In conjunction with several leading organisations, the Stop Attacks Forum has released a statement calling for a total end of all paramilitary attacks on men, women and children. On UN International Children’s Day, the forum emphasises especially the rights of every child and young person to grow up in an environment free from threat, fear and violence.
The Stop Attacks statement reads:
On Universal Children’s Day, we highlight the ongoing abuse of the rights of children and young people by paramilitary organisations.
Our young people should not have to grow up in an atmosphere of fear, violence, trauma and intimidation.
We point out that the brutalisation of children and young people which has gone on here for almost 50 years should not be tolerated, and would not be tolerated in other parts of the world.
We call on people to reject those who seek to deliver a version of justice at the point of a gun to commit to work with the PSNI to develop better, more effective solutions to community issues and to hold the Police to account when they don’t deliver.
We challenge all who have verbally or otherwise supported attacks on children and young people in the past to withdraw that support.
We urge all involved in attacks to end these at once.
We call on our society to develop more imaginative ways to deal with crimes and anti-social behaviour at a local level and to recognize that many of the young people involved have complex needs to which brutality is the worst possible response.
We ask all in our society to ensure that all children here can enjoy the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.