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Restore dignity and fullness of life to all children

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  • Fr. John-Brian
    World Council of Churches 7 Press Update FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 29/01/2004 - pu-04-09 Restore dignity and fullness of life to all children church consultation
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2004
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      World Council of Churches 7 Press Update
      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 29/01/2004 - pu-04-09

      Restore dignity and fullness of life to all children church consultation
      urges

      Free photo available - see below

      As the world hails the intensification of globalization, the number of
      children living on the streets has steeply increased, participants in a
      21-25 January inter-regional consultation organized by the World Council of
      Churches (WCC) and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) reported. The
      consultation, on "Fullness of life and dignity of children: focus on street
      children", took place at Virar, near Bombay, India.

      Participants - church leaders from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe,
      Latin America, and the Middle East - said that the plight of street
      children calls churches to engage even more actively with and for such
      vulnerable children, and gave several examples of churches working to
      protect children's dignity and their right to a decent life.

      Despite tremendous growth in economic activity and the globalization of
      trade and capital, despite the penetration of transnational corporations
      into every corner of the world and the increase of productivity, the
      world's poor have not benefited, and the children of the poor suffer the
      negative impact of this much-popularized development growth, the church
      leaders observed.

      They testified that millions of children living and working on the streets
      come to hate the society that has rejected them. But they also gave
      examples of churches playing a vital role in responding to the cry of "a
      generation lost in the wilderness", reuniting street children with their
      families and reintegrating them into society. They also emphasized that
      churches need to move away from a traditional charity-based approach as the
      magnitude of the problems faced by children intensifies.

      Fr Gabriel Cazacu of the Rumanian Orthodox Church, who works among street
      children, said that market-oriented economic reforms in Rumania have
      created large numbers of street children, more and more of whom are
      addicted to drugs like poisonous glue. The Orthodox Church has been
      providing care and protection to hundreds of street children. "The love and
      affection they have received has helped them to blossom," Fr Cazacu added.

      "African children's lives are becoming much more vulnerable due to [*]
      rising intra-state conflict and loosely organized fighting groups, and to
      HIV/AIDS", said Emmanuel Motsamal, who coordinates a National Council of
      Churches in Botswana programme on children.

      Caribbean Council of Churches president Oluwakemi Linda Banks reported that
      "the changing pattern in social and family lives and moral values, and the
      increasing breakdown of the family have affected the upbringing of children
      in many parts of the Caribbean".

      Joan Arelis Figueroa of the Church of the Disciples of Christ, Puerto Rico,
      also reported that the number of child workers and street children in Latin
      America has increased. Begging and juvenile delinquency are common in most
      Latin American countries, and increasing violence among these children is
      the result of promiscuity, growing poverty and hunger, she said.

      WCC programme executive for Latin America and Caribbean Marta Palma
      provided additional statistics on how children are being mistreated and
      exploited in Latin American countries, but said that several rehabilitation
      and counselling centres for children have been initiated by Latin American
      churches.

      Chuleepran Pearsons of the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), and CCA
      executive secretary Josef Widyatmaja observed that sexual exploitation of
      children, including prostitution, pornography and trafficking has become a
      serious problem in Asia ever since economic liberalization was launched by
      Asian governments. Several Asian countries have been experiencing a wave of
      sex tourism, which destroys the dignity of thousands of Asian children
      every year."

      The CCT has opened up new avenues to asylum and foster care for many
      abandoned children and those whose parents are affected by HIV/AIDS,
      Chuleepran reported.

      Clarissa Chang of the Council of Churches in Malaysia said some churches in
      her country have motivated congregation members to foster children who need
      care and protection. And the programme director the Church of North India
      ministry to children, Sanjana Das, described the dedication of several
      local congregations to fulfilling the basic needs of vulnerable children
      through custodial care.

      In a keynote address at the start of the consultation, WCC programme
      executive for Asia Mathews George Chunakara pointed out that "Despite all
      the international instruments existing now to protect and promote the
      rights of the child, especially the Convention on the Rights of the Child
      of 1989, which has been ratified by 191 countries, more than 250 million
      children around the world are on the streets, and most of them are in Asia
      and Latin America".

      Inaugurating the consultation, CCA president Metropolitan Dr Joseph Mar
      Iranaeus of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in India said that "As we are
      surrounded by millions of children who have lost dignity and fullness of
      life in their day-to-day lives, churches around the world should respond to
      God's call to be the partners in His mission to restore the dignity and
      fullness of life of all children." These are God's gifts, and "children
      deserve them as much as any other human beings," he said.

