Children in Times of War and World Disorder in the Twenty-First Century: The International Law and Children’s Human Rights


WellStar School of Nursing

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Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child makes explicit reference to children’s right to say what they think about matters relating to the quality of their lives and to have these opinions taken into account in accordance with their levels of competence and maturity. The voting results showed that over two-thirds (68.1%) of the children polled “educating every child” as their first top priority; the issue “putting children first and caring for every child” was placed second by 65.4% of the respondents; 50.1% of them placed the issue “fighting poverty and HIV/AIDS” as their third priority; followed by 37.6% who said “hearing and listening to children’s voices” is very crucial; 35.6% placed their fifth priority to be “not using children as weapons of war” while 27% of the children said “protecting the earth—investing in children” must be sixth on their list of top priorities. Other things thought to be important by these children included stopping crime, child abuse and family violence, racism/xenophobia, muti (black magic) ritual killing of children (especially the albinos), forced child marriage (Ukuthwala), racism and xenophobia, rape, drugs and shooting at schools, and other evils. They also advocate better education in general for children, computer literacy, good parenting, child-friendly government, peace and tranquility (absence of stress), and active involvement in environmental planning. The full burden of children’s rights has to be “shouldered” and internally operationalized by UN specialized agencies. Within that context, the Sangraal of successful implementation and cross-cultural sustainability of children’s rights can be limned as resemblant to the proper alignment of the sun, the moon, and the stars. “Irokotinditindi Irokotinditindi” phenomenon. Sadly, competing agendas—HIV/AIDS, Russian invasion of Ukraine, and COVID-19 pandemics implementation of Education for All and Millennium Development goals have taken priority over the pursuit of children’s rights models, in many countries. A rights approach built on effective health promotion model and based on an interlace of Bourdieu’s Sociology that helps break poverty cycles and depicts children as social actors, and by all means an end in themselves is recommended. Suggestions for future research and practice are also discussed.

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Contributions to International Relations

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Part F773

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