June 4

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

Reflection

Every year on 4 June this day is observed all over the world to highlight the issue of violent behavior against children. The purposes of this day are to raise global awareness towards the sufferings of physically and psychologically abused children and to protect the rights of children to live fearless, happy and hearty lives.

Violence against children has comprehensive consequences, resulting in considerable death and disability. War affected children show insensitive, hysterical and terrified behaviors. The physical, sexual and emotional violence to which they are exposed shatters their world. War undermines the very foundations of children’s lives, destroying their homes, splintering their communities and breaking down their trust in adults.

In several parts of the world-misusing children as janitors, spies, messengers, guards, as human shields and as suicidal bomber are common practices.

Children are our future, our leaders of tomorrow, and every child has certain rights that must be protected and not denied. None of us can excuse ourselves from this responsibility.

Adapted from the UN Statement

Prayer

May we not abandon our children.

Action

Educate yourself to the various abuses to which children are subjected around the world. In our own country, what abuses of children go ignored?  What is the effect on our children of constant exposure to violence and attitudes of prejudice and disrespect?

Suggested Reading

But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.”
Matthew 19:13-15

Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because he does not have the drugs you and I have. Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right for life. Let us be outraged, let us be loud, let us be bold.”
Brad Pitt

Children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.”
Mark Z. Danielewski

On this solemn occasion, we need to recall the sacred duty, enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, to ensure that all children, without any exception whatsoever enjoy special protection.
Javier Perez de Cuellar

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

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