“The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children”
– Nelson Mandela
In the time of war, conflicts or abuse against any sector of society the most affected will always be children. It’s a sad reality that these children are orphaned, disabled, and/or mentally disturbed through no fault of theirs. The most common violations against children are recruitment and use of children in war, killing, sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals and denial of humanitarian access. Most of the time violations do not come under a single heading and will be a combination of the aforementioned categories.
During the 1982 Lebanon War, at its emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the UN General Assembly,” appalled at the great number of innocent Palestine and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts aggression”, decided to commemorate 4th June of every year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. This day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. This day affirms the UN’s commitment to protect the rights of children.
Along with supporting and advocating for the rights of children the main agenda of the day is to celebrate millions of individual and organizations working to protect and preserve the rights of children. The ‘Global Movement for Children’ and the ‘Say Yes for Children campaign’ are some of such prominent projects.
The ‘Global Movement of Children’ is an inspiring force for change that involves ordinary people from ordinary people and families worldwide. It was lead by Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel to great heights. The ‘Say Yes for Children’ was launched in a ceremony at UN headquarters on 7 May 2002, were 12 year old Barron Hanson presented the ‘Say Yes for Children’ pledge and more than 94 million people followed him.
In a fast moving and selfish world the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is definitely a wakeup call to the hard hitting reality of the pain and sufferings faced by millions of children worldwide. Its aim it to remind every governments that children are authorized to special assistance and care and to make the governments to keep their promises to provide each and every family justice, peace and freedom in the world.
Children are without a doubt the future of the world and to be exposed to violence at a young age will cripple their mental and physical growth without adequate support. Unprecedented child victims can cripple any society if they direct to criminal activities. Among many other widely celebrated national and international days, the Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression may seem faded. It’s our duty as an individual and as a nation to participate and conduct campaigns or similar activities to spread awareness among common people against child exploitation and also to preserve the rights of our future generation. Let the innocent children stay innocent and be responsible citizens in the future.