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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

November 12, 2015

Our sisters and brothers on the run

Manshi Metha of U.S. Fund for UNICEF tells the group about children in SyriaHumanitarian crises such as the one in Syria do not have humanitarian solutions; they have political solutions.

Almost 60 million men, women, and children displaced by crises around the world.

Children make up over 50% of our displaced sisters and brothers.

More than 4 million Syrians have become refugees since 2011.

Over 7 million Syrians are internally displaced.

Refugees generally want to return home; the average refugee experience is 17 years.

These were some of the challenging realities discussed by a seminar group from the Presbytery of Long Island. An intergenerational group of about 60 Presbyterians from at least 8 ...

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November 9, 2015

In ministry with the people of Madagascar: Dan and Elizabeth Turk

by Robert Arrington

Elizabeth and Dan Turk presentingToday the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations had the opportunity to host Dan and Elizabeth Turk, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-workers serving in Madagascar since 1994 at the invitation of the Church for Jesus Christ of Madagascar (FJKM). They met with a group of us and shared what they have been doing with PC(USA) partners to serve the population of Madagascar in its humanitarian efforts. Dan has a Ph.D. in Forestry from North Carolina State University, and Elizabeth a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at ...

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October 26, 2015

Red hands at work: the consensus grows

by Robert Arrington

Red hands from First Chinese PresbyterianSince September 1, 2015, two member states, Kiribati and the Bahamas, ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Kiribati ratified on September 16, declaring, “… the Republic of Kiribati has no national armed forces, and a declaration as to the minimum age of recruitment is therefore not applicable in the case of the Republic of Kiribati.” The Bahamas ratified on September 28, declaring, “The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas declares that the State will permit voluntary recruitment into its national armed forces ...

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July 14, 2015

Presbytery of Eastern Virginia says "No child soldiers"

photo by Willa Van Camp

A youth group from the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia participated in a seminar on July 7 and 8, 2015.

The group explored why followers of Jesus and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) engage in the public arena and have a presence at the United Nations.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the forced displacement of children, the work of UNICEF, human trafficking, and child soldiers were among the topics the group considered.

Group members made Red Hands to join the campaign to end the use of children as soldiers.

 Group members with their Red Hands

The Red Hands ...

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June 30, 2015

Protecting children in armed conflict

by Madeline Bacchus, Sarah Hoyle, and Willa Van Camp

The 7466th Security Council Meeting focused on children and armed conflict. The primary goal of the meeting was to vote on Resolution 2225 which would recognize child abduction, one of the six grave violations of children's rights, as a criteria for inclusion in  the annex of the Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict. The report discusses grave violations that are being committed against children in various parts of the world and includes a list of all the parties cited for committing violations against children in the ...

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