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This Sunday is Red Hand Day - also known as the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers. Children across the world share red hand prints to call on world leaders to stop the use of children in armed groups.
There's lots of misinformation out there about children associated with armed groups.
This Red Hand Day, we want to set the record straight on 5 of the most common myths and misconceptions.
Child soldiers are used as fighters
In the humanitarian sector children are often simply seen as the recipients of assistance designed by others, rather than as agents of change who can help shape how their needs are responded to. In my experience it is quite rare, especially in a conflict affected country, that aid organisations ask children directly what their problems are and what change they want to see – let alone deliver it in a way which involves children.
Today, War Child UK has launched a shocking new report revealing that just 38 pence is spent providing education for each child in need in conflict per month; despite UN pledges to prioritise education.
38 pence – that’s about the price of the apple. We all know that this doesn't pay for much, certainly not for an education in a war zone. This is the message we took to Parliament Square, building a tower of apples outside Westminster.
A new report has highlighted critical flaws in the Department for International Development's ability to respond to children in armed conflict.
The inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Protecting Children in Armed Conflict highlights a fundamental lack of understanding, policy and strategy within the UK government to provide effective support to children living in armed conflict and contribute towards ending cycles of violence.
Key findings from the report include:
We’re delighted to confirm that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have awarded an extra £133,934 to War Child’s emergency work this month.
This brings the total amount received this year to a whopping £233,934.
These essential funds enable us to reach the most vulnerable children who are living with the effects of war every day.
War Child co-hosted a high level all-day workshop at the Overseas Development Institute on sexual violence against men and boys yesterday.
This event was a precursor to the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict which takes place in London next month.
The workshop aimed to raise awareness of the issue of sexual violence against men and boys and develop recommendations for action.
A new report was published which laid bare the shocking truth of the scale of the problem:
This discussion paper was produced for our 2013 Policy Forum which examined the future of conflict and what we will need to do to help protect children from it.
Sexual violence is not geographically or demographically discrete; it is a global issue that affects all ages and genders.
Children are a key target group due to their societal status and multiple vulnerabilities in areas affected by conflict.
Sexual violence is pervasive in all settings (public and private) and is more likely to be opportunistic than a tactic of war.
The perpetrators of sexual violence are more often civilian than they are combatants.