At the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent that opens today in Geneva, Italy – which has always been sensitive to the needs of the most vulnerable groups of people in armed conflicts – made an open pledge to take all the necessary steps to assure that children may live safely and enjoy their fundamental rights also in situations of conflict.
Italy’s pledge aims to prevent violence against children, especially through initiatives taken to assure the continuity of education and favour the access of humanitarian operations to children in conflict zones and also through awareness raising campaigns against the recruitment and deployment of children in armed conflicts. Italy hopes that its pledge may receive a great amount of support and therefore represent a tangible step towards a world in which all children can grow free from abuse and violence and have the opportunity to learn and develop their personalities, also in situations of armed conflict.
OVERVIEW OF THE SITUATION
The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is the most important global forum of debate on International Humanitarian Law, which is the set of regulations that protect civilians in a conflict, also by regulating the use of armaments and the means and methods of war. Italy has actively participated in the preparation of the Conference which convenes once every four years and that this year will offer the opportunity to reflect on the new complex challenges posed by armed conflicts, such as the proliferation of non-State armed groups and the difficulty of assuring the safety of humanitarian aid workers. The conference will schedule debates and events and negotiate concerted thematic resolutions.
Italy resolutely promotes the development and enforcement of International Humanitarian Law, in the firm conviction that compliance therewith is the essential condition to guarantee the return of peace, security and stability after the war and therefore the harmonious growth of all the people around the world. We deem it essential that the parties involved in armed conflicts respect the limits laid down by International Humanitarian Law. In order to assure justice to the victims and create a deterrence effect, it is essential that the people responsible of having violated International Humanitarian Law be held responsible for their crimes, also through the action of the International Criminal Court. Calling upon the “Spirit of Solferino”, our humanitarian action is based on principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and we support numerous initiatives aimed at assuring the respect of International Humanitarian Law. Italy is signatory of one of the most important International Conventions on the matter and staunchly promotes International Humanitarian Law in all international forums.