All around the world children are being targeted with impunity. Surely the international community can unite on this issue?
The sheer brutality of the violence unleashed against children is one of the hallmarks of today’s wars. About 350 million children are living in war zones from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Syria and Myanmar. Many of these children are on the receiving end of war crimes and other human rights violations. Yet the world is turning its back.
Words cannot do justice to the moral depravity on display. Children are deliberately targeted for killing, abduction, rape and recruitment into armed groups. Others are treated as “collateral damage” in attacks on civilian infrastructure. Schools – and schoolchildren – are regarded as legitimate military targets. They are bombed in their classrooms or, especially if they are girls, assaulted for the crime of attending school. Obstructing humanitarian aid is now a standard military tactic, depriving children of access to food and medical aid.