On Sunday September 21st, 2014, Earth Charter International celebrated the International Day of Peace participating in a festival organized by the Costa Rican Peace Network (Red de Paz). The festival took place in CENAC, in downtown San Jose, and the theme was “Making peace with children and youth”.
The Costa Rican Peace Network is coordinated by the Ministry of Justice and Peace and brings together a wide variety of organizations of different sectors. It was conceived as a space for consultation, interaction, cooperation and reflection; its work is articulated around some ethical principles: respect for human rights in harmony with nature, integral prevention, non-violent forms of conflict resolution and administration, equity, inclusion, respect for diversity and intersectoriality.
These organizations, recognizing that ‘thousands of girls, boys and teenagers are today exposed to different situations of violence’, chose the theme ‘making peace with children and youth’ for this year’s festival, and wrote a declaration in order to ask the Costa Rican Government to look for solutions to protect children and youth, and to take action in the areas concerning family, education centers, community institutions, juvenile detention centers, commercial sexual exploitation (ESCNNA) and media.
At the Festival, more than twenty organizations participated in the event with stands around the main stage in which several activities were developed, like games and others. The celebration was inaugurated by the Vice-minister of Justice and Peace Victor Barrantes Marin and throughout the morning and afternoon many cultural activities took place, like the presentation of music bands, poetry performance, a meditation and yoga session; among others.
The Earth Charter was present along the day, participating in the activities and spreading the word about its mission. It was a good opportunity for meeting with other organizations with similar objectives, establishing new alliances and contact with citizens, children and educators who attended the event and with whom we were able to talk and discuss on violence suffered by children, peace-building and dialogue, and actions for living a more sustainable life in our society.