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“Children under the age of 16 years should not take a direct part in any conflict”

(Article 38 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child).

It is estimated that over 300,000 children under the age of 18, both boys and girls, are involved in more than 30 conflicts worldwide.

Africa has the highest number of child soldiers. However, UNICEF has also found an alarming number of child soldiers in the East Asia-Pacific Region.  They also discovered  that Burma has more children soldiers than any other country in the world – it is estimated that there are 70,000 children in the Burmese state army alone.

Red Hand Day on 12 February, is a worldwide initiative to stop the use of child soldiers. On Red Hand Day public protest, demonstrations and other activities take place. The Red Hand Day’s symbol is a red hand which has been used all over the world by many organizations in order to say NO to child recruitment and the use of child soldiers. If you want to participate, you can find information at