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Today is International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression – a stark reminder and acknowledgement of the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse.

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This day also celebrates the millions of individuals and organisations around the world, working to protect, preserve and promote the rights of children.

The ”Say Yes for Children” campaign, endorsed by almost 100 million people (from Nelson Mandela and Bill Gates to everyday people across the globe), identifies 10 positive actions to be taken to improve the lives of children:

1. Leave No Child Out
All forms of discrimination and exclusion against children must end.

2. Put Children First 
It is the responsibility of everyone – governments, individuals, non-governmental organisations, religious groups, the private sector and children and adolescents themselves – to ensure that children’s rights are respected.

3. Care for Every Child 
Ensure all children the best possible start in life.

4. Fight HIV/AIDS 
Protect children and adolescents and their families.

5. Stop Harming and Exploiting Children 
Violence and abuse must be stopped now. And the sexual and economic exploitation of children must end.

6. Listen to Children 
Respect the rights of children and young people to express themselves and to participate in making the decisions that affect them.

7. Educate Every Child 
Every child – all girls and boys – must be allowed to learn.

8. Protect Children from War 
No child should experience the horrors of armed conflict.

9. Protect the Earth for Children 
Safeguard the environment at global, national and local levels.

10. Fight Poverty
Invest in Children Invest in services that benefit the poorest children and their families, such as basic health care and primary education. Make the well-being of children a priority objective of debt relief programmes, development assistance and government spending.

[Quoted from the Unicef Say Yes for Children website.]

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