July 22, 2012

Children's Day, July 22nd, 2012: We Can't Take It, We've Already Had Enough

According to an UN report, 62 million people are in need all over the world of humanitarian aid (an increase of 20% in the first half of 2012).
18 million people from 9 countries within the Sahel region stricken by food and nutrition crisis, worsen by the conflict in Mali
- over 1 million children under the age of 5 are at risk of dying of malnutrition
- over 200,000 people sought refuge in neighboring countries

In Yemen, 60% of children under the age of 5 are chronically malnourished.
In Afghanistan, over 200,000 people have been affected by 300 natural disasters.

The statistics are terrifying and far more complex then the numbers posted here and the reality is that insufficient funding deepens the aid gap.

Over the past year and a half the world has been watching in disbelief as Syria has plunged into violence. Following public demands for reform President Bashar al-Assad's regime has launched a ruthless repression to silence the people, from security forces opening fire on protestor to government forces bombing villages and town.
For a detailed time-line of the events in Syria, please visit BBC News site.

It had become yet again the situation when we ask "how could this happen?" and how come is still happening?

According to Amnesty International's 2012 report on Syria, "4,300 people were killed during or in connection with the protests and during funerals of demonstrators, most apparently shot by members of the security forces, including snipers. Tanks were used in military operations in civilian residential areas", while 200 people died in custody, in suspicious circumstances,  during the uprising.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. sent this message via Twitter:
"@ AmbassadorRice : #Syria regime turned artillery, tanks and helicopters on its own men & women. It unleashed knife-wielding shabiha gangs on its own children." (13.07.2012)

 In conflicts, as well as in natural disasters, children are the one most vulnerable group, caught in the crossfire, suffering from effects of drought and food crisis, the outbreaks of diseases. Usually they are protected the best their parents and communities can.

“Children are paying a horrendous price in the military confrontations in Syria,” 
Jo Becker, children’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch

The eye witnesses stories and an U.N. report from Syria tell of children being killed, tortured, mutilated and used as human shields on tanks so they would not be fired upon, as part of the actions the government is taking to silence the voices of the people who dared to speak up against the ruling regime.
On the other hand there have been reports that armed opposition groups are recruiting children that are either engaged in fighting or doing various jobs on the front lines.

Syria Violations Documentation Center (VDC), a network of Syrian activists,
cited by Humans Rights Watch, report that

- at least 1,176 children were killed since February 2012,
- at least 9 children were killed on June 6, 2012 in the village of Qubeir,
- 10 children were killed on June 10, 2012 near the town of Al-Haffa (the identity of the killers have not been established,
- U.N. reports that on May 25, 2012 in Houla 49 children were killed.
As a result of the conflict many people around the country had to leave their homes and run leaving behind everything. Tens of thousands of people have fled to neighboring countries - Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. Aid workers and local communities are trying to cope with the growing number of refugees, while funding is insufficient.

Source: ReliefWeb

"We're innocently standing by
Watching people lose their lives
It seems as if we have no voice
It's time for us to make a choice

Only god could decide

Who will live and who will die
There's nothing that can't be done
If we raise our voice as one

They've gotta hear it from me

They've gotta hear it from you
They've gotta hear it from us
We can't take it
We've already had enough
 Michael Jackson - "We've Had Enough"

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Bang For Your Buck from ShootingPoverty on Vimeo.

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