“From Faith to Action” Conference Report

Ensuring that children escaping conflict, persecution, natural disaster or poverty are supported and protected physically, psychologically, and spiritually.

Fatima, 15, from Afghanistan, speaks to Panagiota Siafaka, UNICEF’s Child Rights Field Monitor about her dream of becoming a software engineer.
© UNICEF/UNI370629/Christophilo

Highlights

The “From Faith to Action” initiative focuses on children escaping conflict, persecution, natural disaster or poverty, and brings together UNICEF and stakeholders from faith-based communities who share the aspiration of providing support and protection: physically, psychologically and spiritually. The initiative is built on the principle that a child is a child and seeks to strengthen partnerships that can help ensure protection, health, and education to all child refugees and migrants, and reinforces the principle of the best interest of the child.

The first “From Faith to Action” conference in December 2020 convened 138 participants representing 68 organizations from 40 countries and was co-organized by UNICEF, the World Council of Churches, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, the European Council of Religious Leaders - Religions for Peace, and in collaboration with Islamic Relief Worldwide, the Lutheran World Federation, A World of Neighbours and World Vision International.

The conference report summarizes discussions among migrant and integration support specialists, experts on refugee and child rights, religious leaders, youth and migrant representatives, and academics, on the context of refugee and migrant children and ideas on working together and on actions. Including:

  • Best practices illustrating the significant role that faith-based communities have in protecting vulnerable children.
  • The continuum of child protection in the case of refugees and migrants.
  • The role of religious actors and host communities in combating xenophobia and discrimination.
  • The power of religious communities as policy influencers and as advocates for more inclusive approaches.

 

The two days' discussion was condensed into a draft Action Plan that outlines key recommendations for action to protect refugee and migrant children. The Action Plan is a living document that will be continually updated and enriched in response to discussions and consultations taking place within partner organizations, relevant countries, and evolving contexts. It provides general guidance but is not intended to prescriptively define the role that each partner should play in protecting refugee and migrant children.

Girl in a refugee shelter.
Author
UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office
Publication date
Languages
English

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