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Why Children Are Great Symbols For Social Movements

The video explains how children can be the best symbols of socials movements. Take a look at how children influenced various movements and gave the much-needed push to issues like rape, racism and war.

Here are 5 examples in which children became symbols of social issues and movements:

8-year-old Asifa unveiled the horrific minor rape culture in India


In 2018, Asifa was ganged raped and murdered in Kathua, J&K. This gruesome and brutal incident has thrown a spotlight on the rape culture in India, involving not only women but minors as well. While children were always sexually exploited, it was Asifa death which got people talking about the severity of crime against minors in India. Soon, social media started buzzing with hashtags (#justiceforasifa, #asifa, #kathua) to demand action from the State. Asifa became a voice for thousands of minors (1 out 4 raped is a minor) who are raped, tortured and murdered. This incident churned into a social movement, not only nationally but also internationally. With protesters in London, Dubai and Sharjah demanding justice for her. While the 2012 Nirbhya gang rape protests forced the government to amend the rape laws, the Asifa rape case got the President approve the ordinance making death penalty for minors mandatory.

5-year-old Omran Daqneesh became a symbol for civil wars in Syria

This image – a boy sitting still as a statue, covered with blood and dust simply starring with deadened eyes – went grabbed the world’s attention in 2016. This photo is post-Russian air strikes fired in Aleppo (Syria). His photo went viral on social media, got featured on the front page of a newspaper and became a topic for discussions on news shows. Overnight this 5-year-old became a symbol of the ongoing civil wars in Syria and the life struggle of 70,000 children in Aleppo. It got the world thinking of how life of children in disputed regions, where all that they have seen is war, bloodshed and deaths. Making their future bleak and unstable.

3 -year-old Alan Kurdi threw light on the plight of refugees
In 2015, Alan Kurdi and his family were fleeing from the war-engulfed country. Every year, thousands of refugees flee from the Middle East to Europe to live a safe and secure life. Unfortunately, the boat in which they were traveling overturned, drowning the entire family. Had Nilüfer Demir (Turkish photographer) not captured Alan’s lifeless body on the shores of the beach, we would never have seen the heart-breaking photo. This image was a wakeup call for the West to do more for the refugees. This image had such a lasting impact that it melted the Europeans hearts and compelled them to make their policies towards refugees more compassionate. Further, the British PM, David Cameron, agreed to accept 4,000 refugees a year until 2020.

15-year-old Malala Yousafzai reflected the importance of girl’s education

At the very young age, Malala was all up in arms against Taliban’s prohibition on educating girls. While still a child herself, she publically spoke against such discrimination and spoke about the importance on educating girls. But she had to pay a price. In 2012, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. Good news? She survived the gunshot. After surviving the assassination, she became the youngest person (17 years) to win a Nobel Peace Prize. And after that, there was no stopping for her. She continued to speak about the importance of education and also published her book called ‘I Am Malala’ in 2013. 9 months after being shot, she delivered a speech at United Nations urging world leaders to change their policies.

14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed portrayed the prevalent Islamophobia in the American society


Ahmed was arrested in 2015 from his school for bringing a hoax bomb to school which was actually just a homemade electronic clock. Although he was released later, this incident only shows how rampant Islamophobia is in the American Society. The American media which refers to the Muslims as barbaric, hate speeches of the politicians which portray Muslims as dangerous threats or the films which show anti-Muslim elements – are the reasons why his school saw him as a threat. 
Ahmed who dreams of being a passionate engineer was dubbed as a terrorist at such a young age by his own teachers. He was interrogated, handcuffed and dragged out of the school. Why? Because of the so-called anti-Muslim sentiment. This one unfortunate event got the child so disturbed that he has vowed never to get an invention to school again.

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