International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression – 4th June
May 27 2012
“BEIRUT (AP) — Gruesome video shows rows of dead Syrian children lying in a mosque in bloody shorts and T-shirts with gaping head wounds, haunting images of what activists called one of the deadliest regime attacks yet in Syria’s 14-month-old uprising.”
This may be one end of a continuum which covers all acts of aggression against children – it gains media attention but many acts of aggression do not – corporal punishment is still used in many schools (worldwide) and the UN study on violence against children (2006) lists many small but significant acts of aggression against children –
Main findings of the study
The study concludes that violence against children happens everywhere, in every country and society and across all social groups. Extreme violence against children may hit the headlines but children say that daily, repeated small acts of violence and abuse also hurt them. While some violence is unexpected and isolated, most violent acts against children are carried out by people they know and should be able to trust: parents, boyfriends or girlfriends, spouses and partners, schoolmates, teachers and employers. Violence against children includes physical violence, psychological violence such as insults and humiliation, discrimination, neglect and maltreatment. Although the consequences may vary according to the nature and severity of the violence inflicted, the short- and long-term repercussions for children are very often grave and damaging.
“On this solemn occasion, we need to recall the sacred duty, enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, to ensure that all children, without any exception whatsoever, enjoy special protection.”
Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar
International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
3 June 1983
On 19 August 1982, at its emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the General Assembly, “appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression”, decided to commemorate 4 June of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression (resolution ES-7/8).
The purpose of the 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.
Victims of injustice and poverty have always had their problems being heard, and none have had more difficulty, historically, than children. Children need help and protection from an adult world that perpetrates most of the abuse. Children are victims of various forms of abnormal behavior.
It is especially difficult for children to cope in times of war. Children’s reactions to such stressful events vary and there are similarities across all ages when their lives are impacted by war or the threat of war. What is specially disturbing about children during times of war is when a child begins to experience anger toward the people or countries with which their country is at war, feelings that could be redirected at a classmate, parent, or neighbor, because they are unable to express them in other ways.
War interrupts everyone’s routines and changes how one responds to daily life. While children are supposed to be protected in armed conflicts, in reality, they are not. The difficulty to monitor and report on basic violations has hampered efforts to bring pressure to bear on parties to armed conflicts in order to elicit compliance with child protection commitments and obligations.
Appalled by the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of war in August 10, 1983, the United Nations General Assembly decided to commemorate June 4 of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.
The day is an occasion to remind people that throughout the world, there are many children suffering from various forms of abuse, and acknowledges the pain suffered by children throughout the world whether it be in times of war or peace. The day also affirms the United Nations commitment to protect the rights of children.
While considerable progress has been achieved in the past few years in obtaining a framework of international norms and commitments that protect the rights and wellbeing of children, the general situation for children remains grave and unacceptable.
The International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression calls on individuals and organizations all over the world to be aware of the impact of abuse against all children and to take part in responsive campaigns centered on protecting children’s rights.