ISLAMABAD - The International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression 2013 was observed across the globe including Pakistan to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world.

This day identifies those children who remained the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse and also affirms the UN's commitment to protect the rights of children.

UN Secretary General's message on this solemn occasion reads as: "We need to recall the sacred duty, enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, to ensure that all children, without any exception whatsoever, enjoy special protection."

On August 19, 1982, at its emergency special session on the question of Palestine, the General Assembly, "appalled at the great number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children victims of Israel's acts of aggression", decided to commemorate June 4 of each year as the  (resolution ES-7/8).

The purpose of the international day acknowledges the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse - and affirms a commitment to protect the rights of children.

The statistics of child abuse in its many, many forms are horrendous. They include over 2 million children killed in conflict in the last two decades; around 10 million child refugees cared for by UNHCR; in the Latin America & Caribbean region 80 thousand children die every year from violence that breaks out within the family.

Humanity is organising as never before to put children first in the process of building a better world, and this Day also celebrates the millions of individuals and organizations working to protect and preserve the rights of children.

UNICEF devotes considerable resources to the protection of children and conducts annual surveys tracking progress in the rights of the child: We strive towards the day when nations will be judged not by their military or economic strength, nor by the splendour of their capital cities and public building, but by the well being of their children. See the Progress for Children reports and the annual State of the World's Children reports.

Child abuse is now in the spotlight of global attention, and much is being done to protect children around the world. One key factor in this is the process of international negotiation and action centred around the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Key thoughts for reflection: 1. recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable right of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world (2. childhood is entitled to special care and assistance (3. the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding (4. the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity (5. the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.

Relying on secondary sources in the absence of a national database on violence against children, 'State of Pakistan's Children 2012' reports 5,659 cases. Punjab tops the list with 68pc cases, followed by Sindh (19pc), KP (5pc), Balochistan (3pc) and Fata (3pc).

But it is not just violent aggression that plagues our future; our children are facing many kinds of emotional and physical torments. Broken families, economic imbalance, adverse social attitudes, and deep societal divisions on the basis of language, class and ethnicity all work to make a highly ominous environment.

Human rights activists have called for stepped up efforts to save children from such types of violence.