Before the coronavirus crisis, XR peace planned to be in the streets from 1st June to raise awareness with our next Rebellion for Climate Security, Peace and Justice. To protect our health, care and frontline workers, as well as all vulnerable people (including ourselves and our families ), we’re putting our protests online with a series of leaflets and other relevant resources. Here is the second, which recognises that June 4th is “World Day for Child Victims of Aggression”. Children are most at risk of violence where there are men with weapons, from militias and armed police to domestic violence and war.
MILITARISM IS A BIG CAUSE OF CLIMATE DESTRUCTION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN
Millions of children live in conflict, with terrifying threats of physical and sexual violence every day. They see friends and family killed and injured. Some are also injured, raped, or trafficked into sexual slavery, unwanted marriage and pregnancy. Sexual violence is often used to humiliate a population and force people to flee their homes.
Militarism and war add massively to climate destruction. And environmental destruction and climate chaos have become major causes of violent conflicts over land, resources, food and water.
Refugee children are most vulnerable.
VIOLENCE AND WAR DON’T OBEY HUMANITARIAN RULES
The rules of war prohibit the indiscriminate use of weapons, the targeting of civilians and attacks on schools and hospitals. Nuclear weapons are still targeted at cities full of children, from London and Moscow to Delhi and Islamabad. Every day, in conflicts around the world, women and children are killed by guns, grenades and explosive weapons, which are often used in heavily populated areas. Landmines blow up when children are playing in fields near their homes. Cluster munitions look like plastic toys, till they explode in a child’s face.
As noted by UNICEF:
“No method of warfare has been off-limits, no matter how deadly for children: Indiscriminate attacks on schools, hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, abductions, child recruitment, besiegement, abuse in detention and denial of humanitarian assistance…”
DO YOU WANT TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFE?
In the real world, war doesn’t obey humanitarian rules. Neither does climate chaos, a major consequence of military-industrial activities. We have to tackle the climate emergency, support the UN call for a Global Ceasefire, and stop those who make, sell and use weapons.