A common value shared across diverse people of faith is the belief that each person, regardless of age, has infinite value, dignity and worth. The responsibility to care for and protect vulnerable children also forms an explicit mandate in many faith traditions. Although violence against children is a global epidemic, such violence is preventable. In a world where 84% of people identify as religious, faith communities have a unique, essential and indispensable role to play in ending violence against children. They can be first responders to recognise, refer, report and respond to this violence, but can also play critical roles in changing harmful practices, bridging gaps between formal and informal child protection systems, and serving as advocates for and with children at many levels. Faith actors have unique spiritual roles to play nurture positive beliefs around the protection and care of children and to tackle and transform harmful underlying beliefs that still perpetuate or enable violence. This is already happening in many places. But they must be further equipped. More research is essential to understand current gaps, new threats and to robustly document their existing diverse roles.

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