Red Hand Day Date in the current year: February 12, 2016

Red Hand Day Red Hand Day is observed annually on February 12. This observance was created to draw attention to the fates of children soldiers, children, who are used in wars and armed conflicts.

Children were used in recent yeas in armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, Philippines, Myanmar, Palestine and Colombia. The estimated number of children used in armed conflicts shows no changes between 2006 and 2009, and rehabilitation of children soldiers ranges from inadequate to non-exist.

Red Hand Day was established in 2002 after the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict came into force. The protocol was signed by more than 100 countries in May 2000.

About 250,000 of children are used around the world as soldiers. It's difficult to tell their total number, as most children are deployed in armed rebel groups. Children are used as soldiers in 17 countries, including some that ratified the convention.

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