International Child Protection News July 2016
KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Please note that what you see here is only a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN
If you would like to be a KARA reporter for at risk children where you live contact email@example.com with VOLUNTEER in the subject line
Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of KARA volunteer Eshanee Singh
Egypt – Children’s rights ignored in Egypt crackdown.
Children arrested in anti-government protests are being held in detention centres with their health, safety and rights being ignored citing security and politicized reasons. Several cases of torture have been put forward and the process of investigating these claims are illegal since the lawyers of the detained minors are not present during prosecution. Egyptian laws dictate that minors should be held in separate facilities from adults but often this is not the case. Law further states that minors should be processed by juvenile specialists rather by adult courts where they often are processed. Children presented as symbols of martyrdom are often exploited by both sides of the protest despite it being against the law to expose children to the danger surrounding the protests or to use them for political purposes.
The secret world of the child bride: heartbreaking pictures of the girls as young as five who are married off to middle aged men.
In countries where child marriages are prevalent, despite being illegal, actual numbers of child marriages are typically higher than what is published due to secret marriages. For example, marriage ceremonies in Indian cities and villages take place during the night and is kept secret by village and community members in fear of police raids and retaliation. The men who these young girls marry are young men, middle aged widowers or even abductors who rape first and claim their victims as wives afterwards, while some of these marriages are business transactions arranged between families. The health consequences of marrying at such an early age, rape, low life expectancy from several consecutive births, sexual transmitted disease, are serious and in some cases fatal. Widespread change within and amongst communities is possible, however; sparking change does not stem from humiliating entire communities and cultures by saying they are backward.
Egypt – Child marriage remains common, despite legal ban.
Daily News Egypt.
Despite Egypt increase the legal age of marriage to 18, child marriages continue to happen. Significant economic, social and cultural barriers remain which prevents child marriages from ending. In these marriages, women reported being maltreated and/or physically abused by their husbands. Early marriage is associated with sexually transmitted disease, birth complications and adverse effects on women’s educational attainment. Furthermore, early marriages of girls negatively impacts a girl’s ability to make decisions in their families and to form independent opinions. A major driving factor of child marriages is poverty and low income among parents.
Egypt – Egypt: a year of abuses against detained children.
Human Rights Watch.
Child in protests on Egypt’s streets face police brutality. Officers beat or torture them, hold them in jails alongside adults and are tried in adult courts. The arrests and treatment of detained children violates Egyptian and international law and the Egyptian president has condemn the treatment of these children but, investigating and correcting the abuse of treatment does not seem to be among the top priorities of the government.
Afghanistan – they bear all the pain, hazardous child labour in Afghanistan.
Human Rights Watch.
Because of economic hardships many young Afghan children have to work, often in industries with lack safety and health regulations, to support their families. Some children have to balance the burdens of hard labour with their education, while some, the most vulnerable, are prevented entirely from attending school especially if they are a able bodied male. More than likely the work that children take part in are not of the kind which aids in their development but those rather jeopardizes their health and safety. Officials argue that budgetary constrains lie behind the government’s inability to enforce labour laws and provide social support programs to prevent child labour. UNICEF contends that both the Afghan government and its donor has not placed the issue of child labour high on its priority list given the low budget allocations for the protection of vulnerable children.
Thailand – Rights group: thousands of child refugees held in Thailand.
Several children and their families have fled neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos in fear of sectarian persecution and economic distress. The Thai government can and has arrested and detained migrants with irregular immigration status, including children. Children are enduring serious physical and emotional harm while in lock up in cramped dentition facilities in Thailand. A Human Rights Watch report illustrates how the Thai government is unnecessarily taking away the rights of refugee children or children with parents of refugee status. They are being held without adequate nutrition, education or exercise space and the Thai government has done little to nothing to address these issues. The children can be held indefinitely with an unknown future and with little to no legal support.
Turkey – Turkey arrests 62 children and accuses them of treason after military coup.
