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Governments Must Ensure That Children Survive, Develop To Their Full Potential – Sherif

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), Yasmine Sherif has reiterated the need for governments all the world to ensure that children survive and develop to their full potential.

ECW is the United Nations (UN) global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. It works through the multilateral system to both increase the speed of responses in crises and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions through multi-year programming.

The organization also works in close partnership with governments, public and private donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations, and other humanitarian and development aid actors to increase efficiencies and end siloed responses.

She made the observation in a statement to commemorate this year’s edition of the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is an annual observance that happens on June 4 every year to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are victims of physical, mental, and emotional abuse. It is also an incentive to recommit the international community to the goal of ending all forms of violence against children.

Initially prompted by the struggles of Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of the 1982 Lebanon War, the resolution that birthed the holiday nonetheless seeks to end aggression and protect children’s rights in every other conflict-ridden region of the world.

She also harped on the need for leaders across the globe to stay committed to the provisions encapsulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by 195 countries, making it the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world. Two countries, the United States and Somalia, have however not ratified the Convention.

“As we commemorate the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, we call on leaders everywhere to embrace the commitments outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Safe Schools Declaration to ensure girls and boys everywhere are able to reach their full potential without fear, without intimidation and without violence.

Children are not targets. Children are not soldiers. Children are not weapons. We can do better. We must do better. As nations worldwide have committed through the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every child has the right to life. Governments must do all they can to ensure that children survive and develop to their full potential”, she said.

According to her, as the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, ECW is firmly committed to ensuring children everywhere are guaranteed their human rights.

“Please join Education Cannot Wait, donors and partners across the UN system in ensuring all children – especially those caught in armed conflicts – are guaranteed their human rights”, she added.

The ECW director noted that education is a game changer in protecting these innocent young lives from the grave violations associated with armed conflict, including recruitment and use of children in war, killing, sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access.

Sherif further explained that In countries with high numbers of documented grave violations against children – such as Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Iraq, the State of Palestine, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, Sudan and Ukraine – education is the most powerful and most transformative tool in our global efforts to save lives and build towards a lasting peace.

“On my recent mission to the border region between Chad and Sudan, I met with vulnerable and desperate children and women traveling alone through a bleak desert land with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

“Without the safety, protection and hope that quality education provides, these innocent girls and boys face incredible and unimaginable risks. Girls will be forced into child marriage and sexually abused, boys will be forcibly recruited as child soldiers. And the cycle of displacement, poverty, violence and human rights violations will continue”, she stressed.


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