16 November, 2005

a million faces can make a difference

Okay... I rarely tackle anything extremely serious here, as I basically feel totally incapable of doing justice to most of the genuinely complex and tragic issues facing our world.

However, I want to urge all my dear readers to join the
MILLION FACES campaign, to help pressure International Leaders into creating a Global Small-Arms Trade Treaty. The worldwide human toll of gun violence is more horrific than most of us can even imagine. It goes far beyond the carnage we are all aware of, far beyond the well-documented crime on the streets of developed countries. Perhaps the most tragic effect of the unregulated trade of small-arms throughout the world, is the widespread implication and involvement of mere children in gun warfare.

(All quotes and statistics below are from
Amnesty International.)

(Child-soldiers in Sudan...)

"The death toll from small arms dwarfs that of all other weapons systems - and in most years greatly exceeds the toll of the atomic bombs that devestated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In terms of the carnage they cause, small-arms, indeed, could well be described as 'weapons of mass destruction'. Yet there is still no global non-proliferation regime to limit their spread."
Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General

(...in Rwanda...)

~ 300,000 children - boys and girls - are actively serving as armed child-soldiers.

~ Every minute, one man, woman or child is killed by small-arms.

~ 639 million small-arms and weapons are in circulation worldwide.

~ 8 million small-arms are added to this total every year.

~ Enough ammunition is produced each year to kill every human being on Earth, twice over.

(...in Thailand...)

"One day my friends and I were forced by our commanders to kill a family, to cut up their bodies and to eat them. I have nothing to live for. At night, I can no longer sleep. I keep thinking of those horrible things I have seen and done when I was a soldier."
Kalami, 15, was forced to become a soldier at the age of 9

(...and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.)

If you are disturbed by the thought of children being kidnapped or threatened with prison unless they take up a gun; if you are sickened at the idea of a 6-year-old boy being forced to join a band of soldiers after watching them murder his mother; if you find it unacceptable that ordinary lives are destroyed and ended on a daily basis, as a direct result of the international arms trade, please take action...

Join the
MILLION FACES campaign. It only takes a moment, and you can remain anonymous if you wish.

Please also consider making a donation to
Amnesty International - promoting and defending human rights throughout the world.




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