The Daily Mail.
Children from a military school in Turkey are arrested and detained on the rounds of treason after a failed military coup. They have not been able to contact or talk to their parents since being arrested. Like many others who have been detained, the children and their parents fear that they will not receive a fair trail. Since the failed military coup civil rights and human rights have been ignored.
Australia – Australian government launches investigation after video emerges of ‘torture’ of child prisoners.
A youth detention centre is under investigation by the Australian government after a video emerges in which teenagers are held in less than humane conditions. They are assaulted, stripped naked and tear gassed by prison guards. Previously government representatives argue that the guards were forced to restrained the youth prisoners as they had staged a riot and attempted to escape. The videos suggest otherwise; they show teenagers being shackled to chairs and a guard hurling a 13 year old across the room to his bed. The Australian prime minister was shocked by the images in the video and states that every child in their justice system must be treated with humanity and respect at all times. The video prompts the prime minister to call for an inquest as to why this issue has been hidden for as long as it has been.
Turkey – Turkey: 400, 000 Syrian children not in school.
Human Rights Watch.
Turkey has been generous in its response to the Syrian refugee crisis however obstacles still remain in keeping children in school outside of refugee camps. Key obstacles includes a language barrier, social integration issues including bullying, economic hardships, and a lack of information about the policy formally granting Syrian children access to public schools. Ensuring that Syrian refugee children continue their education reduces risks of early marriage and military recruitment of children by armed groups while also increasing their earning potential and stabilizing their economic future. Some accredit the low enrolment numbers to some school administrators improperly turning away Syrian families who attempted to enrol their children in local public schools.
Egypt – Child marriages form 15% of all marriages in Egypt.
In light of child marriages continuing despite the legal age of marriage being 18, Egypt’s population minister announced a new study that would determine the scale of child marriages in Egypt. The government argues that the study would allow the state to effectively tackle child marriages given the abuse and impediment of women’s and children’s rights. Many children in child marriages face physical abuse by their husbands and are unable to complete an education which negatively impacts their economic and social livelihoods. In addition to abuse, young girls are sold into temporary marriages for the purpose of prostitution and/or forced labour. Marriage brokers often take young girls from underprivileged and poor villages to wealthy visitors.
Syria – Why Syrian kids are holding pictures of Pokemon.
Children in Syria are holding up signs with Pokemon characters with sayings such as save me. The hope is to bring attention to and spark interest in the suffering of children caught in the middle of the Syrian war. Children, especially those living in rural and remote areas, are denied access to food, medicine and other life necessities. School buildings and other places where children are frequent are targeted for air strikes. Reconciliation is not seen in the near future and the suffering of children will more than likely continue.
Turkey border guards ‘shot Syrian children’ – monitors.
Syrians trying to cross over into Turkey were shot by border guards, including 4 children. The official death toll is disagreed upon by the Turkish government and Syrian opposition groups. The Turkish government has provided refuge for over 2 million Syrians but has since closed its borders. It cites pressures from the EU to stop Syrians from fleeing to Europe.
Canada – Too much talk, too little action on aboriginal children’s issues.
Although funding has been given by the government to aboriginal organizations, little to no evidence illustrates that children groups has received any of such funding. More spending was put towards discussions and meetings rather than hard action to help alleviate poverty among children, improve access to and quality of education and mental health . One problem is the lack of coordination between levels of government, federal, provincial, and municipal, and aboriginal and first nations groups. Another problem is the lack of accountability of the government who tends to forget about first nations and aboriginal children once they have issued funding. There is little follow up to ensure that funding is appropriately distributed to programs.
Canada – Half of First Nations children live in poverty.
Poverty rates of First Nations children is are among the worst compared to any other disadvantaged group(s) in Canada. Poverty rates get substantially worst when children live on reserves than non-indigenous children, particularly in certain provinces compared to other provinces. Poverty rates further vary among First Nations and indigenous groups on a federal and provincial level. Although poverty levels are high, an economist suggests that poverty amongst First Nations children is treatable and preventable is action is taken now.
