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Introduction to the Project on Bioethics for Informed Choices - page 111 / 115

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Bioethics Education641

have been caught up directly in the combat, there are hundreds of others who have been voiceless witnesses to the carnage, or have seen and heard of the violence and destruction in the media. The fragile psychological equilibrium of children during conflict has been disrupted. What a child sees, hears and feels during conflict affects his/her attitudes, relationships, moral values and understanding of society and life itself. To deal with the skirmishes around them, many children embrace rebelliousness and violence as a way of life, consequently bringing about the likelihood of future-armed conflict.  Children, who have been traumatized and psychologically mutilated, suffer from concealed wounds. These festering sufferings are the psychosocial effects of war and are potentially more destructive in the long run than the physical injuries. Children who have seen, or have been a victim of aggression, learn to be aggressive and violent. These defenseless children need urgent psychosocial counseling.  Today I can communicate instantly across the world. However, can I communicate with my fellow brethren who live in my street? We have conquered every distance except one - the distance between human beings. It will not be technology that decides the future of our world, but us, you and I - armed with the only thing more powerful than weapons of destruction, namely, dialogue to equal sharing of power that is real democracy to the nationalities or communities. We have suffered, and inflicted suffering, for too long. The time has come for us to turn enemies into friends.  The present internal colonial conflict has caused unacceptable suffering to children. Throughout Nepal, there are hundreds of children who, because of the present crisis, are denied their right to life, right to safety, right to education. War destroys everything, our schools, our homes, our families, our communities, our bodies and lives, our jobs, our physical and mental health. War destroys the childhood. There are numerous well-documented evidence that - War-affected children are at greater risk to grow into generation of adults more committed to violence than to peace.    

New Sense Of Urgency

As I see it - One of the tragic impacts of the present  conflict in Nepal is the distortion of values - the culture of peace had turned into the culture of war.  All of us peace loving Nepalis in particular Nepali leaders must make strong commitments to our children's well being and, more importantly, follow through on these promises with concrete and immediate actions. It should be apparent to all of us - "Mature Children" that  all power and greed is ultimately short-lived and can never be an excuse for sacrificing children. No one - not the United Nations, not regional organizations, not governments, nor civil society groups has moved quickly enough or done enough. The international community, in all of its manifestations, must adopt a new sense of urgency in view of the fact that - "Investing in children is investing in a more prosperous and stable world."  

Discussion

Gupta:  You mentioned about children working as domestic workers in Nepal. Would you know if this phenomenon is spreading in nearby areas as well?

Kaidi: Of course, you can find this in other areas as well such as in India, Myanmar, Afghanistan and so on. But what is different in Nepal is when because of the conflict of Maoist rebels and the government, the schools are destroyed.  So I am here, to appeal to the international community to compel the government of Nepal to help the children of Nepal.

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