Dalia N, III Year B.A. English

Looking at innumerable pairs of tiny shoes in the Shoe room at the Auschwitz-Birkenau, our minds picturize happy children snatched from their loved ones and brutally killed in the name of purgation. Our bodies shudder upon realizing that we belong to a world, which had massacred innocence to become untainted. As the irony begins to settle in, haunting images of the past swarm our minds and somewhere in our minds, alarms go berserk.

We are filled with dread as we realize that the present is as horrifying as the past. Human rights ensures the dignity of individuals. Who can secure the dignity of a child, if it is not considered as an individual? In a world which looks down upon women and minorities citing culture as a reason, children as individuals are forgotten and objectified through norms. Nations look at children as formidable assets, as commodities children are deprived of their agency and their cries fall on deaf ears.

Innocence is being ripped apart and fed to dogs rabid for power. Caregivers dismiss their children’s complaints as fit, with none to trust, children remain silent about their abuse. Abuse and the aftereffect of war makes children susceptible to the snares of hunters who make them soldiers or sell them off for flesh trade and organ harvesting. Children are blemished from the traumas of assault, murders, abduction, maiming, rape and loss. Their innocence wails aloud upon being tarnished by the consequences of our selfish deeds. Everyday the woes of children increase at abominable amounts, and the tales of little heroes who overcame the brunt of victimisation serve as beacons for those in travail. When one part of the world is torn by conflicts, another is ruled by prejudices, for each their problem bigger than the other. Children’s innocence is shredded as they witness the ethical degradation of the world, which destroys the safety of their homes. The world claims to work for a viable future. Are we forgetting that children are the future?

Conventions on child rights, rallies and awareness programs force governments to formulate laws that hold good on paper and inaccessible to those who are supposed to avail it. How will a child know that it has rights? How will a child know that its rights are being violated? These laws are not for the children, it is for us. It is a reminder that without them, somewhere in the future, broken individuals would regret their past- Us. Changes are not needed in governance but in our perspectives, after all did we not inadvertently choose what we have today.

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