Call for Papers for Consultation and Special Issue on “Gender & Religious Freedom: Children and Youth”


The Gender and Religious Freedom Task Group and the Research Task Group of the Religious Liberty Partnership will be holding a joint consultation in Kyiv, Ukraine on 7-9 April 2022 on the theme of Children and Freedom of Religion and Belief. 

You are warmly invited to submit proposals by 31 January 2022 on “Gender & Religious Freedom: Children and Youth” for presentation of a paper at the seminar. Please send proposals to Prof Dr Janet Epp Buckingham. Email: [email protected].

Following the seminar, academic papers may be submitted to a special issue of the International Journal for Religious Freedom (IJRF) on the topic of “Freedom of Religion or Belief: Children and Youth”. The IJRF is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the International Institute for Religious Freedom, accredited by the Department for Higher Education and Training of the Republic of South Africa. Two important features of the journal are that it is the only journal that is specialized in religious freedom and that it is open access, ensuring easy distribution outside academic circles. 

We invite papers on a wide variety of topics related to the theme. Papers can focus on children and/or adolescents (the terms ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ is used below to refer to the non-adult status of under-18s). We recognise that the cultural and legal definitions of child, youth or adolescent vary considerably across context so do include your definition and context in your paper. We particularly encourage papers that are related to gender-specific religious persecution or discrimination but will accept non-gender-specific papers related to FoRB and children/youth. Some themes that are of interest include:  

1. Girls: Girls (under-18s) are subject to abduction, forced conversion, forced marriage and rape on the basis of their religion. Girls often have difficulty accessing education and this is exacerbated by their religion.

2. Boys: Boys (under-18s) are subject to forced conscription and militarization.

3. Orphans: Children who are orphaned because of religious conflicts are particularly vulnerable and at risk of being trafficked.

4. Families: Families are weakened when a parent faces discrimination or persecution (eg, a father is imprisoned, loses a job or is killed; a mother experiences sexual assault, abduction/trafficking or is widowed).  The impact on boys and girls may be different but is often has both short and long-term consequences for all children and youth.

5. Education: The internationally recognized right to education up to the age of 16/18 in conformity with one’s convictions is frequently violated in practice as a deliberate means of diminishing future capacity of religious minorities. 

We encourage submissions from any relevant fields such as sociology, anthropology, religious studies, theology, philosophy, law, political studies and international relations. Submissions may address specific situations or be theoretical. They can focus on a particular country or be international in scope. 

Submissions to the IJRF should be 4000-6000 words and be submitted by 15 August 2022. Authors should conform to the Guidelines for Authors found on the IJRF website. Acceptance is subject to peer review. Please send your submissions to the Executive Editor, Prof Dr Janet Epp Buckingham. Email: [email protected].

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