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Red Hands at work

by Mark Koenig | Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Red Hands Photo

Don’t worry that title is not a new form of math.

It’s a framework to understand the Presbyterian Church’s role in the advocacy initiative to say “no child soldiers”.

The Optional Protocol on the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict is an international treaty that prohibits the exploitation of children as soldiers.

The Red Hands Campaign is an international initiative, started by students in Germany to encourage UN member states to ratify the treaty.

3 UN member states have ratified the Optional Protocol in 2016.

32 UN member states have ratified the Optional Protocol since Presbyterians began participation in the campaign.

30 UN member states yet to ratify the Optional Protocol. The Permanent Mission to the United Nations of each these member states received Red Hands from Presbyterians in early July 2016.

Ratifying a treaty does not immediately result in an end to the use of children as soldiers. It makes a first step in that direction as it establishes a standard and sets expectations.

In the name of Jesus who welcomed the children, Presbyterians have joined in this effort, affirming that children are children not soldiers.

To participate, make and send Red Hands to:
Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations
777 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017


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