Dear Members and Friends of the GNRC,
Over the last three months, the world has been stunned by anxiety as it witnesses the growing pandemic caused by the coronavirus. We are now shaken by the reality that the next months will be challenging for everyone. The impact on socio-economic conditions globally is unimaginable.
Children will be among those most affected. Even before COVID-19 started, over one billion children were subjected to various forms of physical, sexual and psychological violence around the world. This pandemic, with all of its stresses, threatens to make violence against children more prevalent and even worse.
To control the spread of COVID-19, authorities in many countries have placed limitations on movements of people, locked down populations or imposed curfews. This will likely result in high-stress environments which often increase the vulnerability of children and often lead to more violence against them.
This is the time for us to work harder to seek additional ways to protect children from violence in their homes, and other places of shelter, as well as to help shield children from the psychological impact the pandemic is already causing. Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, President of Arigatou International and Convenor of the GNRC, has expressed solidarity and pledged our commitment to work with our partners to support affected children as the world grapples with the pandemic and struggles with the accompanying anxiety and fear.
We encourage all people of faith and spiritual traditions to leverage their unique social and spiritual assets in helping children cope with the current situation. We invite non-governmental, inter-governmental, governments, UN and its agencies to identify additional tools for communities and parents to protect and support children. We will work to reach out to as many as we can, to help wherever we can by utilizing social media and other means of communication.
Together, our human family will emerge stronger and in greater solidarity.
Mustafa Y. Ali, PhD
GNRC Secretary General, and
Director, Arigatou International – Nairobi.
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