic exacerbated. In response, Religions for Peace, in partnership with the Inter-religious Council of Liberia and local RfP-Women of Faith Networks, has been working to care and support orphaned children within a family and community setting and advocating for laws to safeguard their rights. As a result of these initiatives, more than 2,000 children orphaned by Ebola are under family care, 180 foster parents are being empowered to care for orphans, and 400 teen mothers are being equipped with life-skills training and supported to look after their children. Thus far, the project has made possible 70 community dialogues and 42 radio programs to build awareness on the need to end child abuse, decrease institutionalization, and eliminate the stigmatization of orphans.
Making Sure Every Child Counts
The province of North Cotabato, in Mindanao, the Philippines, has one of the lowest ratios of birth registration nationally, putting children—especially indigenous children—at risk for lack of access to services they need. Religions for Peace brought together diverse religious leaders to develop key messages using religious scripture and traditions that address child protection—particularly the issue of birth registration. Within a short span of time, these efforts capitalized on the engagement of religious leaders to register unprecedented numbers of children.
Protecting Children from All Forms of Abuse
The problem of child abuse in Sri Lanka has reached critical proportions, with evidence showing that abusers are almost always known to their victims. To address this growing threat to children and their communities, Religions for Peace is equipping and supporting its in-country affiliate, RfP-Sri Lanka, in channeling the influence of religious leaders in Sri Lanka toward fighting child abuse by educating religious communities in all facets of preventing and responding to child abuse and breaking down barriers to its effective reporting and detection. So far, this initiative has successfully reached 2,000 worshippers in Catholic churches, more than 3,000 worshippers in Buddhist temples, 2,000 Hindus, and 1,500 Muslims through workshops, sermons, and prayer services.