Raise a Red Hand; Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

Small hand February 12, 2009 is Red Hand Day – the international child soldier’s commemoration day, a day to work to end the use of child soldiers.

According to an optional protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it has been forbidden to to use children as soldiers since February 12, 2002.

Unfortunately, human rights groups estimate that as many as 250,000 children are currently involved in wars around the world.

In response, children and teenagers have initiated the Red Hand Campaign and invite all to participate in this global effort to encourage world leaders to act. Key to the effort is the red hand that is the symbol of international efforts to end the use of children as soldiers. Participants in this initiative are asked to create red handprints on paper (using finger paint, drawing an outline, using red paper, or in some other way) and then add their names, hometowns, and a message.

Organizations, congregations, schools, and individuals may collect red hands and send them to: Red Hand Campaign, c/o Human Rights Watch, 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10118. On Red Hand Day, February 12, the red hands will be presented to leaders at the United Nations with the message that the ban on child soldiers should be enforced.

Spread the word and raise a hand!

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