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
"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 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.