June 4th marks the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. Tragically, many African nations have been ravaged by armed conflict, putting children in harm’s way. Shockingly, children as young as ten have been forced to fight in these wars.
In the “The Graça Marcel report,” which addresses the plight of children affected by conflict around the world, it’s stated that “war violates every right of a child – the right to life, to be with family and community, to develop their personality, and to be nurtured and protected. Disrupting children’s social networks and primary relationships, which support their physical, emotional, moral, cognitive, and social growth, can have profound physical and psychological implications.”
As child advocates, it’s our goal to increase our capacity to protect those who have suffered from aggression in our community. Everyone has a role to play in safeguarding children from the dangers of war and conflict. This requires a collective effort from governments, institutions, non-state organizations, and religious institutions.
As advocates for children, we stress the importance of shielding them from violence. We accomplish this by raising awareness and educating children, workers, caregivers, church leaders, and others about humanitarian and human rights laws. Furthermore, we protect children’s lives whenever they are in danger and work with governments to ensure accountability for the well-being and safety of children in conflict-affected areas.