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close this bookOutreach N° 97 - Children in especially Difficult Circumstances - Part 2: Children Affected by Catastrophes (OUTREACH - UNEP - WWF, 70 p.)
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View the documentHow to use OUTREACH packs
View the documentOUTREACH packs on Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances
View the documentHow to use OUTREACH pack no. 97
View the documentChildren: casualties of war - article
View the documentThe dispossessed - questions and answers
View the documentNew faces, new places: learning about people on the move - educational resources
View the documentTake refuge! - class/group activity
View the documentThe refugee game - class/group activity
View the documentAIDS Orphans - article
View the documentLives of children in especially difficult circumstances: Part 2: casualties of armed conflicts, environmental disasters and the AIDS pandemic - articles and activities
View the documentHelping children in difficult circumstances - article
View the documentHow Maria helps Anna - picture story
View the documentSupporting children in difficult circumstances: the school-family-community relationship - strategies
View the documentChild-to-Child activities for helping children who experience war, disaster or conflict - activities
View the documentThe Kids from Somalia - cartoons
View the documentTreating war-traumatized children - interview
View the documentTaking conflict resolution techniques to the front lines - article
View the documentI know a lot, I can do a lot, but I need to understand: cognition through games - activities
View the documentRefugees: a resource book for 8-13 year olds - educational resources
View the documentLet a puppet do the talking - activity
View the documentDanger! Land-mines! - article
View the documentZones of peace - article
View the documentDeveloping stories Series II: a film series on people, population and migration - film review
View the documentOne day we had to run! - educational resources
View the documentChildren in difficult circumstances: publications - publications
View the documentChildren in difficult circumstances: casualties of war, displacement and the AIDS pandemic - film, video and radio resources

Zones of peace - article

Convention on the Rights of the Child information pack produced in 1993 by UNICEF and the U.N. Centre for Human Rights. For further information, contact UNICEF, 3 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017 or UN Centre for Human Rights, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

teachers, community workers, radio broadcasters, journalists: As background information on project/programmes on children affected by war.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child seeks to outlaw the use of children in war and to promote the idea of children as 'zones of peace' in order to protect their chances to grow normally in mind and body.

A beginning had already been made. In 1969, during the civil war in Nigeria, UNICEF was able to negotiate the delivery of relief supplies to children on both sides of the conflict. In the early 1980s, in El Salvador, Lebanon and the Sudan, short-term cease-fires were negotiated with warring parties so that food and medical supplies could be delivered and children could be immunised.

In El Salvador, three days each year since 1985 were declared 'days of tranquility', during which time the civil war was interrupted so that UNICEF-trained volunteers and even soldiers and guerrillas could vaccinate children against the main child-killer diseases. In each case, leaders on both sides recognised that there could be no victory if the healthy development of the nation's principal human resource - its children - was stunted by malnutrition and disease.

In 1992, UNICEF negotiated with the leaders of all parties in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia to observe a 'week of tranquility' from 1st November to 7th November to enable enough food and warm clothing to reach as many children as possible before the onset of winter. It was estimated that up to 600,000 children benefitted from the programme that began with this week of tranquility.

The hope of these 'zones of peace', of course, is that agreement on joint action in support of children, even during temporary cease-fires, builds greater awareness among combatants of the need to protect the civilian population once the fighting resumes, and of the possibility of constructive collaboration even in the most polarised situations.