Ensuring opportunity, protection, and dignity for all children is crucial to building a free and democratic Iraq, and for that reason LAONF’s 5thAnnual Week of Nonviolence will focus on Children’s Rights. During a week of activities beginning on December 10, Human Rights Day, members of the nonviolence network throughout Iraq will conduct a coordinated campaign to draw attention to the crucial need to improve education, guarantee minors’ legal rights, care for orphans and children living in poverty, and reduce the impact of a culture of violence on youth. Activists from LAONF groups in each of the nation’s 17 governorates will be meeting with local government officials, visiting institutions that work with youth, and meeting with youth, in order to inspire more discussion and action on children’s rights. LAONF has planned a schedule for the week:
- Day 1 – meetings with local Directorates of Education
- Day 2 – visits to prisons that incarcerate minors
- Day 3 – visits to children’s shelters
- Day 4 – meetings with Provincial Councils to request an end to importing of war toys
- Day 5 – gathering of children to exchange war toys for toys that are nonviolent
- Day 6 – local meetings with NGOs, and social, religious, and political leaders to report on the week’s activities and to discuss future action to guarantee the Rights of the Child in Iraq
On December 16, the LAONF Network will hold a national press conference to share the findings of its member groups and to offer proposals on the most pressing needs of children and youth in Iraq.