Quaker Peace Education at the United Nations Crime Commission

Quakers in Britain's ground-breaking report Peace at the Heart featured in a session on challenging toxic online hate at the United Nations recently.

Smiling line of people
Quaker criminal justice specialists with Mary Wangui Mugwana, chair of this year’s UN Crime Commission. L to R: Penny Peters, Nick McGeorge, Mary Mugwana, Mia Graddy, Marian Liebmann, Logan Graddy, photo credit: conference team

A delegation representing Quakers from around the world attend the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna every year, to promote humanitarian criminal justice policies.

With multiple side events on new approaches in the field, this year the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) delegation held a session on challenging the impact of misogynistic and aggressive social media on children.

Using the rise of social media influencer Andrew Tate, FWCC's experienced criminal justice specialists said peace education could challenge toxic hate.


Peace at the Heart is the most hopeful document I have read for a long time

- Marian Liebmann


Peace education helps children manage feelings, cope with conflict and feel safe at school, they said.

The hybrid session was illustrated by Quakers in Britain video clips of children mediating conflicts in primary and secondary schools.

All copies of Quakers in Britain's Peace at the Heart report and executive summary were snapped up by participants.

Bristol Quaker and restorative justice consultant Marian Liebmann was part of the FWCC team.

She said: “The report is the most hopeful document I have read for a long time.

“It demonstrates how it is possible to transform schools into places where children and young people thrive and can learn well as a result."

The team included chartered psychologist Nick McGeorge and retired probation officer Penny Peters from the UK, and prison chief psychiatrist Logan Graddy and student Mia Graddy from North Carolina.

The FWCC presentation, which also included information about a relationship course developed for the teenagers of Durham Quaker Meeting in North Carolina, was recorded for sharing more widely in the future.

Peace at the Heart features in a travelling exhibition at the Scottish Parliament in September and a motion supporting peace education has been signed by MSPs from all parties.

Read Peace at the Heart report here