Toronto, Canada: Chinese Orphans' Plight Draws Attention at the United Nations Meeting to Counter Violence against Children (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On June 2 and 3, the North America Regional Consultation Meeting to Counter Violence against Children was held at the University of Toronto. The meeting was initiated by the United Nations Secretary General and sponsored by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). About 200 people, including American and Canadian government officials, people from the academic field, nongovernmental organizations and medical doctors attended the meeting. Three representatives from the "Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners" (GMRPFGP) also attended. They called for attention to the persecution encountered by Falun Gong practitioners in China and the plight of the orphans of Falun Gong practitioners. Their appeal drew attention from the attendees.
- Clarifying the truth to young representatives who attended the meeting
The meeting especially invited 28 children and young students recommended by attending organizations to join the meeting. Twenty of them are from Canada and eight from the U.S. The evening of June 1 was scheduled for young representatives to register. Two Falun Gong practitioners from GMRPFGP handed out flyers to these young representatives and their adult companions one by one and explained the facts to them face to face. Many people felt shocked upon listening to the introduction. A representative from Nova Scotia said that she had heard of Falun Gong before and she was aware of the persecution, but she did not know that the persecution was so severe. An officer from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who attended the meeting said that she knew about the persecution of Falun Gong but she was not clear about the persecution encountered by children.
The young representatives' meeting was scheduled on June 2. Young representative Kelly from GMRPFGP attended the meeting and took the lead to give a speech. She spoke in detail about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, in particular, the brutal persecution suffered by children and young people. Her speech aroused great sympathy from the attendees.
- Persecution suffered by children in China draws great attention
Three Falun Gong practitioners attended the opening ceremony on the evening of June 2. During the opening ceremony, practitioners distributed a large amount of materials and tried their best to clarify the truth to representatives face to face. When talking with Canadian Senator Landon Pearson, the Senator expressed that she was aware of the persecution encountered by Falun Gong in China and she thanked practitioners for providing her with the materials. Upon hearing about the plight of the orphans, Ontario's Minister of Children and Youth Services expressed that she was willing to help rescue these orphans to Ontario.
Kelly represents GMRPFGP to give a speech at the conference
Kelly and Senator Landon Pearson
Some young representatives attending the meeting
During the formal meeting held on June 3, three practitioners participated in different group discussions and talked to representatives in detail about the persecution suffered by Falun Gong practitioners in China. In the group meeting in the morning, Jiang Fan from GMRPFGP pointed out that the persecution of Falun Gong has been defined as genocide by international attorneys, as the crimes are analogous to those that took place in Nazi Germany, the former Yugoslavia and Sudan. About 10 million children have suffered in the persecution. A large number of children have been tortured for practicing Falun Gong, and many have become orphans because their parents were tortured to death or have been imprisoned for a long period of time. Numerous children have been forced to leave school and have to move from one place to another to avoid further persecution. Some have died in the persecution. As members of the international community, what should we do to stop this atrocity and prevent similar tragedies from happening again? Senator Pearson said that similar things have occurred before in history. The way to end it is to intervene together with other methods.
Many attendees expressed their deep concern about these orphans. They highly recognized the global effort of rescue. The president of an organization to protect children's rights said, "Your work is really great!" The president of another organization said, "You are doing very significant and great work!"
- Morality is essential to solve the problem of violence against children
During the meeting in the afternoon, practitioners delivered speeches several times. In addition to introducing the truth about Falun Gong, they also pointed out that upgrading moral standards is fundamental to stopping violence against children.
Jiang Fan said in his speech that currently the fundamental reason for the increase in social violence is the degeneration of mankind's morality. In ancient times, there were not so many laws or rules, but there was not so much violence either, because people at that time generally believed in God or Buddha, and the moral standard was high. Unfortunately, modern people's moral standard has largely declined. People ceaselessly pursue material interests and benefits, which has led to the degeneration of human morality. He stressed that the fundamental reason for the increase of social problems and violence is the degeneration of human morality. He said that laws can only control people's behavior but are unable to control people's minds or eliminate people's intention of committing crimes. The fundamental way out is to upgrade people's moral standard, so that people can restrain themselves from the bottom of their hearts. As an example, he said that Falun Gong practitioners believe in Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. They are strict with themselves in society and give up bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol. This practice once played a positive role in upgrading the overall moral standard in China.
His speech was well-received by many representatives.
- Practitioners call for support of rescuing orphans at the plenary meeting
At the plenary meeting held at the end of the conference, in her two-minute speech, a young representative from GMRPFGP Kelly, called upon the international community, including UNICEF and World Vision, to help rescue the orphans of Falun Gong practitioners and stop the persecution against children in China.
Her speech drew continuous and warm applause. After the meeting concluded, many representatives expressed that they were quite moved by Kelly's speech. One representative said, "You've done great!" Another said, "What you've done is even better than adults." Some representatives took the initiative to take photos with her and requested her card.
According to the meeting's sponsor, about 200 officials, specialists, scholars and people from nongovernmental organizations attended. Officials included Canadian Senator Landon Pearson, Ontario's Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Bountrogianni, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Health Department, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police as well as the American federal government. Professors specializing in children's rights from more than 10 universities, including the University of Toronto, York University, University of British Columbia, New York University and University of South Carolina attended the meeting. In addition, several dozen nongovernmental organizations also sent representatives.