International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression – June 4, 2022

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.

History of International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

The war that led to the enactment of the Convention on Child Rights and ultimately the founding of the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression started in June 1982 when Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon, following an assassination attempt on its ambassadors from within the country.

The adoption of the holiday came shortly afterward at an emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on August 19, 1982, which was called out of fear for the growing number of civilian casualties, including children. Members were appalled by the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel’s acts of aggression.

The four-month war led the United Nations General Assembly to enact and adopt a Resolution on the Rights of the Child in 1997. It was an event that was considered a landmark development in the effort to improve the protection of children in conflict situations when it became the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in history.

In recent years following reports from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (U.N.O.D.C.) — the organization tasked with initiatives to end violence against children; the number of violations of the United Nations Conventions on Child Rights has increased in many conflict-riddled regions of the world, making the purpose and the observance of the holiday even more important now.

Given that violence often causes long-lasting physical and mental harm that follows into adulthood and stunts a child’s development, the U.N.O.D.C. estimated that the world loses trillions a year to the after-effects of violence against children globally.

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression timeline

1982
The Holiday is Established

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is established on August 19.

1997
U.N.O.D.C. is Established

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the agency tasked with ending violence against children, is formed.

2018
Unprecedented Refugee Crisis

This year marks the first time the number of people — including children fleeing war, persecution, and conflict — exceeds 70 million, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

2019
The Case of Disappearing Human Rights Defenders

The United Nations tracks 357 killings and 30 enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists, and trade unionists in 47 countries.

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression FAQs

Why do we celebrate International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression?

The purpose of International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is to acknowledge the pain of children who are the victims of physical, mental, and emotional abuse or violence throughout the world.

When was the first International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression?

The first International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression was observed following Israel’s aggression in Lebanon in June 1982, which saw many civilian victims, including children, facing abuse and acts of violence.

How can I observe International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression?

Commit yourself to the service of understanding and acknowledging children’s feelings as a way to observe the day.

How to Observe International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

  1. Support related U.N. resolutions and programs

    The United Nations, through the U.N.O.D.C., has several initiatives like the Global Programme to End Violence Against Children, which supports and assists its member states. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states how to effectively prevent and respond to violence against children and lays out a master plan to secure a better future for children.

  2. Create a safe space for children

    Since violence against children can be physical and psychological, paying special attention and actively listening to a child talk without playing down their emotions can help uncover abuse. It also builds a relationship of trust and maintains a positive interaction with them.

  3. Spread awareness on social media

    Another way to observe International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is to spread awareness online. Help others to see the importance of the holiday by listing some statistics about the graveness of violence against children. Use the #InternationalDayofInnocentChildrenVictimsofAggression hashtag while you’re at it.

5 Important Facts About Child Victims

  1. Schools are considered easy targets

    According to U.N. reports, 246 million children worldwide are affected by school-related violence each year.

  2. Millions of children are affected

    Approximately 28.5 million primary-school-age children who are out of school live in conflict-affected regions.

  3. Unfortunate statistics

    Every seven minutes, somewhere in the world, a child is killed by an act of violence.

  4. Violence is widespread and expensive

    According to a U.N. report, violence against children affects more than one billion around the world and costs countries a combined $7 trillion a year.

  5. Half of the world’s children experience violence

    50% of the world’s children experience violence every year.

Why International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is Important

  1. To end the senseless loss of lives

    The one thing the United Nations wants to achieve through International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is the total eradication of violence and aggression that causes the death of millions of children around the world annually. It is listed as one of the Sustainable Development goals to be achieved before 2030. Therefore, the holiday is important to serve as a way for us to commit to ending all forms of violence against children and ending the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children that cause the needless loss of lives in the world.

  2. Elevate our shared humanity

    Of what importance is neglecting to act on the pressing issue of aggression towards children? If anything, and like the U.N. said in its reports, neglecting does more harm than good. International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression serves as a day to reflect and decide whether to commit to helping codify what’s wrong and right in the treatment of children around the world.

  3. It sets a good precedent

    Observing International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is important to set a good precedent. Moreover, it serves as a day to garner humanity’s outrage and disdain toward violence against children to deter criminal organizations from involving them in wars.

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression dates

YearDateDay
2022June 4Saturday
2023June 4Sunday
2024June 4Tuesday
2025June 4Wednesday
2026June 4Thursday

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