Tell the World They Are Children Not Soldiers
“Let Them Play: Tell the World they are Children, Not Soldiers”, is an initiative of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to raise global awareness about the need to stop the use and abuse of children in armed conflict. The campaign will be launched during the FIFA World Cup, Russia 2018.
“A child’s place is on a football field, not a battle field.” – Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Every year, thousands of boys and girls are recruited and used as soldiers in armed conflict around the world, prevented from their right to simply be children and play. Whether involved in active fighting, abducted, or used in military support functions such as carriers or cooks, children are being forced to take a role in wars they don’t belong to, while entailing great physical and emotional risks.
Let Them Play. They Are Children, Not Soldiers.
Every four years, the World Cup brings together the best football players in one of the greatest and most-watched sporting events. The campaign is an opportunity to reach football enthusiasts with a a powerful message: hundreds of thousands of children affected by armed conflict are still left behind. We cannot forget them.
Support for Children, Not Soldiers: Let Them Play
The awareness campaign will be launched during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with the support of National Football Associations and individual players. The National Football team of Panama has already endorsed the campaign.
On 7 June, H.E. Didier Reynders, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, met with Special Representative Virginia Gamba to express his country’s support for Children, Not Soldiers: Let Them Play.
On 31 May, the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations showcased its support for the campaign during a football match they organized between legends of the Bundesliga – Germany’s national football team – and Permanent Representatives to the United Nations from around the world.