U.S. – U.S. tobacco growers use child labour, Human Rights Watch says.
Rather than focusing on school and education children are working in tobacco farms in some U.S. states. Under hazardous conditions children are harvesting tobacco laden with nicotine and pesticides. Although these working conditions and the age of the children are questionable, it is legal under U.S law. Having to work long hours in extreme heat without overtime pay of sufficient breaks and without acceptable protective gear, children working in these tobacco farms present signs consistent with nicotine poisoning.
Indonesia – Indonesia: Child tobacco workers suffer as firms profit.
Human Rights Watch.
A Human Rights Watch Reports illustrates the use of child labour in the supply chain of tobacco companies. The report further explains how the hazardous conditions children work in on tobacco farms can have disastrous long term health effects, some consistent with nicotine poisoning from absorbing nicotine through their skin. Although no official number exists, there are more than 1.5 million children, ages 10 to 17, working in agriculture in Indonesia.
Afghanistan – In Afghanistan, childhood is often a full time job.
Los Angeles Times.
To support his family, a 13 year old boy works in a bakery earning about $80 a month to support his disabled father, his mother, his three brothers, and five sisters, people he does not see regularly. Rather than attending school he must work to support his family. The labour laws regarding children in Afghanistan are vaguely written which leads to children working in industries that ignore the laws and have hazardous conditions and/or conditions that are dangerous to their health and development.The official number of children working is unavailable but is estimated to be nearly 2 million between the ages of 6 and 17, or at least 25% of Afghan children. Some children are working in construction, mining, farming, brick weaving and carpet weaving, while others beg on streets or exploited in illicit activities.
Syria – Photo essay – Syrian refugee children tell their stories.
Syrian children in a refugee camp received training from a National Geographic photographer. The children receive a new and fresh perspective on photography that allows them to take pictures of their lives and to tell the story of what is happening to them.
Italy – Surge in unaccompanied refugee children leaves Italy reeling.
Middle East Eye.
The issue of unaccompanied refugee children has not been a recent issue but an issues authorities have been dealing with for years. The number of unaccompanied children in the refugee crisis has more than doubled since last year. These children are being held in camps in unhealthy and dangerous conditions before being shipped off to different countries. Even when they have arrived in countries these temporary shelters and camps have turned into long term permanent housing. By traveling alone, children are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse both mental and physical.
UK – UK counter-extremism policies ‘violating children’s rights’.
Middle East Eye.
A school program, Prevent, in UK schools is violating the rights of children and has a effect of censorship in schools. The program places a legal oblation on public sector workers to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism or from being ‘radicalized’ by referring cases to the government, often leading to questionable referrals by teachers. The new program has placed a strain on police and community relations.
Yemen – Yemen war: The girl forced to marry at 11 whose story exposes the conflict’s toll on children.
Before the civil war, international and local activists have made strides towards ending child marriages. The story of a girl, 11, forced to marry a man, 25, illustrates the dangers of the still thriving practice. Living in poverty a girl child is seen as an addition expense and marrying her off would ease the economic strain as well as provide income through a dowry for necessities such as medical expenses. Thousands of other children in the middle of the war suffer from malnutrition, severed limbs, bullet wombs and preventable diseases. Young girls further face the danger of dying during births. Funding for aid agencies serving children has decreased dramatically subsequently curtailing operations.
Children’s rights to freedom of religion or belief must be protected, says UN expert.
UN News Centre.
The United Nations expert on religious freedom is calling on governments and religious groups to realize the autonomy, rights, and religious freedom of children. He argues girls from religious minority groups are forcibly abducted and converted to a different religion through early marriage.
Ukraine – Ukraine health officials fear big polio outbreak.
