Child Soldiers, Updated

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child-soldierIn a recent report from TerraViva-Europe, RIGHTS: RECRUITERS OF CHILD SOLDIERS DEFY UN PRESSURE, I found this statement about attempts to eradicate the use of child soldiers:

“Asked how the United Nations could remedy the situation, or rein in non-state armed groups, Joost R. Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group told IPS there is ‘no easy answer’ to the question.

“‘I doubt the United Nations could do anything about it other than highlighting the issue and reinforcing the ban on the use of children in conflict, especially for such nefarious purposes,’ he said, referring specifically to suicide bombers in Iraq.”

That report made me have  to revise and reprint this post from February 4th:

Imagine  a child deciding to join an army because it’s the only choice that will assure food every day…

Imagine  a male child being abducted to fight a war or a female child being abducted to be a sex slave for the male child-soldiers…

Now, Imagine  more than 300,000 such children…

This is an extremely sobering fact about our human family.

In 1959, 50 years ago, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations published a Declaration of the Rights of the Child  and yet, today,  we can read in a report from the U. S. Department of State:

“Some children have been forced to commit atrocities against their families and communities. Child soldiers are often killed or wounded, with survivors often suffering multiple traumas and psychological scarring. Their personal development is often irreparably damaged. Returning child soldiers are often rejected by their home communities.”

Imagine  a country in which “…shooting video, owning a video, speaking in a video, sharing a video, or even shouting out in glee after watching television, can earn you years in jail.”

That country is Burma…

Imagine  a web site that uses video to not only bring international crimes to the public’s attention but is noted for having its videos become central to the arrest of a warlord in Africa that is alleged to have used child soldiers in his conflicts.

That site is The Hub, “The global platform for human rights media and action: See It – Film It – Change It.”

That warlord is Thomas Lubanga Dyilo and his trial is the first for the International Criminal Court, “… the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.”

You can follow the trial at The Lubanga Trial at the International Criminal Court.

Often, in my scanning the news for current issues and crises of our global human family, I’m totally devastated by what I find…

This is one of those occasions………

All I can add to this report is:

A Spiritual Quote:

“O Thou kind Lord! These lovely children are the handiwork of the fingers of Thy might and the wondrous signs of Thy greatness. O God! Protect these children, graciously assist them to be educated and enable them to render service to the world of humanity. O God! These children are pearls, cause them to be nurtured within the shell of Thy loving-kindness.

“Thou art the Bountiful, the All-Loving.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Compilations, Baha’i Prayers, p. 34

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Child Soldiers

Image Credit
child-soldierImagine  a child deciding to join an army because it’s the only choice that will assure food every day…

Imagine  a male child being abducted to fight a war or a female child being abducted to be a sex slave for the male child-soldiers…

Now, Imagine  more than 300,000 such children…

This is an extremely sobering fact about our human family.

In 1959, 50 years ago, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations published a Declaration of the Rights of the Child and yet, today,  we can read in a report from the U. S. Department of State:

“Some children have been forced to commit atrocities against their families and communities. Child soldiers are often killed or wounded, with survivors often suffering multiple traumas and psychological scarring. Their personal development is often irreparably damaged. Returning child soldiers are often rejected by their home communities.”

Imagine  a country in which “…shooting video, owning a video, speaking in a video, sharing a video, or even shouting out in glee after watching television, can earn you years in jail.”

That country is Burma…

Imagine  a web site that uses video to not only bring international crimes to the public’s attention but is noted for having its videos become central to the arrest of a warlord in Africa that is alleged to have used child soldiers in his conflicts.

That site is The Hub, “The global platform for human rights media and action: See It – Film It – Change It.”

The warlord is Thomas Lubanga Dyilo and his trial is the first for the International Criminal Court, “… the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.”

Often, in my scanning the news for current issues and crises of our global human family, I’m totally devastated by what I find…

This is one of those occasions………

All I can add to this report is:

A Spiritual Quote:

“O Thou kind Lord! These lovely children are the handiwork of the fingers of Thy might and the wondrous signs of Thy greatness. O God! Protect these children, graciously assist them to be educated and enable them to render service to the world of humanity. O God! These children are pearls, cause them to be nurtured within the shell of Thy loving-kindness.

“Thou art the Bountiful, the All-Loving.”

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Compilations, Baha’i Prayers, p. 34

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The Divorce of Peace and Justice

It’s so easy to miss the critically important issues when focusing on materialistic concerns.

From the Christian Science Monitor: Peace before justice in Darfur “The UN must suspend an indictment of Sudan’s leader if it will bring a peace settlement.”

From the Chicago Tribune: Peace vs. justice in Sudan “…all the chest-thumping about justice being the enemy of peace rings hollow in light of the sad truth, which is that the on-again, off-again peace process—currently off—hasn’t gotten anywhere.”

From the Ottawa Citizen: Justice vs. peace “The ICC…is caught in a collision course between peace and justice in four African countries where it is working on cases.”

So…

I’ll stop trying to keep you from hurting me if you just say you’ll stop hurting me…

Or…

We know how much pain and suffering you’ve caused and we fear you greatly. We fear you so much we’re willing to not try to stop you if you’ll just sit down and talk.

Hmmm…

See that poisonous snake ready to bite you again? Just forget about that and talk some sense into it !

If my loving mother hadn’t, in all justice, slapped my hand away from that stove, I wouldn’t have a hand that peacefully avoids dangerous heat.

Why not weigh in on this discussion? I’ll admit it’s not necessarily an easily solved issue and my analogies may be rather weak but, really, what do you think?

~~~~~~~~~

“Until the actions of humankind promote justice above the satisfaction of greed and readjusts the world’s economies accordingly, the gap between the rich and the poor will continue to widen, and the dream of sustainable economic growth, peace, and prosperity must remain elusive.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Feb 12, Human Rights and Extreme Poverty

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