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Stop de oorlog tegen kinderen

LONDEN – Deze maand is het twintig jaar geleden dat de Algemene Vergadering van de Verenigde Naties een rapport ontving van de vroegere minister van Onderwijs van Mozambique, Graça Machel, waarin de gevolgen van gewapende conflicten voor kinderen waren opgetekend. Nadat ze een heel patroon van systematische en doelgerichte aanvallen, inclusief moord, verkrachting en gedwongen rekrutering in gewapende groepen had gedocumenteerd, kwam Michel tot de slotsom: “Dit is een domein dat gespeend is van de meest fundamentele menselijke waarden …. Er zijn weinig grotere diepten waarin de mensheid kan zinken.”

Machel had het bij het verkeerde eind. Een generatie later boort de mensheid nóg grotere diepten van morele verdorvenheid aan. Kinderen die in conflictgebieden leven zijn op ongekende schaal doelwit van geweld, en het uitgebreide stelsel van mensenrechtenbepalingen van de VN om hen te beschermen wordt straffeloos geschonden.

Op de twintigste verjaardag van het rapport van Machel moet de internationale gemeenschap een streep trekken en de oorlog tegen kinderen een halt toeroepen.

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