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International Day against the Use of Children in Armed Conflict

On the occasion of the International Day against the Use of Children in Armed Conflict, Italy strongly reiterates that the enlistment of children as soldiers is an abhorrent practice: every child, everywhere in the world, has the right to live in safety and to enjoy his or her childhood and innocence, safe from combat, violence and abuse.
The pandemic has further exacerbated pre-existing critical issues in areas of armed conflict, in particular making it even more difficult to guarantee the right to education: according to the latest Report of the UN Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, a total number of 26,425 serious violations and abuses of the fundamental rights of children living in situations of armed conflict were recorded in 2020, including 856 attacks on schools and hospitals.
It is therefore necessary to renew our commitment to protect the safety of children living in armed conflict settings and to defend their fundamental rights. At the last Red Cross and Red Crescent Quadrennial Conference in 2019, Italy presented a solemn commitment in this regard, open to adherence by other countries, which reached a record number of subscriptions from other States and civil society organizations in just a few days, making it the most sustained commitment of the entire Conference.
We joined the Safe Schools Declaration in 2015 and encourage other states to join and implement it, as reiterated at the Fourth International Conference on Safe Schools, hosted by Nigeria in October 2021. In addition to providing specific training modules for our armed forces, Italy organizes international awareness-raising events on the issue of children in armed conflict.
In this commitment to the rights and safety of children in armed conflict, Italy compares and collaborates with civil society organizations, such as the “Network of Universities for Children in Armed Conflict”, the first international inter-university network for the protection of the rights and safety of children in armed conflict promoted by the University of Perugia, the Italian Red Cross and Save the Children. Translated with (free version)