The Queen attends a round table meeting on The Invisible Children
On Tuesday 19 October, The Queen took part in a round table meeting on The Invisible Children. The aim of the meeting was to highlight and strengthen the work to counter sexual attacks against boys, and to raise awareness of the particular vulnerability of LGBTQ youth.
The round table meeting was arranged by the World Childhood Foundation and the Rainbow Fund, and took place at Berns in Stockholm.
The participants were welcomed by the World Childhood Foundation's Secretary General Paula Guillet de Monthoux and one of the Rainbow Fund's co-founders Jon Voss.
The Queen then gave an opening speech, in which she said:
Today, together with the Rainbow Fund, Childhood wants to shine a light on the invisible children. Those children who do not fit in, who are left in silence, loneliness and exclusion. Those children for whom the lack of understanding from the rest of the world contributes towards vulnerability, stigma and shame.
HM The Queen
Jonas Gardell, co-founder of the Rainbow Fund, then spoke about the invisible children, what we know about sexual attacks against boys and LGBTQ children, and how stereotypes about perpetrators and victims affect the children who are subjected to attacks.
During the remainder of the meeting, the participants discussed topics including:
- the blind spots and responsibilities of the world of children's rights – how depictions of gender and sexual orientation make certain groups invisible.
- the LGBTQ world's blind spots and the responsibility/right to investigate one's sexuality and identity without the risk of attack.
- shame, guilt, religion and the role of churches in inclusion.
Following the discussions, Minister Märta Stenevi shares her reflections from the day with Jêran Rostam from the Swedish Youth Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights.
Jonas Gardell concluded the meeting by saying:
It is so clear how boys and LGBTQ children who have been subjected to sexual attacks have had nowhere to see themselves reflected, no narratives in which they can recognise themselves and no adult world that has been able to accept them, and how this in turn has led to even greater loneliness, shame and invisibility. I hope that this fantastic day will help us in the adult world to be more present for all these children.
The Rainbow Fund
The aim of the Rainbow Fund is to provide financial assistance for LGBTQ organisations around the world and for individuals, particularly in countries where rainbow people are persecuted and harassed by the authorities, the police and religious institutions.
World Childhood Foundation
The Queen is the founder and Honorary Chair of the World Childhood Foundation. The work of the World Childhood Foundation is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and is religiously and politically independent. Childhood has offices in Sweden, Brazil, Germany and the USA.
Since 2016, Princess Madeleine has been a member of Childhood's Swedish board and an honorary member of Childhood USA's board.