Arigatou International is an international faith-based NGO committed to building a better world for children. An initiator and sustainer of partnership-based initiatives to secure child rights and foster children's well-being, Arigatou International seeks to maximize the potential of interfaith cooperation, and always strives to empower and involve children and youth.
Holding special consultative status with ECOSOC and consultative status with UNICEF, and as a member of Child Rights Connect (formerly the NGO Group for the CRC) and of the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN), Arigatou International liaises and works jointly with UN agencies and other NGOs to foster cooperation within a rights-based approach to the profound issues faced by children and youth today. For Arigatou International, the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a critical goal and essential step on the path to a world that is healthy and just for all children and youth.
Arigatou International recognizes the vital role that religious leaders and their communities can play in fostering healthy values and supporting positive behaviors in their societies. To provide a global platform for interreligious cooperation for children, Arigatou launched the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) in May 2000. The GNRC is now the world’s most extensive interfaith network of organizations and individual volunteers working specifically for the rights and well being of children around the world.
At the Special Session on Children of the United Nations General Assembly in May 2002, Arigatou International proposed the establishment of the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children as a unique contribution of people of faith to the wellbeing of children and to contribute to the full implementation of the CRC. With the help of the experts on the Council and the cooperation of UNESCO and UNICEF, in 2008 Arigatou International published Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education.
Then, in 2009, the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children was initiated with Arigatou International support to mobilize people from diverse religious traditions to improve children’s lives through prayer and practical acts of service. It is celebrated each year on November 20, which is Universal Children’s Day and the anniversary of the CRC.
Arigatou International is now shaping a new global initiative, "Mobilizing Faith-based Resources to End Child Poverty." This initiative will challenge the unequal distribution of resources, war and violence, poor governance and corruption. It will utilize interfaith advocacy and grassroots action to overcome poverty affecting children.
Arigatou International has its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, an international liaison office in Geneva, Switzerland, and an office in New York for the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children. It also maintains offices supporting the GNRC network in various regions of the world.
For more information on these four major initiatives of Arigatou International, visit the websites for the GNRC, the Ethics Education program, the World Day of Prayer and Action and learn more about the Mobilizing Faith-based Resources to End Child Poverty.