International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

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2024 DateJune 4, 2024
2025 DateJune 4, 2025

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

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International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

The International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is observed annually on June 4 to acknowledge the pain and suffering of children who have been victims of physical, emotional, or mental violence in situations of armed conflict. This observance raises awareness about the rights and dignity of all children. This day serves as a crucial reminder of the obligation that societies and countries, including Canada, have towards ensuring the protection and preservation of the rights of children worldwide.

Established on August 19, 1982, by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression came about as a response to the growing number of Palestinian and Lebanese children who were affected by the Israeli occupation in the Middle East. The scope of this observance has expanded to encompass children across the globe who face various forms of aggression, whether they are refugees, internally displaced, or caught in situations of unrest and insecurity. Canada, like many nations, is committed to promoting and safeguarding children’s rights in order to foster their development and well-being.

Various activities and events are held on this day to promote a deeper understanding of the challenges that millions of innocent children face in the midst of conflicts around the world. Through its foreign policy and international aid, Canada contributes to ensuring the rights and well-being of children worldwide, particularly in conflict-affected areas. The International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression serves as an important reminder of these endeavors as it is observed every year on June 4.

Facts about Children Victims of Aggression

  • According to the UN, more than 1 billion children around the world are affected by violence. This violence costs societies up to $7 trillion a year.
  • According to the UN, the 6 most common violations against children around the world are:
    1) Recruitment and use of children in war
    2) Killing
    3) Sexual violence
    4) Abduction
    5) Attacks on schools and hospitals
    6) The denial of humanitarian access
  • According to UNICEF, it is estimated that around 1 in 4 children worldwide experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse in their childhood.
  • From the late 19th century to the late 20th century, over 150,000 Indigenous children in Canada were forcibly removed from their families and placed into residential schools. This was an act of cultural genocide, as the children faced physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, with thousands dying due to the trauma, neglect, or violence.
  • According to a 2020 report from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, 1 in 3 Canadians has experienced some form of child abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional) before the age of 15. This illustrates the scope of the issue of innocent children being victims of aggression within Canada.

Top things to do in Canada for this observance

  • Donate to charities that help end violence against children. Some examples include the End Violence Fund and World Vision.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about the innocent victims of child abuse in Canada. Here are our suggestions:
    1. The Boys of St. Vincent (1992) - A Canadian drama film about a boys' orphanage in Newfoundland, where physical and sexual abuse is rampant. Based on a true story, the movie explores the damages caused by the abuse on the victims and the consequential trial and conviction of the perpetrators.
    2. Giant Mine (1996) - A Canadian television miniseries that tells the true story of a labor dispute at a mine in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, where a man's abusive past is gradually revealed during the course of an investigation.
    3. Stories We Tell (2012) - A Canadian documentary and personal memoir directed by Sarah Polley that explores the legacy of child abuse, both in her own family's history and in the broader context of Canadian society.
  • Read a book to learn more about the child victims of aggression in Canada. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Child Protection Systems in Canada edited by Nico Trocmé, Della Knoke, and Cindy Blackstock
    2. Violence Against Women and Children in Canadian Families: A Comprehensive Research Series by Maureen Forster
    3. Canadian Child Welfare Law: Children, Families, and the State by Nicholas Bala, Michael Saini, and Carolyn Smart

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