AFRICA - "We must save children from violence and moral depravity": alarm in West Africa

Friday, 25 June 2021 children   childhood  

Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - In the West African area, the situation of children is increasingly worrying. Child soldiers who took part in riots and civil wars, children exploited in cocoa and cotton plantations or who work in clandestine gold research sites, forced marriages. In recent times, unfortunately, the phenomenon of jihadists children is also getting worse. "According to information provided by the government of Burkina faso - wrote Father Donald Zagore, priest of the Society for African Missions in Ivory Coast to Fides - in the recent massacre of Solhan, diocese of Dori (see Fides, 7/6/2021 ), the age range of the children involved in the phenomenon is between 12 and 14". "Children must go to school and nowhere else - adds the missionary. The situation is dramatic for the future. By keeping these little ones in dynamics of violence and war, they not only ruin their lives and their future, but also the future of these countries. Young people represent the future. But what future can we talk about when what constitutes posterity is already being destroyed? The use of children in these contexts of violence and moral depravity is a crime against humanity. A crime which will have to be fought with the utmost determination". The missionary urges a sense of responsibility on the part of all in the face of this dramatic situation in West Africa. "Authorities, politicians, religious, must all commit themselves to common actions aimed at the defense and protection of the rights of these young victims. We must put an end to the exploitation of children in all its forms. Working to promote their dignity in all areas, religious and political is an important imperative", concludes Zagore. (DZ/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 25/6/2021)