Father Nikhil Gomes
The protection of the rights of children is an important issue that everyone should be aware of. Most especially, everyone should remember children who become victims of war and aggression.
On August 19, 1982, at its emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the UN General Assembly decided to commemorate June 4 of each year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.
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. Its work is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history.
Former United Nations Secretary-General Xavier Perez de Cuillar stressed the importance of the day when he declared that the UN has a sacred responsibility to observe it with appropriate fulfillments.
All over the world, there are more than 50 million children who are affected and are victims of war and aggression.
Rape, child labor, torture, murder, abduction, human trafficking, among others, are going on everywhere.
But what are we doing to prevent this?
We know that children and adolescents around the world are being subjected to different kinds of abuse.
We are supposed to be committed to keeping children as far away from war, militancy, violence, and destructive events.
Children need to have child-friendly spaces and should be given opportunities to grow.
However, most of the time, the opposite happens.
In many countries of Asia and Africa, innocent children are uneducated, many die of starvation, AIDS, and war.
The United Nations noted that in developing countries, about 40,000 children die of starvation every day.
Moreover, illiteracy, wrong treatment, mismanagement, superstitions, prejudice, and abuse are also responsible for the increase of infant mortality rate.
In addition, the spread of AIDS is triggering irreparable damage to many children.
In today’s world, it is not very difficult to gather information about the horrible conditions of children.
Pope Francis stressed during his weekly catechesis "the dignity of each and every child."
"The worth of children does not come from their beauty, their achievements, or how closely their opinions match that of their parents," he said.
“A child’s worth is inherent; it comes from being made in the image of God. Unfortunately for many children, abuse hinders their ability to see their worth and to feel love," added the pontiff.
Child labor, child abuse, child trafficking, and the use of children in conflict must stop.
In Bangladesh, cases of child rape, child labor, abuse of child domestic workers, murder, abductions, and child trafficking are increasing.
How are we going to prevent it? What are the measures we are taking to protect our lovely innocent children?
Today’s children are our future. We need to take care of them.
On this International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, we hope that everyone will come forward to respect the rights of children.
All of us should try to build a safe world and a better place for our children.