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Protecting children from aggression, violence

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By Mercy Kelani

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression 2023.

United Nations (UN) recognizes June 4 as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, ever since its establishment on August 19, 1982. The commemoration originally had its focus on victims of the Lebanon War in 1982, its purpose has experienced an expansion that concerns acknowledgement of the pain suffered by children across the globe who fall victims of physical, emotional and mental abuse, affirming the commitment of the UN to safeguard the rights of these children.

On the General Assembly’s 31st plenary meeting, it considered Palestine’s question at its seventh emergency special session, and aggrieved at the large number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of the aggressive acts of Israel, it agreed on June 4 of each year to acknowledge them. In 1997, the Assembly adopted Resolution 51/77 for enhancement of the protection of children who were affected by armed conflict. It empowered existing efforts to safeguard the rights of children.

Kids are the most vulnerable victims of conflicts & should be protected.

Adoption of this resolution helped establishment of the mandate of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, emphasizing the significance of dedicated attention, coordinated efforts and advocacy to tackle the vulnerabilities and violations confronting children in conflict-related situations. Also, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development gives the possibility of achievement of a better future for all, children inclusive. The agenda acknowledges the need to end every form of violence against children.

Target 16.2 of the agenda is specifically keen on achieving the goal of ending all forms of violence. Likewise, putting an end to the abuse, exploitation and neglect of children is included across other violence-related targets. Through the alignment with the 2030 Agenda, governments and organizations can work collaboratively to guarantee the wellbeing and protection of children in areas affected by conflict. This is because children are the most vulnerable victims of conflicts who ought to be in a safe environment, free of abuse, violence or exploitation.

Despite the Convention on the Rights of the Child, crimes still abound.

Across the world, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first international agreement saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding the rights of children. The Convention guarantees the rights of children to care and protection due to their vulnerability. It also affirms the crucial role of the International community in guaranteeing children’s rights. Despite the Convention and support for it, crimes have not ceased to be committed against vulnerable children around the globe.

Children living in wars around the world face daily terrible horrors as they are unsafe sleeping in their homes, learning in school, playing outside or seeking medical attention at hospitals. Children keep falling victims of killing and maiming, attacks on health and education facilities, abduction and sexual violence and denial of humanitarian assistance which is essentially required. They are continually being caught in between warring parties at an alarming rate, based on UNICEF’s report of since 2005.

Over 104,100 children have been killed in conflict zones.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report on “25 Years of Children and Armed Conflict”, the rate at which children are affected is alarming. The report stated that a minimum of 104,100 children have been killed or maimed, giving an average of 10,500 children each year. A minimum of 93,000 have also been recruited by armed actors. Over 25,700 have been abducted over the years, with an average of 2,414 children annually. Above 14,200 children have been raped and subjected to other sexual violations. There was also verification of over 14,900 incidents of denied humanitarian access. Destruction of more than 13,900 schools and hospitals were also recorded.

Related Link

United Nations: Website

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