Children at war: right to protection art.38 of the CONVENTION
All over the world, wars break out continuously for different reasons:
economic interests, ethnic differences, religion and so on. Lots of children are killed because they belong to one ethnic group or another. Thus the innocent die because it is thought that to eliminate an enemy population one has to start with the very young: it happened in Rwanda, but also in the ex-Yugoslavia and in Palestine. The Convention provides that children under the age of fifteen are not to be enlisted or involved directly in combat. But 90% of war victims are women or children, killed in conflict, in villages in their country; children are often specific targets when a war takes place between ethnic groups. The continuous dangers to life, destruction of their homes, force them to flee. Abandoned children become easy prey to exploitation, abuse and violence. The material destruction, the physical wounds and devastating effects remain, for example the anti-personnel mines which are buried a few centimetres below the surface and very often their victims are children: freely playing they tragically encounter the cruelties of war stepping on stray devices.
Children must be protected and their rights enforced. Being outraged is not sufficient, we need to support all those who represent our future if we are to hope for a better and humane world.
Child victims of war in the last 10 years:
• 2 million killed;
• 4/5 million mutilated;
• 5 million refugees;
• 12 million without a roof over their heads;
• 1 million orphans or without parents;
• 10 million psychologically traumatised.