Abuse of children is self-destruction

20 February 2007 at 12:58 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

In the last few years, there is a heightened interest in the “highest level of international community” to the problem of the use and abuse of children in situations of violent conflicts around the world. There have also been landmark developments in the strengthening and broadening of scope of international instruments to protect children.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children in Armed Conflict Olara Otunnu says this is a “watershed moment”. He wants the international community to “to switch from talking the talk to walking the walk … for a critical mass that could come together to change the behaviour of parties in conflict and prevent them getting away with abuse of children”.

For the 2005 Sydney Peace Prize recipient, “today’s warfare… especially the exploitation, abuse and use of children, is nothing short of a process of self-destruction”. He said this is no small matter; “this goes to the very heart of whether or not… there is the promise of a future for these societies”.

Click here for an in-depth special report on child soldiers.

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