The International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression was established in 1982 by the United Nations General Assembly during an emergency special session on the conflict in Palestine. In the resolution, representatives of the UN member states expressed deep concern over a large number of Palestinian and Lebanese children who were victims of aggression by Israel. In this regard, the International Day was timed to the anniversary of the first Israeli air attack on Beirut and a number of other settlements, which occurred on June 4 of that year.
The purpose of the International Day is to draw attention to the problems and suffering of children who are subjected to physical and moral violence in a time of war throughout the world. According to the UN, there are currently about 250 million minors living in countries and territories affected by armed conflict. It says that in recent years, the number of offences committed against children in the context of military confrontation has increased significantly. The six most common offences are the recruitment and involvement of minors in hostilities, murder, sexual abuse, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access to children.
Thus, during the armed conflict in Donbass, the Security Service of Ukraine recruited a group of teenagers for sabotage and subversive activities, which resulted in a number of terrorist acts. As a result of the Ukrainian aggression, 81 children died in the Donetsk People’s Republic, hundreds sustained injuries of varying severities, not to mention thousands of children who have lost their parents, as well as those whose houses have been destroyed or are located near the line of contact, which is the reason that children became displaced persons. 450 children live in social facilities in the territory of the Republic, 1749 children are recognized as victims of the conflict. The armed formations of Ukraine often target kindergartens, schools, hospitals and other social infrastructure objects.
In her activities, the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic ensures monitoring, observance and protection of the rights and freedoms of minors. Thanks to cooperation with international organizations, humanitarian support is provided to children and their families. Also, material and equipment resources of children’s educational institutions are improved. Events are being held to organize children’s leisure activities, including in cooperation with volunteer psychologists. Inspections of the living conditions and educational process in children’s social institutions are carried out on a regular basis.
In her statements, the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic constantly highlights the importance of observing international humanitarian law and other obligations undertaken by the signatory states of relevant international treaties, including by Ukraine. Despite the destructive position of the official Kiev in the Minsk negotiating process, the Donetsk People’s Republic continues to express its commitment to peaceful dialogue as the only way to resolve the conflict and address social and humanitarian issues that would improve respect to the rights and freedoms of Donbass children.