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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Children are NOT Collateral Damage - Part Two!


It is six sleeps until Christmas (seven in other parts of the world), and this year there will be 148 teachers and students who will not be with their families, after Terrorists murdered them as they attended their school in Peshawar.   This has not been an isolated case of children, women and teachers who have lost their lives this year.

In May I wrote a post about the Lost Girls Of Nigeria and outlined my wonderings about how something like that could happen while the world idly watched and only jumped to action weeks after the fact.  At the end of July I posted "Children Are Not Collateral Damage' and I discussed how bombs were hitting UN schools, hospitals, and playgrounds.  These are all horrible situations and appalling acts of violence.

However, the abuse and neglect of the children of our world is not isolated to war torn countries, or those where stories of terrorists abound.  Our own countries' are not exempt and I highlighted this in an earlier post in February where I wrote about the safeguards for Vulnerable Children, wondering about professional neglect and who needs to step up and take responsibility.

It saddens and frustrates me that here I am writing a part two.  The fact that there is a part two is simply not acceptable.  What is happening to our world?  Have we become so callous and uncaring that news stories of children being abused, murdered, kidnapped and slaughtered is now common place?  Does it take a mass killing with constant media attention for us to notice?  Are we blind to the abuses that are perpetrated on a daily basis and right under our own noses?

In recent months I was disappointed and a little concerned after a person in my acquaintance made a comment that they believed that the claims of a quarter of a million children in poverty in New Zealand were fabrications.  Unfortunately that was not an isolated case, when a recent poll showed that a half of New Zealanders (that took the poll) felt the same way.  I wonder if this 'deniability' culture exists in other countries like mine.  Given some of the things I read on social media, I suspect so.

I am left wondering, what can our world do about inequality, abuse and injustice.  It is easy to get outraged when the media shows mass kidnapping, murders and terrorist slaughters, but actually we need to be outraged about what is happening in our own backyards.

Perhaps, this Christmas, we should be wishing the gifts of empathy, equality, humanity and tolerance on the world.  They say charity should begin at home, and I can only but wonder that if every country, and every politician in every country, stepped up and made the four gifts above a priority, what a difference that would make.  In the meantime, what will you do?

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