The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a new resolution on July 12th to protect schools and hospitals during conflict. As part of the ruling, the Security Council says it will impose targeted measures on those who violate children's rights through such attacks.
The resolution is welcome news throughout the Salesian community, particularly in areas most affected by violence such as the Ivory Coast.
Radhika Coomaraswamy, the special representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict shared her own experiences. "The promise of this resolution is very real," she explained. "During my visits to conflict areas, I have personally seen the devastation – schools completely destroyed, bombed or burnt to the ground. Attacks on hospitals are two-fold atrocities. Not only do they kill and wound girls and boys, but they leave children without access to treatment."
The U.N. resolution promises additional relief and protection for many areas served by Salesian missionaries. In the Ivory Coast – where 15,000 displaced families still seek safety at the Salesian compound – the latest actions will hopefully ease people's fears and allow them to slowly return to their normal lives.
Fr. Mark Hyde, director of Salesians Missions, gave his perspective on the situation. "If we can't rely on our schools and hospitals to be safe havens during times of conflict, we have no chance of easing the horrible fear endured by so many children and families," he said. "The U.N. resolution is an important step toward protecting innocent lives."
The latest UN resolution injects new hope into communities struggling to cope with violence. With your support today, the Salesians can help families make the transition back to normal lives.