Salaam dear young friends. Welcome to our weekly chat. How are you today? Hope everything is going on smoothly? The weather in Tehran is slowly becoming cold.
Well friends, is there any special thing for this week’s chat?
Well, yes, as all our friends are aware, next Sunday will be the World Children’s Day. So, we congratulate you in advance as the future belongs to you.
As you all know, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention and opened it for signature on 20 November 1989 (the 30th anniversary of its Declaration of the Rights of the Child - 1959). It came into force on 2 September 1990, after it was ratified by the required number of nations. As of 14 November 2022, 196 countries are party to it, including every member of the United Nations except the United States.
Surely, you and your friends are fortunate to be residing in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is indeed a welfare society.
But do you know how youngsters of your age, and even much smaller than you fare in many places around the world?
According to a report on November 8 2022 by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), over 27 million children at risk as devastating floods set records across the world. Number of children affected by flooding in Chad, Gambia, Pakistan and north-east Bangladesh highest in over 30 years.
Even in a report released some years back, the year 2014 was marked as the most painful and violent year for children all over the world. It said millions of children each year experience various types of violence, including torture and killing.
It is really shocking. Children are supposed to be flowers of the society, and no human in his/her right mind would think of harming or torturing children, let alone killing them.
So who would commit such atrocities against these hopes of the future?
The answer is obvious: Beasts in human forms. Those who indulge in such brutal behaviour against children cannot be called human beings, even if they resembled humans in appearance.
Violence against children is not confined to the so-called Third World, but is rampant in the industrially advanced West. For instance, the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children states that one out of every five girls and one out of every 10 boys in the US are sexually exploited before they reach 18 years of age!
Then there is the wide spread trafficking of children into Europe for forced labour, for abuse of their rights, for pleasures of the flesh, and for stealing of their tender organs.
This means that the modern world has drifted away from spiritual values. No positive change will occur, unless people return to God and humanitarian values. It is only the teachings of Islam and the excellent example set by Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and his Infallible Ahl al-Bayt that will salvage humanity.
We pray to God to help us resist the temptations of the devil, and revert to the path of virtue and righteousness – for the sake of children, the hope of the future.