On 21st May 2020 the Alliance for the Protection of Children launched a Guide for the Prevention of Violence Against Children, developed under the leadership of Arigatou International; to support and inspire the work of Faith Based Organizations and communities in the area of violence prevention in Central America.
The GNRC Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Coordinator, Ms. Silvia Mazzarelli, who also coordinates the work of Arigatou International in the region presented the content of the Guide through a webinar attended by more than 90 people from different international and grassroots organizations.
The Guide focuses on three levels of violence prevention strategies and actions that faith actors can carry out. Primary prevention strategies aimed at reducing risk behaviors associated with violence in the general population; secondary prevention strategies aimed at reducing/preventing violent behavior in those most at risk, especially children on the move, children who live in areas controlled by gangs, and children who have an incarcerated parent; and tertiary prevention strategies targeting children already engaged in violence, to facilitate their re-integration and reduce the risk of recidivism.
The Guide advocates for:
• An increase in public investment in policies for the prevention of violence against children
• The protection of children on the move
• The explicit prohibition of physical and humiliating punishment of children in all contexts
The causes of violence against children are complex and varied. The guide will be an instrumental tool in addressing these pertinent issues affecting children and youth in the region such as gang violence and organized crime. The guide will also underscore the work of faith communities who are actively engaged in the service of children.
A special appreciation to Ms. Mercedes Roman, Advisor, GNRC Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), who aided in reviewing the guide, and to Ms. María Lucía, Director, Ethics Education for Children who also supported the process.
The Alliance for the Protection of Children is an initiative of faith-based organizations and communities in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. The Alliance was created in the framework of the Fifth Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) that took place in Panama in May 2017 and brought together more than 500 participants from around the world in search for concrete solutions to prevent and eradicate violence against children. The Alliance is made up of a Regional Steering Committee and 4 National Committees, one in each country of the sub-region. Currently, it is made up of more than 55 organizations and communities.
Arigatou International led the Regional Steering Committee of the Alliance from May 2017 to April 2020. The Regional Steering Committee is currently coordinated by World Vision International.
More information: https://www.alianzappn.org/
You can download the guide here https://www.alianzappn.org/publicaciones