Home Editorial International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
A compassionate human being cannot fathom the drivers of malevolence that impel anyone, especially world leaders, to instigate aggression between individuals; within families and communities; even civil war in nation states, where brother has been known to fight against brother to death, and between countries.
The United Nations designated June 4 as “International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression”.
According to a UN blog, the purpose of this day is “to remember, acknowledge and address the violence committed against children worldwide through war, terrorism, abduction, sexual abuse, killing, assault on schools, and denial of humanitarian aids.”
On August 19, 1982, the UN General Assembly held an emergency meeting and decided to henceforth observe June 4 as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression on an annual basis.
A UN article informed, “In 1996, independent Mozambique’s first Minister of Education and Culture, Graça Machel, presented a report to the United Nations General Assembly, in which she highlighted the extent of damage that armed conflicts have on children. Machel was well known for her humanitarian work, particularly with refugee children, for which she had received the Nansen Refugee Award from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).”
The Machel report led to the adoption of the 51/77 resolution by the United Nations General Assembly on February 20, 1997. The report talked about providing safeguards to children from all forms of exploitation, violence and diseases, as per the Convention on the Rights of the Child of the UN.
The United Nations website sets a target that aims to secure a brighter tomorrow for children. The target is “to put a stop to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect in all their forms, against children.”
A worldwide campaign called #ACTtoProtect has been launched by the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to protect war-affected children.
However, in a perpetual cycle, children worldwide are subjected to violence and abuse in various ways, even at the hands of parents and/or primary caregivers.
Conflict zones have been increasing, creating an estimated 250 million child-victims who have been directly affected by the conflict. The United Nations recognises, as adumbrated in its website, that more needed to done, so that rights of the children are protected.
There are numerous instances of harm caused to children in areas of conflict – be it in family, community, societal and national constructs; or worse, in war zones, where weapons of mass destruction achieve just that – mass destruction. The consequences of such horrific carnage are children who are left homeless and becoming refugees, orphans; wounded in body, mind, heart and soul; left to the mercies of paedophiles and predators of every ilk.
The UN describes abuse to children as including sexual violence, death, addiction, and denial of humanitarian access; abduction, attacks on homes, schools and hospitals.
Observing this designated day is a tiny step in a ladder of need spanning miles to acknowledge the pain suffered by children across the world, which is caused due to any kind of abuse, including mental, physical and emotional trauma.
Awareness and action in observation of the international Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression include, but are not limited to: 1) There’s no excuse for child abuse; 2) Aggression is the 1st step on the slippery slope to selfish actions and chaos; 3) Children are not anyone’s punching bag, they deserve protection, love and care; 4) Bruises can heal, but the real hurt is concealed within sick souls; 5) Neighbours and teachers/caregivers should be vigilant always and observant of behavioural patterns of children that could signal abuse.
The casualties of children wounded severely or killed in war-torn countries are escalating instead of decreasing, with no end in sight.
Horror stories of children beaten, killed, emotionally or psychologically battered proliferate in media reports worldwide. The sad reality is that many of the perpetrators are primary caregivers such as teachers and nannies, close relatives, or even parents.