Children must not be used as political weapons and their rights must be respected. There have been many reported cases of children being hurt in demonstrations.

In Nepal, a UNICEF representative, Suomi Sakai said organizers of rallies should not put children into situations that could put them at physical risk or offer them enticements such as food or money in order to participate.

“While children do have the right to freedom of expression under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, their parents and guardians also have the right and responsibility to ensure that children are exercising their rights in an age- appropriate manner.”

The Philippine Commission on Human Rights, in an advisory issued as early as year 2000, said “parents, guardians and school authorities are admonished to consider the age and maturity and the degree of discernment of the child before they either encourage children to participate in rallies and demonstration or discourage them from joining therein.”

Allowing children of tender age might expose them to  unnecessary dangers against which they may not be capable of protecting themselves.

In these photos below, Filipino children of a very young age are seen in recent demontrations.

As captioned: “A boy eats a frozen treat during a rally condemning the presence of U.S troops in the Philippines, in Manila January 22, 2007. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)”

As captioned: “A girl looks on as protesters shout slogans near the U.S embassy during a rally condemning the presence of U.S troops in the Philippines, in Manila January 22, 2007. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)”