On June 1 2019, the global world marked the 2019 International children’s day, a day set aside to brainstorm on the rights and wellbeing of children all over the world. Children remain vulnerable in contemporary society especially in nations where war is very prevalent. Experience has shown that when children are neglected at a very tender age, they are likely to go astray in life because of lack of proper counselling either from their parents, teachers or guardian. A good and solid foundation for children already defines how the world would be in the nearest future. Children’s upbringing will determine the type of governance, leadership, institutions among other things, which the world will boast of.
How the International children’s day become a reality
It was in 1925, when the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, declared June 1 to be observed as International Children’s day. The main aim of this declaration was to give priority to children all over the world. Monitoring the wellbeing and rights of children became a major concern. Similarly, the United Nations in 1954 set aside November 20 as the Universal Children’s Day, with the main objective to promote the welfare of children all over the world. The 2019 International Children’s day marked the 91st worldwide commemoration of the rights and safety of children living in distinct parts of the world.
The day is observed not only to celebrate but also appreciate children’s role in shaping the future of different communities across the world. One astonishing thing about the establishment of the International children’s day is the ordeals hundreds and thousands of children, together with their parents went through during the Second World War. Thus is was however imperative for the UN to institute a day like this to remember and to sensitize the global world on the need to protect children, monitor their activities and to instill in them good moral principles that will shape and define their futures.
Susceptibility of Children around the world
In spite of all forms of violence people go through in the global world, violence against children is so traumatizing and a great ordeal for them. Though innocent and naïve, violence and trauma render children psychologically and emotionally weak, less productive as they are faced with problems meant for adults. Children as young as from 0 to 17 years old are very susceptible, thus any form of violence committed against them shouldn’t be undermined. The vulnerability of children is greatly felt in nations that have known nothing but war, where acts like rape, sodomy, killings are perpetrated in front of children, eventually giving them a different notion about the world and its people. Children in nations like Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Central Africa Republic, and DRC e.t.c. have been greatly exposed to the frailty of humanity, leaving a stigma in their minds and a bad quotation about the world, which is supposed to be a beautiful place for children. According to global statistics, about 1 billion children aged 2–17 years, have gone through physical, sexual, emotional violence or neglect in the past years.
Some glaring examples, French soldiers who embarked on a peacekeeping mission to the troubled Central African Nation were in 2015 accused in of raping and sodomising vulnerable children. In efforts to curtail violence perpetrated on Children, world leaders in 2015 vowed to end all forms of violence and abuse against children in 2030, after clearly stating that violence against children can be contained. This is defined under the sustainable development goal agenda.
Ending Violence against children
Effectively culminating all forms of violence or abuse against children in families, schools, war-torn nations would be a great milestone toward ensuring the safety or wellbeing of children around the world. Efforts made by various governments and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) towards promoting and protecting the rights of children especially those in susceptible conditions have remained commendable over the years. UNICEF, Save the Children, SOS Village International among others have contributed profoundly towards uplifting the lives of millions of children around the world. As per the SOS Village International, violence against children is carried out many forms which include physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, emotional abuse, and others.
Some points to note
- In 2016, The Global Partnership to End Violence against Children revealed that in every five minutes, a child dies from violence.
- According to WHO reports in 2016, one billion children – more than half of all children aged 2 to 17 – are presumed to have experienced emotional, physical and/or sexual violence.
- UNICEF in 2014 noted that one in 10 girls – 120 million – below the age of 20 has been exposed to forced sexual acts.
South Africa marks Child Protection Week
The Republic of South Africa is among the many nations in the world that have made the rights and safety of children a top priority. Social Development on June 2 officially launched the National Child Protection Week in Gauteng. In its 22nd phase, the Child Protection week will run from June 2 to 9, 2019 under the theme: “Let us Protect All Children to Move South Africa Forward”. Aware of the gruesome effects or impacts of violence on Children, the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa seeks to raise awareness of the rights of children as enunciated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).The government has challenged everyone to make safety, care and protection of children a top priority.
Cognizance of the adverse effects of abuse or violence on children, the global world needs to step up efforts in ensuring their safety. A child’s physical, psychological and mental health can remain in jeopardy due to violence experienced at a tender age, thus, there is a need for full support and care. Terminating violence against children isn’t just imperative for children, but it defines the future. Remember that children are leaders of tomorrow, thus protecting and teaching them the right principles is equivalent to protecting the world. ‘’Childhood is precious and should be protected’’.
Article from AFRIC Editorial
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