The GNRC is the only global-scale interfaith network of organizations and individuals specifically dedicated to securing the rights and well-being of children everywhere. GNRC members come from all of the world's major religions and many other spiritual traditions. They share a commitment to making the world a place where every child can enjoy not only the right to survive, but also to thrive, making positive contributions of his or her own to a world of peace and dignity for all. They believe both prayer and action are needed to realize this vision. The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, now celebrated every November 20 on Universal Children's Day, was proposed and developed by GNRC members.
The GNRC was inaugurated in May 2000 by the Arigatou Foundation, an NGO in special consultative status with ECOSOC of the United Nations. In 2012, the Foundation changed its name to Arigatou International, and it continues to support the GNRC today.
Region- and location-specific initiatives around the world
A diverse group of GNRC Coordinators facilitates the ongoing work of the GNRC in six major world regions. They work together with the GNRC members of their regions -- children, young people and adults -- to ensure that GNRC initiatives directly address the most difficult challenges that children face in each location. See the "Regional Networks" menu above for full details on the priorities and activities of each region and the latest news on their activities.
GNRC members share a set of common priorities in their worldwide work for children. Their initiatives and programs are often designed to integrate more than one these key themes, which are: poverty eradication, child rights, ethics education, peace education, reducing urban violence, protecting the natural environment, and empowering children and young people. More details on each theme are available from the "Priorities" menu above.
Partnering with UNICEF and others in the international community
The GNRC collaborates actively with UNICEF, UNESCO, and other organizations and individuals who are concerned with children's rights and development. The GNRC and UNICEF are working together on a unique joint study on "Children in World Religions."
Through activities like these, the GNRC plays an important role in linking religious communities' work for children with that of international agencies, governments, and other actors which do not necessarily operate from a faith-based perspective. In this capacity, the GNRC was invited to deliver a statement to the United Nations General Assembly during the Special Session on Children in May 2002. Speaking on behalf of the GNRC, Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, President of the Arigatou Foundation, committed the network to further efforts in the fight against poverty, the establishment of the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children, and ongoing contributions to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Rev. Keishi Miyamoto, Representative of the Arigatou Foundation, met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in October 2007, and received Mr. Ban's pledge of support and encouragement from the UN system.
Global forums bring members together
Every four years, GNRC members from around the world gather for a GNRC Forum: the first, which issued the landmark GNRC Statement, was held in Tokyo in 2000. The second, which launched the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children, was held in Geneva in 2004. The Third Forum was held in May 2008 in Hiroshima, Japan, and featured the launch of Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Program for Ethics Education. At the Fourth Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in June 2012, the participants agreed to launch a new Interfaith Initaitive to End Child Poverty.
More background information
More information is available from the "About the GNRC" menu above. The initial documents that guided the formation of the GNRC were the GNRC Prospectus and the GNRC Outline. Complete details on the background leading up to the birth of the GNRC have been published in Shining Ever Brighter: Myochikai, the Arigatou Foundation, and the Global Network of Religions for Children (available here in PDF format).