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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with category: Children

December 4, 2014

Red Hands continue to make a difference

by Richard Aylor

Red HandsSince April, 3 member states and 1 non-member state have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Ethiopia ratified on May 14, Guinea-Bissau ratified on September 24, and the Dominican Republic ratified on October 14.  The State of Palestine, a non-member state, ratified on April 7.   It has been a great 2014 as we move forward in raising awareness internationally to protect children from being exploited as soldiers.

This raises the number of United Nations member states that have ratified the Optional Protocol ...

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November 19, 2014

Equipping Presbyterian Women to engage with public issues

by Richard Aylor

Richard Aylor SpeakingOn Saturday November 8, I visited the Presbyterian Women of Monmouth at Brick Presbyterian Church in Brick, New Jersey. For the first part of my presentation, we did advocacy training, and had great conversations about ways to get involved in the community politically. We also talked about our calling as Disciples of Christ to witness to the world. After advocacy training, I used 2 issues advocated by the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations as examples. I talked for a bit on the problem of Child Soldiers around the world, and ways Christians can become involved. We ...

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November 5, 2014

ECPAT Luggage Tags at Germonds Presbyterian Church

by Velta Upeslacis


ECPAT TagsWhile attending the 58th Commission on the Status of Women in March 2014, I learned about various NGO's and how they are contributing to women's empowerment both nationally and worldwide.  
I recently attended a conference "Changing the Conversation"  where the Rev. Mark Koenig , director of the was a prominent speaker.  In a small group discussion,  he told us about a bright, hand-woven  luggage tag that he had which is sold by ECPAT-USA for a mere $12.  ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) made a powerful impact on me when I learned about it at the ...

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October 27, 2014

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF 2014

Halloween costumes have appeared in New York City. However you observe the holiday, consider participating in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF this year.

Started by Presbyterians, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is a prime fundraiser for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children's lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.

Child in Robin costume from Batman with Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF boxThe U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. UNICEF works toward the day when ...

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July 8, 2014

Progress made, work to do, on children in armed conflict

by Max Hill

No child soldiers red handsLast week the Secretary-General released the annual report on Children and Armed Conflict. This report summarized all of the progress that has been made in terms of reducing the amount of children involved in situations of armed conflict, as well as highlighted areas where work still needs to be done. UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, stated that there are 23 situations around the world in which children are being used in armed conflict in some way.

The annual report named some specific groups and areas where clear violations of children’s rights ...

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