Panama, the GNRC and UNICEF promote a positive adolescence and the elimination of violence against children.


Panama, the GNRC and UNICEF promote a positive adolescence and the elimination of violence against children.Leer en castellano...The Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and UNICEF brought together religious leaders and politicians in Panama from 6-24 November to address the stereotype that youth are the cause of violence in Panama.

Thanks to the support from UNICEF and the inter-religious platform a large scale celebration and movement with religious leaders, visits to local schools and media action such as the publication of the resolution of all religions to require positive media publications on children and adolescents was organized.

The theme of this year’s World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, supported by the Global Network of Religious for Children (GNRC) and UNICEF, was ‘Adolescence without Violence’, and there has been an appeal to all religious leaders and faith communities to spread this message during the month of November. On 20 November itself, UNICEF participated in a roundtable of the National Assembly on the prevention of violence in childhood and adolescence. From 22-24 November, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and Episcopal masses were held around the country, including a televised Catholic Mass on 24 November with the Archbishop of Panama Rev. José Domingo Ulloa who, together with other religious leaders (Imán Mohammed El-Sayyed, of the Islamic Centre, the Bishop Julio Murray, president of the Ecumenical Committee and Bishop of the Episcopal Church; and Mrs. Aurora Carrasco from the Baha’í Community), called upon all Panamanians to take action to address violence against children at home and in their communities. He invited parents, teachers and all adults to become agents of change by joining forces to end violence against children.

Furthermore, from 6-24 November, meetings were held between religious leaders, UNICEF and mass media to sensitize journalists to a new approach in their reporting on adolescents. This was backed up by a resolution – printed in the 6 main newspapers – signed by all religious leaders - Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Episcopal Church and Baha’i’ faith-, which requests the mass media to promote positive news stories about children and adolescents.

A joint opinion article was also published by a Jewish Rabbi and an Episcopal Bishop. All activities were promoted by social media outreach, which included a call to people to raise their voice up for an ‘adolescence without violence’, using the hashtag: #Diadelaoracion and#Endviolence. Finally, from 14-20 November, workshops with adolescents across different religions were conducted to develop their leadership and communication skills.

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