SAsia’s religious leaders to work for children’s rightsLeaders and representatives from various religious communities across South Asia have underlined the critical role they can play in promoting the fulfilment of child rights.
Leaders and representatives from various religious communities across South Asia have underlined the critical role they can play in promoting the fulfilment of child rights.
The first South Asia Religious Leaders’ Platform for Children, launched by Unicef South Asia on Tuesday, brought together more than 30 influential leaders and representatives in Kathmandu from various religious communities of the region. During the meeting, the delegates also discussed ways to harness regional solidarity towards a brighter future for all the children in the region, Unicef South Asia said in a statement.
South Asia, which is home to 1.7 billion people, has 621 million children under 18. However, despite economic growth and consequent improvements, massive disparities still exist in the region preventing children from living in dignity, reaching their full potential and making choices about their futures.
“With religious communities in South Asia having extensive networks and moral influence throughout the region, their potential to tackle some of these challenges and achieve real results for children is highly advantageous,” the statement said.
“Religious communities and Unicef have a long history of shared values and goals of advancing children’s rights and enhancing their wellbeing. They continue to be our indispensable partner especially in our focus on reaching the poorest, most vulnerable and hardest to reach children and families,” said Jean Gough, regional director of Unicef South Asia, during her opening speech. “If we can fully tap the enormous potential of our partnerships by building on each other’s strengths, we can achieve tremendous results for children.”
The two-day meeting concluded with the religious leaders’ declaration of setting aside differences over backgrounds, culture and traditions, and steadfastly carrying forward their resolve to putting children’s rights and wellbeing at the centre of their religious agenda and actions.