The Ukraine launches a national immunization campaign,in attempt to stop an outbreak of polio, but parents are weary of vaccinations in Ukraine. Doctors however argue that parents’ reservations about vaccinating their children depend on myths about vaccination. Ukraine holds the lowest vaccination rates in Europe and is amongst the lowest in the world. The largely unprotected population raises attention of local and international health workers to the risks of an outbreak of polio.
Indonesia – UNICEF: Indonesia;s infant mortality rate still high.
Although a downward trend, Indonesia’s infant mortality rate remains high. The lack of infrastructure, poor access to health facilities and low number of trained medical workers all contribute to a high infant mortality rate.
India – India deadliest place in world for girl child.
The Times of India.
The gender differential, for example in terms of infant mortality rates, in India makes India one of the worst places to be a girl child. A UN report explains how social-cultural values can explain a high girl child mortality rate in addition to poor health services for pre- and post-natal care.
India – Pune hospital launches free vaccination for girl child.
The Times of India.
A hospital in a city in India offers free vaccination to girls born in the hospital’s maternity wing as well as girls up to age of five from anywhere. Families normally have to pay thousands of rupees for the costs of vaccinations in addition to hospital and medico fees. the high costs of health care and its services fees usually means that families of lower middle class to poor classes cannot afford to vaccinate their children. Given the social and cultural importance of a boy child, often times girl children are denied vaccinations by parents particularly when there is also a boy child in the household.
Nigeria – Nigeria: MSF – Nearly 200 die of starvation at Nigerian refugee camp.
Fleeing Boko Haram, children and their families are forced into refugee camps where they face a food shortage and suffer from malnutrition. Some children are treated for acute malnutrition but many others die from starvation. With the growing strong hold of the militant group in Nigeria and Chad, the number of children suffering and dying from malnutrition will grow.
DR Congo – DRC: 40, 000 people treated for malaria as disease surges.
A huge influx of children with severe cases of malaria reaches the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although there are clinics and facilities treating patients, supplies and logistical support is in short supply. In addition to having to treat malaria, clinics and facilities are having to treat cases of severe malnutrition. When a child has a weak and compromised immune system, partially due to malnutrition, they are more susceptible to other deadly disease including malaria. Small communities and villages have a difficult time receiving treatment due to a lack of knowledge of symptoms and/ or a lack of access to treatment. Establishing awareness campaigns and facilities improves access to health care and improves community awareness.
Facilities face a further problem because treatment medications and drugs are in short supply to facilities.
Indonesia – Most auditors in Asia find child labour in supply chains, survey finds.
The manufacturing sector uses child labour in its supply chain in Asia. Audits have discovered the child labour yet only a third of the cases confirm removing children from factories. No steps are taken to protect children before and after child labour. Often times when children are removed from factories they are put back into bad or worse situations. Poverty forces children to drop out from school and work in factories, with little to no health, safety, and age regulations, to support their families.
Germany – UNICEF demands better conditions for refugee kids in Germany.
The condition that refugee children have to live in, in Germany, face scrutiny. From not being able to attend school to several health issues, including physical and mental abuse and malnutrition, children face traumatizing events of war in their homes and they further face life denying circumstances and human rights abuses in a supposedly place of safety and refuge.
Congo – Six disfigured corpses found along Congo river bank.
Rumours surround the death of six young men which prompts police to launch a transparent investigation into all the deaths. A UN report states that police had executed young men in a anti-gang operation and had dumped some of the bodies along a Congo river. Authorities however have denied the allegations of executions and dumping of bodies.
Uganda – Uganda rolls out compulsory immunization to dispel anti-vaccine myths.
Inter Press Service News Agency.
Many African children do not receive vaccinations for basic and immunisable diseases. Parents choose not to vaccinate their children one reason being rumours that are spread about vaccines causing infertility for example or because of a shortage in facilities providing vaccinations. Parliament has passed an act making vaccinating children mandatory and the act has also prescribed fines and/or jail terms for parents who do not vaccinate their children. The possibility of jail time can persuade parents to vaccinate their children in the name of not going to jail rather than the health of children.
