The United Nations (UN) International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is observed annually on June 4th across the world to recognise and acknowledge the sufferings and pain of children throughout the world, who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse.
- The day originally focused on the children affected by the 1982 Lebanon War and also focused on Palestinian children that were victims of Israel’s acts of aggression.
- The day also affirms the UNs commitment towards protecting children and their rights.
On 19 August 1982, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its 7th emergency special session adopted the resolution A/RES/ES-7/8 and proclaimed 4th June of every year as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.
- The first-ever International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression was observed on 4th June 1983.
Convention on the Rights of the Child:
i. In 1989, world leaders came together and made a commitment to the world’s children by adopting the UNs “Convention on the Rights of the Child” (CRC), an international legal framework on childhood.
ii. The Convention says childhood is separate from adulthood, and lasts until 18, and it is a special, protected time, in which children must be allowed to grow, learn, play, develop and flourish with dignity.
iii. This is the most widely approved international human rights treaty.
Protection of Child Rights:
i. In 1997, the UNGA adopted the resolution A/RES/51/77, on the “Rights of the Child” following the report of GraçaMachel, which showed the devastating social and psychological impact of armed conflict on children.
ii. The resolution was built on existing UNGA efforts to protect the rights of children, including through the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol, and the annual Rights of the Child resolutions.
iii. The UNGA in 1996, created the mandate of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to strengthen the protection of children affected by armed conflict, raise awareness, and so on.
- The mandate has been renewed and expanded by the UNGA since 1996, with the latest Resolution (A/RES/72/245) adopted on 16 December 2021.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and Children’s future:
i. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a special target (16.2), aims to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence and torture of children by 2030
ii. The UN’s SDG 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.
About United Nations (UN):
Founded in– 24 October 1945
Secretary-General– António Guterres
Headquarters– New York, the United States of America (USA)