“Mr. & Mrs. Blue Barrel” visit schools for Children’s Day
To mark Universal Children's Day 2018, military and civilian peacekeepers from UNIFIL visited the Public School of Naqoura, near UNIFIL’s headquarters. An important aspect of this visit was to present “Mr. & Mrs. Blue Barrel” – a fun and interactive presentation about a serious topic.
UNIFIL's military community outreach unit (MCOU) visit schools along the Blue Line to help educate young people on the safety and the importance of not crossing the Blue Line. Approaching the Blue Line can be extremely dangerous. There is a high risk of encountering mines, unexploded ordinances and explosive remnants of war. Approaching the blue barrels also risks accidental crossing, which is a violation of the UN Security Council resolution 1701.
United Nations Universal Children's Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare.
BACKGROUND TO THE "BLUE LINE":
The 120-kilometre Line of Withdrawal, or “Blue line” as it is more commonly known, was established by the United Nations in the year 2000 to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon. At a tripartite meeting in 2007, both parties agreed to visibly mark the Blue Line on the ground.
It is important to note: The Blue Line does not in any way represent an international border and is without prejudice to any future border agreements between Lebanon and Israel. The Blue Line marking process is an ongoing tripartite project to foster mutual trust and to diffuse tensions. Blue barrels also directly contribute to the security of the people living on both sides of the Blue Line by preventing inadvertent crossing.