At the end of April the UN gave its annual report on Children and Armed Conflict, which included a ‘list of shame’ of 52 countries which inflicted cruelty on children in conflict zones. In 2011 children as young as 8 years old were subjected to atrocities such as being a human shield for soldiers in war zones, being a suicide bomber or being a soldier. To sit back and do nothing while children suffer such horrific violence is simply not an option. 32 of the 52 countries mentioned have been offenders for over 5 years. Pressure must be put on the UN Security Council to act swiftly and justly in war zones where children are being targeted. You can contact the Irish Ambassador to the UN, Anne Anderson and the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations via their email: