Religious leadership expresses concern about abuses against children and teenagers


Religious leadership and members of Panama’s Interreligious Committee, and members of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), expressed in a public note “great concern about the abuses against children and teenagers in various shelters under the responsibility of the National Secretary for Children, Adolescence, and Family (SENNIAF), which emerges from the recent report by the National Committee for Women, Children, Youth, and Family by the National Assembly”.

We call, they say, for authorities to act with celerity, determining actions and adjudicating the correspondent responsibilities. At the same time, support and attention for the victims of abuse must be privileged.

The State must be aware of its responsibility to guarantee the rights of children and teenagers. This fact deepens further the gravity of the raised denounces.

As people of faith, we have an ethical obligation to rise our voice against injustices and violations of this kind, specially when the victims are the most vulnerable.

They reiterate their support – like they did back in 2018 – fo the Creation of a System of Guarantees and Integral Protection for the RIghts of Children and Adolescents, “a pending subject of our country, in a way that sets the basis of a system that strengthens the appropriate institutions and establishes mechanisms that prevents new situations of rights violations. It’s time to make it a reality”, they emphasize.

They remember that in May 2017 they were hosts of the GNRC’s Fifth Global Forum that gathered in Panama more than 500 religious leaders and members of faith based communities from all the main world religions to adopt the Panama Declaration to Stop Violence Against Children, which includes 10 specific compromises and a promise for follow-ups and accountability.

In the Declaration it’s expressed our compromise to: “Work to generate a greater social and political will with respect to legislation, public policies, and an increase in backing for programs of protection towards children from violence.”

Today, we want to manifest our solidarity with the victims of abuse and raise our voice to demand justice and request the authorities to take the necessary measures for this kind of violation to not happen again.

Sign: Monseñor Julio Murray, Presidente del Comité Ecuménico; Monseñor José D. Ulloa, Arzobispo de la Arquidiócesis de Panamá; Rabino Gustavo Kraselnik, Presidente del Comité Interreligioso; Iman Mohamed El Sayed del Centro Cultural Islámico y Paul Bocanegra de la Comunidad Soka Gakai Internacional.

Translation: Massimiliano Tron F

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