Together on the Way
8.8. A Letter from Children
We, the children of the world, constructing the international Global Ecumenical Children's Network, gather here in Harare, Zimbabwe, on 9 December 1998. We are here to challenge the World Council of Churches and its member churches to give their moral, financial and spiritual support to our network.
We, the children, cannot overstress the urgency to engage in direct, immediate and drastic action to help our suffering peers around the world.
We have already presented our concerns to Unit IV and the WCC's 1997 and 1998 central committees. As a result of those meetings many plans of action for children have emerged. However, we do not lack "plans"; instead, we are in dire need of action.
As a result of the above, we challenge the assembly of the World Council of Churches and all its member churches to do the following:
We, the children, want to congratulate the World Council of Churches for its leadership role on an international level in fostering youth protagonism. However, we wish to remind the WCC that we are only at the beginning of the long walk into the new millennium in which we "turn to God and rejoice in hope."
- make all publications concerning children available to the youth in local parishes;
- foster the opening of the Global Ecumenical Children's Network in local churches;
- promote the participation of children in the churches, and thus their protagonism;
- recognize the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in all churches;
- adopt a resolution stating that the WCC agrees with all the points of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, especially but not exclusively the clause which allows youth participation;
- help to build a positive image of children, particularly of delinquent children, and prevent stigmatization;
- organize an internet-site dedicated to the Global Ecumenical Children's Network and the positive role that youth are playing in today's society;
- make a commitment to fight the exploitation of children, especially those involved in the sex trade, including the sexual exploitation of domestic servants;
- promote a yearly event when the local churches make a collection on International Children's Day; the money would be distributed by the Global Ecumenical Network to help the exploited and abused children of this world.
Go to 8.9. Visions for the Futurer by Philip Potter
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