Red Hand Day is observed on February 12, 2024. The day is an annual commemoration day on which pleas are made to political leaders and events are staged around the world to draw attention to the fates of child soldiers, children who are forced to serve as soldiers in wars and armed conflicts. The aim is to call for action against this practice, and support for children who are affected by it.
The day was initiated in 2002 when the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict entered into force. The protocol was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in May 2000 and currently has signatures from over 100 different states. The worldwide number of child soldiers is estimated to be 250,000, a third of whom are girls, in at least 17 countries.
The military use of children takes three distinct forms: children can take direct part in hostilities, or they can be used in support roles such as porters, spies, messengers, look outs, and sexual slaves; or they can be used for political advantage either as human shields or in propaganda. A reason that children are recruited as soldiers is that up to a certain age, they don't have a full grasp of the finality of death and the severity of the act of killing a human being. (With material from: Wikipedia)