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It's time to stop the war on children

08 March 2019, Action for Change

There is a war on children

Right now, more children – roughly one in five – are living in active conflict zones than at any time in the past 20 years.  

They are being killed, maimed and raped. They are being denied aid, school and healthcare. The brutality of war is exposing children to unthinkable horrors, embedding a deep and devastating fear that will define their future. 

Australians are saying ‘STOP’

Save the Children have launched a campaign to stop the war on children and we need your help.

We are calling on Australia to become a leader for children by:

It’s time we put a stop to the devastation that wars waged by adults unleash on children every day. 

If you agree, then join us.

Australian children trapped in Syria

Australian children trapped in Syria

Australia has a decision to make, about what kind of country we want to be. There are nearly 7,000 children of foreign nationalities trapped in camps in the northeast of Syria. They are from 30 different countries, including Australia. Their parents were associated with ISIS, but the children are in Syria through no fault of their own. We’re calling on the Australian Government for their repatriation, where they can receive the support they need to overcome their horrific experiences. 
Sale of arms and military supplies

Sale of arms and military supplies

We’re calling on the Australian government to immediately suspend the export of military equipment or arms that could be used to commit unlawful attacks by warring parties. We’re insisting they provide greater transparency and governance around whether existing exports could be used to facilitate or commit Grave Violations against children and to scrap any plans to issues licences to Australian businesses, develop or provide weapons to warring parties that are accused of committing atrocities going forward. 
Protection of schools

Protection of schools

School should be a place where children feel safe and protected. Yet in conflict zones around the world, schools are being targeted, indiscriminately bombed and used as military bases and recruiting grounds. 84 countries around the world have signed an agreement signalling their commitment to protect schools in places of conflict. But not ours. We must insist our government takes a committed stand against militants using schools, students and teachers as tactical targets in war.
Holding perpetrators to account

Holding perpetrators to account

There are far too many instances around the world of perpetrators of war crimes not being held to account. The international community must make it clear that these violations won’t be tolerated. It’s critical we pursue accountability for those guilty of egregious crimes committed in conflict – such as the recruitment of children, sexual violence in conflict and the obstruction of aid ­­– otherwise offenders will continue to act recklessly and with impunity.
Providing practical support

Providing practical support

The repercussions of war can have profoundly dangerous long-term impacts for children. Children must be supported in their recovery and as they rebuild their lives.  There is a need for governments, including ours, to recognise the long-term commitment needed in affected communities to enable children of conflict to recover from their trauma through social support systems, quality education, psychosocial support and the power of family unity.

Right this second, in warzones across the world…

Yemen - An entire nation suffers

The war in Yemen has crippled the country. It’s health care system, economy and infrastructure have been decimated in a brutal war that has barely abated since 2015. Some are calling the crisis the worst man-made humanitarian disaster of our time. And, as always, it’s the children who suffer the most. The war has left 11.3 million children in need of humanitarian assistance. They face hunger, malnutrition and the threat of deadly disease. Save the Children has estimated 85,000 children have already died from hunger and almost a third of under-fives are acutely malnourished.

Learn more
Syria - The darkness lingers

Syria has been ravaged by one of the most complex and brutal conflicts of our time. Children are subjected to extraordinary suffering – and the longer it goes on, the more we’re in danger of allowing what’s happening there to become a new normal. Children and families are still being denied their basic rights. Many can’t access adequate water, food or healthcare. Their movements are restricted. And it’s difficult to get humanitarian aid in and sick people out. More than a third of schools have been damaged or destroyed. The implications for children’s futures are huge.

Learn more

Stop selling weapons fuelling the Yemen conflict

Right now, the Australian Government is supporting companies selling weapons to parties to the conflict in Yemen – where over 85,000 children have already died, and where all sides have been accused of violating the rights of children.

Tell the Australian Government enough is enough: stop selling weapons fuelling the Yemen conflict.  

  • The Australian Government has provided $36 million in taxpayer funded assistance to a Canberra defence company exporting weapons systems destined for Saudi Arabia. We are calling on the Defence Minister to introduce a ban on these military equipment sales.
  • War-makers make deliberate decisions that result in the killing and maiming of children. It’s a crime – an affront to our humanity – but the wider scandal is that so many governments have a responsibility to do more which they are not fulfilling.
  • Australia should join Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark in suspending military equipment exports to countries involved in the Yemen conflict.

This is not who we are. This is not how Australians want to be represented. Now is your chance to have your voice heard.

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