Peace education enables young people to understand that prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination and sectarianism often underlie or exacerbate conflict, that exclusion often leads to conflict and that we all have multiple layers of identity.
A contribution to the militarization of society is to socialize children into thinking violence and war are justifiable and glorious, From military, defence and weapons-industry recruitment schemes to action-hero toys, society creates killers.
There are at least 250,000 child soldiers fighting in armed conflict.
Most countries consider young soldiers ‘volunteers’. But often coercion is involved – in Uganda around 8,000 children have been abducted for use as soldiers or prostitutes.
Britain’s Manchester airport has had more than 1,000 security alerts a year caused by children taking toy guns on holiday.
By the age of 16 an American child has seen, on average, 18,000 murders on television.
Source: New Internationalist.
What can you do?
In small groups, do an Internet search on a particular conflict situation. Use the case studies in the pack Peace by Piece as a starting point. Find out 5 facts about the particular situation. Share the findings with the other groups. Take photos on the theme of promoting peace in the community and hold a photo exhibition in a public place such as the local school or library.
Join Amnesty International or other global campaigns for peace.
Dates for your Diary
April – Global Action Week for Education for All
20 November – Universal Children’s Day
10 December – Human Rights Day