Expatica news

All out war declared on war toys

23 November 2004

BRUSSELS – A number of organisations in Liege have banded together to try to stop war toys from making their way into Santa’s sack this year.

Le Soir reported on Tuesday that socialist health insurance providers, peace organisations and a secular campaign group are among those backing the move to appeal to parents to choose non-violent toys for their children.

Some 10,000 postcards will be given out, with one side showing a picture of a gun and the slogan: “This is not a toy” in French and the other side containing a letter to Father Christmas with a child’s present list.

The list is concluded with the sentence and “above all, please, no war toys”.

Some educators are critical about the benefits of the campaign, but others have given it the thumbs up.

A Brussels school has already ordered 200 postcards to give out to pupils and the cards will also be distributed to youngsters in Liege’s state schools, as well as to games libraries and the offices of socialist unions and the FMSS health insurance fund.

The postcards can also be sent to other groups who request them, added Michel Schoonbroodt, a spokesman for the child and youth centre of the FMSS.

“We’ve never tried to run a campaign with games shops because we known that for them the war toy represents a substantial part of their turnover,” explained Schoonbroodt.

“We prefer to put all our focus onto the customers in the hope that if the demand drops, provision in the shops will drop.”

The campaign was motivated by the fact that organisers felt some toys were starting to look more and more like real weapons, added Schoonbroodt.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news