International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

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2024 Date4 June 2024
2025 Date4 June 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 to acknowledge the suffering endured by children who are victims of physical, mental, and emotional abuse. This day serves as a reminder of the responsibility of individuals to protect the rights of children and to promote their welfare. This observance emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and nurturing environment for children by addressing the various forms of violence they might be exposed to, such as wars, conflicts, and domestic abuse.

Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982, this commemorative day was initially focused on the plight of children in Lebanon and the West Bank during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This observance has expanded to recognize the global scale of child victimization and to advocate for the well-being of children worldwide. In South Africa, particular attention is given to the issue of child protection. South Africa continues to face high levels of violence, crime, and social inequality that affect children's safety and growth.

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression serves as an essential platform for governments, non-governmental organizations, and civil society to take action against all forms of aggression toward children. By observing this day, South Africa reiterates its commitment to protect children's rights and work toward their empowerment. The International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Agression is observed on June 4th each year.

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.
  • South Africa has one of the highest rates of child abuse in the world, with one in three children reported to have experienced some form of abuse.
  • One of the most well-known cases of child abue in South Africa involves the "Spots of Shame," where thousands of children were sexually assaulted between 2002 and 2005. This led to widespread outrage and calls for the South African government to take more decisive action to protect children.

Top things to do in South Africa 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 about child abuse in South Africa. Here are some suggestions:
    1. The Wound (2017) - Though not directly about child abuse, this South African film touches on issues of child initiation rites and cultural expectations, which can have harmful effects on young individuals.
    2. Miners Shot Down (2014) - This documentary discusses human rights violations, including child abuse, caused by the mining industry in South Africa.
    3. Angola: Child Soldiers at War (2006) - This documentary covers child abuse in the form of child soldiers in Angola.
    4. The Staggie Twins: Rise to Fame and Fall to Infamy (2010) – This documentary provides a look into the lives of Rashied and Rashaad Staggie, gangster twins, who display an attitude arising from a childhood ridden with abuse.
  • Read a book to learn more about the victims of child abuse in South Africa. Here are our suggestions:
    1. The War Against Children: South Africa's Youngest Victims by Emma Guest
    2. Children of the Revolution: The Street Children of South Africa by Ed Schwartz
    3. Children and Violence: The Hidden Agendas and Causes in South Africa edited by Philip Frankel
    4. Lost Childhoods: The Plight of the Parentless Child in South Africa by Catherine Ward, Amelia van der Merwe, and Andrew Dawes

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