What do you think of when you see children? I know I think of playgrounds, coloring books, and boardgames. I imagine laughing and smiles. The easygoing life each child deserves is being ripped away from the children in Syria. Their playgrounds are battlefields; their coloring books are war paint, which they don proudly. They will wake up to blood baths and tanks shooting at their homes instead of cartoons like many of us did.
These children are witnessing human rights violations every single day and are now becoming targets as well. Human Rights Watch has reported how children are being detained like adults. Children, no matter what their age, are being beaten relentlessly, electrocuted, burned with cigarettes, and hanged from handcuffs for hours on end.
1]. A 13 year old boy was detained and accused of burning photos of Syrian President al-Assad and was detained for nine days where officers poured boiling water on him.
2.] A 16 year old boy was detained for 8 months for participating in the reading of political poetry at demonstrations. Officers hung him from handcuffs for seven hours at a time, beat him with cables, and electrocuted him on numerous occasions.
These injustices, human rights violations, and war crimes should not be extended to innocent children. More than 400 children have been killed and the numbers will continue to rise. Take a look at the photos above, take a second to realize the amount of pain these children are unnecessarily feeling. Think about how they may battle with PTSD for the rest of their lives. And yet, even with the constant turmoil surrounding them, these children will proudly hold up their flags and signs, paint their faces, and march to the streets to show al-Assad that he cannot destroy their spirit to be free. The fearlessness, valor, strength and honor these children possess will always be something that astonishes me.
Each child deserves to have a happy childhood; it is their birth right. Place a call to your local Syrian embassy, reblog this, raise awareness on your own, do whatever you can to shed light on al-Assad’s brutality. Bring peace to Syria.