February 12: Red Hand Day

Child soldier in Central African Republic, picture from Wikipedia

Red Hand Day is not so much a celebration as a time to spread awareness. Every February 12 since 2002 the United Nations has encouraged people to do what they can to stop the use of child soldiers – boys and girls (whether teenagers or as young as 8 or 9) who are kidnapped and forced to be soldiers.

“Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,
  learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.”

Isaiah 1:16 & 17

Child soldier in Vietnam, picture from Wikipedia

More information: The Red Hand Day website (here) lists countries known to have child soldiers in recent years. The Invisible Children website (here) and movie documents the child soldiers of northern Uganda extensively.

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