30 July - 05 August 2018

Safe Together - working to end violence against children





Up to one billion children around the world have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence in the past year according to the World Health Organization. The negative effects of exposure to physical and emotional violence continue into adulthood and trap children in a cycle of harm which extends to those around them. Agencies working to protect children, and all of us, must take urgent action to end violence. Together, we must create spaces and opportunities for children to speak out and shape decisions and initiatives that can grant them a life free from harm.

How can children and adults work together to combat violence?

CATS 2018 aims to stimulate a culture of collaboration between children and adults, and to equip and empower them to take action against all forms of violence affecting children. This event will bring together children (2-18) with some experience of child participation, NGOs, intergovernmental agencies, schools, the social sector, youth groups, political leaders and decision-makers, ministries, child protection specialists, academics and families to make a safer world for everyone. Join them as they share their stories as victims, confronters and sometimes perpetrators of violence and provide inspiring examples of how they combat violence in many different contexts.


Topics addressed:

  • Different forms of violence affecting children (physical, sexual, emotional)
  • Critical issues related to violence against children across countries/regions
  • Children as victims, bystanders, confronters and perpetrators
  • Strategies engaging children in combating all forms of violence
  • International mechanisms and initiatives
  • Pathways to safety (inclusion, peace, well-being, participation, etc)
  • Community engagement and multi-stakeholder partnerships to end violence against children



Soleil Doering (USA) is an artist and student activist currently studying theater at New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida. She has been active in several community based initiatives since her elementary school days that promote positive civic engagement. These include the anti-bullying PEACE project, fundraising for hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean, and helping immigrants navigate the citizenship process. She is a founding member of Students Demand Action, a student led organization focused on promoting sensible gun legislation. Soleil is passionate about finding creative ways to empower young people to create change in their communities. Her primary interest areas are working towards curbing gun violence, supporting LGBTQ and immigrant communities, and bringing awareness and action on mental health issues among high school students. In the future, she hopes to study drama therapy at university and build a career in eco-theater.


Sara Oviedo (Ecuador) has been a ferly defender of Human Rights and specially of Children’s Rights and Child Participation for the last 50 years, she started her commitment with Monseñor Leónidas Proaño a Bishop who was an important actor in the liberation of indigenous people in Riobamba, Ecuador. Among her many contributions she worked in the National Institute for Childhood and Family for 20 years in Ecuador, she coordinated from 2005 to 2015 the elaboration of the National Plan for Childhood and Adolescence in Ecuador and between 2006-2008 she was President of the Executive Council of the Interamerican Institute of Childhood of the Organization of American States. From 2013 to February 2017 she was Vice-President of The Committee of Children’s Rights of the United Nations making Child Participation one of her priorities in this mission. She is currently a Global Ambassador for the Social Network SOKHRATES and the Executive Director of the   QuituRaymi Foundation that represents ECPAT(End child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes) in Ecuador. 


Nichole Ruiz (Ecuador/USA) is a 14 year old Ecuadorian-American who currently lives in Miami, Florida, in the United States. She will be attending Terra Environmental Research Institute. Nichole has grown learning to involve herself and do something about world issues, such as climate change and bullying. In her fifth year, she committed herself to create an initiative called Promoting Empathy, Awareness, and Courage for Everyone, (PEACE), which was a group of 11 and 12 year olds advocating for fair treatment and promoting awareness about bullying. This project continued for two years and then got recognition from the Mayor of Doral, Florida who declared May to be the cities “Anti- bullying Month”. She then went on to write an essay that talked about an idea that would help society progress for the Science, Engineering, Communication, Mathematics, and Enrichment (SECME) national program. This essay won a national prize in the SECME writing competition. In the midst of recent tragic events such as the Parkland shooting, she has started creating and attending protests to make her voice be heard about gun violence. Nichole has also participated in protests to advocate for immigrant children who are separated from their parents. In her spare time, Nichole plays volleyball, piano and loves to read.


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