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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 16, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 18Jul00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

BYU hosts international forum on the family
BYU NewsNet 12Jul00 D3
By Lincoln Hubbard: NewsNet Staff Writer

PROVO, UTAH -- BYU recently hosted the World Family Policy Forum which successfully brought together delegates from over 30 countries to share ideas and discuss strategies to prevent and stop the assault on the integrity of the family. July l2 was the final day for the forum and Cory Leonard, associate director of the World Family Policy Center, said, "Delegates have said they have learned much about trends and challenges here." "The purpose of the conference was to increase people's education, have them learn from each other and build bridges and ties with others who have similar beliefs," Leonard added.

"The fight to alleviate poverty is one of the greatest challenges we face," said Faith D. Innerarity, a delegate from the Caribbean. "The absence of a nuclear family structure has been closely associated with poverty." Innerarity indicated that poverty leads to major conflicts with the family that lead to crime in the community.

"Available evidence indicates there is a high level of youth involvement in the increased crime rate in the Caribbean region," she said. "Family disruptions or instability are frequently cited among the major factors associated with juvenile delinquency." She added that recent economic, political and social changes have weakened the systems of family support.

Innerarity suggested that more training and education were needed. "We need to change people's attitudes toward the strengthening the family unit." She reported that the BYU forum gave her a larger view of what's happening around the world. "I benefited tremendously from being here and hearing views about supporting family values that are the same as mine," she said.

This weeks speakers also included Dr. Akira Morita, director of the Institute for Comparitive Law at Toyo University in Japan. "What children need most is a relationship," Morita said. "Not an isolated benefit conferred in the name of rights." "Parental discipline and teacher direction are necessary accompaniments to the child's freedom," Morita said.

Historical attitudes by the United Nations on families were presented by Dr. Allan Carlson, president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society. "There are some very long term problems that the family faces," Carlson said.

Carlson said he saw religion as a base upon which a family system could rely. "The human family system is not well adapted to an industrial society, but it can survive and thrive in those environments if it is backed by something stronger, and religious faith is what proves to be stronger," he said.

Carlson credited Judaism, Islam and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as religions whose faith has carried them successfully through trials. "I see faith as something which is absolutely necessary, and I say that based on historical observation." "A critical need is to build a pro-family vision and it must embrace all relgiously grounded family morality systems," Carlson said.


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