The right to a childhood free from violence and exploitation
More than 30 years ago, in November 1989, the United Nations agreed on universal children's rights, written down in the "UN conventions on children's rights ". Inter alia it grants children the right to protection from exploitation and violence - yet thousands of children worldwide are abused for military purposes. They serve as fighters, cooks, carriers, deliver messages, are sexually exploited or forced to marry.
How many are affected in total can only be estimated: UNICEF assumes that there are at least 250,000 child soldiers. The international Red Hand Day is intended to actively commemorate the fates of these children.
HRFFB 2019: Focus on children's rights
Protecting the rights of children is essential, as children and young people are easier to manipulate and often cheaper for armed groups than adults. As part of the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin 2019, the special series "Children at War" (curated by Save the Children Germany) dealt with this topic and brought children's special need for protection in conflict into the focus of our guests.
The film ISIS, TOMORROW - THE LOST SOULS OF MOSUL by the Italian journalist Francesca Mannocchi deals in particular with the stories of child soldiers. The director shows how an entire generation became a "lost generation" - and how innocent children turned into ticking time bombs.
We have chosen two short online documentaries for you on the topic of today. By means of personal fates they draw a picture of what it means to be a child soldier:
- Where Childhood Died tells the stories of child soldiers in Syria,
- Crisis Childhood shows the situation in the Philippines.