One World Different Childhoods

Posted on April 12th, 2011

Over recent months English students at schools and universities have taken time out from their studying and socialising to protest about government cuts to fees. The majority have exercised their rights in a peaceful manner, with a few damaging property to highlight their cause. These few have been to Court and were sentenced accordingly. They have been allowed legal counsel and the opportunity to present their version of events to a Judge. The newspapers have taken photographs on them during the protests, entering Court and occasionally exiting Court, if they were not detained.  All these young people had names.

Now consider an Afghan child, who encounters US solider called Jeremy Morlock. The boy, reportedly the son of a farmer, crossed paths with Mr Morlock and had his photograph taken. Before the boy had his picture captured on film, he allegedly lifted his shirt to demonstrate that he was not carrying explosives, strapped to his body. The reaction of Mr Morlock and his colleagues in the ‘Kill Team’ was to throw a grenade and shout the child. Mr Morlock posed smiling with the dead boy, gripping the hair on the head of the boy in order for the camera to capture the boy’s dead face as a memento. The ‘brave’ Mr Morlock had turned on his former colleagues to testify in return for a shorter prison sentence. Mr Morlock accused his former Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs of being the ring leader. Mr Gibbs received a life sentence a couple of weeks ago.

Move forward a few days, change countries and another boy is approached by adults in authority in Brazil. This time the boy’s crime appears to be that he was living on the streets. Five Police Officers dealt with this boy by shooting him five times at close range for the audacity of being homeless. The boy survived because another Police Officer intervened. This Police Officer has not been hailed as a national hero. Instead, he is in a witness protection programme.

These two boys were not given a trial or legal counsel to defend their existence in a Court of law, with a Judge overseeing proceedings to ensure fairness.  These boys were shot in the street.  They were not even given a name in press reports, simply referred to as ‘A boy’.


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