On Universal Children’s Day: ISESCO calls upon international organizations to provide humanitarian services to war-affected children
Every 20 November, the world celebrates the Universal Children’s Day as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children, following the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a component of the international law system by virtue of Resolution 44/52, dated 20 November 1989.
On this occasion, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) issued a communiqué in which it called on Member States to sustain their efforts, mobilize their resources and update their policies on childhood, based on many principles and values mentioned in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children, the UN Declaration on the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the magnanimous teachings of Islam calling for giving due care to children and securing their rights.
“While appreciating Member States’ measures and achievements for children, ISESCO notes with concern that the progress made in this connection still falls far short of expectations, particularly as regard children’s issues and problems in the Islamic world such as child labor, violence, exploitation, abuse, discrimination, lack of protection, and the lack of health, educational and social services and other basic needs which are among their legitimate rights”, the communiqué notes.
In the same vein, ISESCO urged the OIC Member States to honor the commitments made in the ministerial declarations issued by the four Islamic Conferences of Ministers in Charge of Childhood, namely the “Rabat Declaration”, the “Khartoum Declaration”, the “Tripoli Declaration” and the “Baku Declaration”, and the efforts of the civil society in Member States in the field of the protection of children and promotion of their issues, which proved to be efficient in serving children, especially in raising children’s legal awareness.
By the same token, ISESCO expressed deep concern over the situation of children victims of Israeli occupation in Palestine and children victims of wars, armed conflicts and disputes in many Member States like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Afghanistan whose children are enduring the horrors of war, tribal or sectarian discrimination, asylum, displacement and all their multifaceted suffering.
On this occasion, ISESCO called on the United Nations, along with its specialized organizations and agencies, especially the Department of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UNICEF and UNESCO, to provide humanitarian services for the children affected by wars and conflicts, particularly Syrian children who have been displaced within Syria or have sought refuge in neighboring countries.
ISESCO further called upon OIC Member States to enforce the children’s rights contained in international and Islamic instruments as a frame of reference for safeguarding the interests of children and promoting their protection.
ISESCO’s communiqué also pointed out that time has come, more than ever before, to move from words to action, from slogans to achievements and from good intentions to firm decisions in order to serve children and promote their issues.