Exclusive: Remembering the Child Victims of War and Exploitation

History is the witness of this fact that whenever there had been any war be it a civil war or world war or any ethnic war or riots, the most troublesome population affected by this aid are children. Even a small fight witnessed by a kid leaves a strong impact on her mind, and when something hideous takes place it affects them both emotionally and mentally.

Children learn from their elders, whatever they see they seek, it is a one hundred percent correct fact. It is widely seen that most of the kids who have suffered ignorance and violence in their childhood are likely to act in the same way with others. Once the seeds of hatred are sown into a child’s heart the roots become deep and strong over the period of time and this trifles the emotions of a young powerful adult who shapes the future of the world. This can be understood by the example of the great dictator: Adolf Hitler, who eliminated half of the Jewish population because of the seed of hatred.

Such psychological imbalance on a tender brain is extremely unhealthy. Today the world has taken a very fast pace and is trying to work at the speed of light but one thing that is missing in their daily routines is “family time”. Children need love and care at a tender stage in order to become great humans and better beings. Children’s lives have been affected in almost every chapter of history.

A Glimpse Into History

World War 1: Wasteful Wars have always impacted brutally on peoples life. Just like adults, children were also damaged by this cause. The effect can be seen in one letter sent by an Irish boy published by Imperial War Museum (IWM) which reflects the purity of that young boy.Alfie’s letter reads: (In his childish way and hand)

“Dear Lord Kitchner,

I am an Irish boy 9 years of age and I want to go to the front. I can ride jolley quick on my bicycle and would go as despatch ridder. I wouldint let the germans get it. I am a good shot with a revolver and would kill a good vue of the germans. I am very strong and often win a fight with lads twice as big as mysels. I want a uneform and a revolver and will give a good acount of myself. Pleese send an anencer.

Yours affectionately

Alfie Knight”

This letter is a proof of the psychological conditions faced by young children during the war.

Industrialization: During the industrial revolution in the world when the Europeans were on a “civilization mission” and were busy making colonies, their own countries were in a state of ruckus. They had accommodation issues and housing crises. A hoax was created when there were people all around and no place to live.

While London became an industrial capital it attracted a lot of people from the neighbouring states. Around one-fourth population of the city were covered by immigrants and only one-fourth being the natives. This unrest gave rise to human resource exploitation and especially child exploitation.

Andrew Mearns showed the vibrant London of that time in his book “The Bitter Cry of Outcast London” which focused on children and their lifestyle. Due to increased robbery and theft children in London also started stealing food and money at petty levels.

A statistics from the book show that: ‘A child seven years old is easily known to make 10 shillings 6 pence a week from thieving … Before he can gain as much as the young thief [a boy] must make 56 gross of matchboxes a week, or 1,296 a day.’ 

It was only after the passage of the Compulsory Elementary Education Act in 1870, and the factory acts beginning from 1902, that children were kept out of industrial work.

  • World War 2: Same dilapidated conditions were made for children like in the first world war. Children in Germany were told to respect Nazi’s and they were told to stay away from the Jews or they will have a bad sin.
  • A description of this can be seen in John Boyne’s “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”. A friendship which was jeopardized because of racism.
  • An example can also be of the children in Japan who suffered due to hazardous act on Hiroshima Nagasaki by United Sates as the end of the war. Ambitious and powerful kids like Sadako and many more lost lives due to developed cancer and leukemia and other diseases when they were born because of the after-effects of the bomb.
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona by A.J Cronin also shows how wars leave small children orphan and how they face the world alone by working all day and all night serving multifarious tasks. 

The present:

The Syrian war has left children and their lives extremely vulnerable to the threats, and the terrorist groups mostly use children as their human bombs by threatening them. A girl child in a war zone is raped and sold as slaves yet to the other nations. But still, they are not silent anymore. Many children from Syria are seen determined towards change and are reporting all the malpractices taken place in the regions.

The above-written text is all history. Our present will decide our future.

Today the silent sufferers have not shut anymore and are competing in order to gain importance and to tell everyone that “They Exist”. The shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was given a fight back and on 25 March, “March of Our Lives” held by the students and supporters explicitly show that the youth is heading in the right of Justice, Truth, and Equality.

Although we didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since the worlds been turning but we will be the one who will extinguish this burning fire.

Enrich your children with love and show them the path of righteousness even in the dark times.

Thank You.

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