All children are at risk. There are about two billion children in our world, and half of them are at risk from poverty. Millions are at risk from prosperity. Children of the wealthy and secure have everything to live with, but nothing to live for.
Children and young people are the Church of today, not merely of tomorrow. Young people have great potential as active agents in God’s mission. They represent an enormous under-used pool of influencers with sensitivity to the voice of God and a willingness to respond to him. We rejoice in the excellent ministries that serve among and with children, and long for such work to be multiplied since the need is so great. As we see in the Bible, God can and does use children and young people - their prayers, their insights, their words, their initiatives - in changing hearts. They represent ‘new energy’ to transform the world. Let us listen and not stifle their childlike spirituality with our adult rationalistic approaches.
We commit ourselves to:
A) Take children seriously, through fresh biblical and theological enquiry that reflects on God’s love and purpose for them and through them, and by rediscovering the profound significance for theology and mission of Jesus’ provocative action in placing ‘a child in the midst’.
B) Seek to train people and provide resources to meet the needs of children worldwide, wherever possible working with their families and communities, in the conviction that holistic ministry to and through each next generation of children and young people is a vital component of world mission.
C) Expose, resist, and take action against all abuse of children, including violence,exploitation, slavery, trafficking, prostitution, gender and ethnic discrimination, commercial targeting, and wilful neglect.
From the Cape Town Commitment - Part 2, Section IID, 5