The Red Hand Day on February 12 is an annual commemoration day created to draw attention to the fate of children who are forced to serve as soldiers in wars and armed conflicts.
The aim of Red Hand Day is to call for action against this practice, and support for children who suffer from this severe form of child abuse. Examples for massive use of children as soldiers in recent years include armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, Myanmar, Philippines, and Colombia.
Red Hand Day was initiated in 2002 when the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict entered into force on February 12, 2002. This protocol was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in May 2000. It currently has signatures from 92 different states.