      A free photo is available at:
      http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/regional/kidignity.html


      For more information contact:
      Media Relations Office
      tel: (+41 22) 791 64 21 / (+41 22) 791 61 53
      e-mail:media@...
      http://www.wcc-coe.org

      The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 342, in
      more than 120 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian
      traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works
      cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly,
      which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally
      inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by
      general secretary Samuel Kobia from the Methodist church in Kenya.
    • Bill Samsonoff
      2004.01.29 WFN: From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org Title: Restore dignity and fullness of life to all children From WCC Media
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 7, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        2004.01.29 WFN:

        From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org

        Title: Restore dignity and fullness of life to all children

        From "WCC Media" < Media@... >
        Date Thu, 29 Jan 2004 16:56:43 +0100

        World Council of Churches 7 Press Update
        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 29/01/2004 - pu-04-09

        Restore dignity and fullness of life to all children church consultation
        urges

        Free photo available - see below

        As the world hails the intensification of globalization, the number of
        children living on the streets has steeply increased, participants in a
        21-25 January inter-regional consultation organized by the World Council of
        Churches (WCC) and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) reported. The
        consultation, on "Fullness of life and dignity of children: focus on street
        children", took place at Virar, near Bombay, India.

        Participants - church leaders from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe,
        Latin America, and the Middle East - said that the plight of street
        children calls churches to engage even more actively with and for such
        vulnerable children, and gave several examples of churches working to
        protect children's dignity and their right to a decent life.

        Despite tremendous growth in economic activity and the globalization of
        trade and capital, despite the penetration of transnational corporations
        into every corner of the world and the increase of productivity, the
        world's poor have not benefited, and the children of the poor suffer the
        negative impact of this much-popularized development growth, the church
        leaders observed.

        They testified that millions of children living and working on the streets
        come to hate the society that has rejected them. But they also gave
        examples of churches playing a vital role in responding to the cry of "a
        generation lost in the wilderness", reuniting street children with their
        families and reintegrating them into society. They also emphasized that
        churches need to move away from a traditional charity-based approach as the
        magnitude of the problems faced by children intensifies.

        Fr Gabriel Cazacu of the Rumanian Orthodox Church, who works among street
        children, said that market-oriented economic reforms in Rumania have
        created large numbers of street children, more and more of whom are
        addicted to drugs like poisonous glue. The Orthodox Church has been
        providing care and protection to hundreds of street children. "The love and
        affection they have received has helped them to blossom," Fr Cazacu added.

        "African children's lives are becoming much more vulnerable due to [*]
        rising intra-state conflict and loosely organized fighting groups, and to
        HIV/AIDS", said Emmanuel Motsamal, who coordinates a National Council of
        Churches in Botswana programme on children.

        Caribbean Council of Churches president Oluwakemi Linda Banks reported that
        "the changing pattern in social and family lives and moral values, and the
        increasing breakdown of the family have affected the upbringing of children
        in many parts of the Caribbean".

        Joan Arelis Figueroa of the Church of the Disciples of Christ, Puerto Rico,
        also reported that the number of child workers and street children in Latin
        America has increased. Begging and juvenile delinquency are common in most
        Latin American countries, and increasing violence among these children is
        the result of promiscuity, growing poverty and hunger, she said.

        WCC programme executive for Latin America and Caribbean Marta Palma
        provided additional statistics on how children are being mistreated and
        exploited in Latin American countries, but said that several rehabilitation
        and counselling centres for children have been initiated by Latin American
        churches.

        Chuleepran Pearsons of the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), and CCA
        executive secretary Josef Widyatmaja observed that sexual exploitation of
        children, including prostitution, pornography and trafficking has become a
        serious problem in Asia ever since economic liberalization was launched by
        Asian governments. Several Asian countries have been experiencing a wave of
        sex tourism, which destroys the dignity of thousands of Asian children
        every year."

        The CCT has opened up new avenues to asylum and foster care for many
        abandoned children and those whose parents are affected by HIV/AIDS,
        Chuleepran reported.

        Clarissa Chang of the Council of Churches in Malaysia said some churches in
        her country have motivated congregation members to foster children who need
        care and protection. And the programme director the Church of North India
        ministry to children, Sanjana Das, described the dedication of several
        local congregations to fulfilling the basic needs of vulnerable children
        through custodial care.

        In a keynote address at the start of the consultation, WCC programme
        executive for Asia Mathews George Chunakara pointed out that "Despite all
        the international instruments existing now to protect and promote the
        rights of the child, especially the Convention on the Rights of the Child
        of 1989, which has been ratified by 191 countries, more than 250 million
        children around the world are on the streets, and most of them are in Asia
        and Latin America".

        Inaugurating the consultation, CCA president Metropolitan Dr Joseph Mar
        Iranaeus of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in India said that "As we are
        surrounded by millions of children who have lost dignity and fullness of
        life in their day-to-day lives, churches around the world should respond to
        God's call to be the partners in His mission to restore the dignity and
        fullness of life of all children." These are God's gifts, and "children
        deserve them as much as any other human beings," he said.

        A free photo is available at: http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/regional/kidignity.html For more information contact:
                 Media Relations Office
         tel: (+41 22) 791 64 21 / (+41 22) 791 61 53
         e-mail:media@... http://www.wcc-coe.org The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 342, in
         more than 120 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian
         traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works
         cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly,
         which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally
         inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by
         general secretary Samuel Kobia from the Methodist church in Kenya.
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