Syria – UNICEF says 25 children reported killed in Syria.
Air strikes carried out by either Syrian or Russian warplanes killed dozens of people including twenty five children. Attacks are carried out in crowed areas, including mosques and city centres, places where women and children are found. UNICEF has condemned these attacks and calls on all parties in the conflict to at least keep children out of the conflict.
India – A new financial bond is helping us get more girls into schools in India.
Not only have the enrolment numbers of girls in school increased, a new form of developing financing has provided data to illustrate how to improve data gather and measuring of performance. This indicates and highlights areas that are in need of improvement(s) and obstacles. With immediate action, greater enrolment numbers and better quality of education is possible. Action is bound to be timely due to the payment by result approach of this form of developing finance.
South Korea – Murder suspect indicted in case which fuelled misogyny fears.
Cases of sexual assault in South Korea have increased in recent years due to entrenched gender discrimination with its roots in religion. Despite public outcry and condemning sexual violence against girls and women, prosecutors argue that it is difficult to categorize these types of assaults and/or murders as hate crimes against women. Some may argue that the justice system turns a blind eye to violence against girls and women.
Malaysia – Some Malaysians’ rejection of vaccines fans fears of disease surge.
Because of strict religious rules parents are choosing not to immunize their children, as a result more and more children are developing and dying from preventable contagious diseases. There are serious long term effects that will affect the whole country. In addition to worrying about potential side effects and efficacy, parents in a Muslim majority Malaysia are concerned about suspicions about vaccines containing pig DNA. While there are no laws making vaccinations mandatory, alternative medicine practitioners argue that parents should have the right to refuse vaccinating their children.
Tanzania – Tanzania launches crackdown on child marriages with 30-year jail terms.
Parents marry their daughters off out of economic necessity although it is known that child marriages are illegal. New provisions in Tanzania outlaw marriage to school age girls under any circumstances. If a girl were to be pregnant or married while in school she will be kicked out. Women’s rights advoacy groups argue that if pregnant girls should be re-admitted and allow to return to school and while in school, life skills should be taught to girls. This is an attempt by the Tanzanian government to provide opportunities for girls to begin and continue an education without having to be exposed to risks of domestic and sexual violence, HIV, death and/ or serious child birth injuries. Rather than punishing the victims, the perpetrators, men who marry and impregnate school age girls, should be held responsible.
Syria – Child refugees pay the highest price.
The Japan Times.
Half of the world’s registered refugees are children. The case of Syria is top priority because it remains the most dangerous place to be a child, facing poverty, war and abuse. While international aid has helped there are at least 1 million children living in areas that cannot be reached by aid workers. In addition the country’s already over worked health care system cannot support the population that has been displaced or affected by the war. Many doctors and health care providers are either killed or scared off by the violence leaving no one to help. As a result, immunization rates have fallen, illness have reemerged and the severity of cases has increased. In addition to facing rising health problems, including PTSD and self harm, refugee children in Syria are denied access to education, making them vulnerable targets for exploitation and abuse.
Iraq – Islamic state tightens grips on captives held as sex slaves.
The Washington Post.
The Islamic State continues to abduct, abuse and force women and girls into sex slavery. The system the militant group sets up for abducting and selling women and girls is so technical and systematic that it makes it near to impossible for those abducted to escape. If they do manage to leave the grips of their captors, security forces and checkpoints are aware of the girl escaping from her owner. Several girls who try to escape end up dead from explosions or shootings, if they are luck they escape but with scars that will last a life time. An 18 year girl who attempted to flee with other girls finally escaped but was left blind in her right eye and scarred by melted skin due to a land mine explosion. The other girls she fled with were killed by the same explosion. As the days go by, if not rescued, the odds of a recuse grow slimmer and the chances of assassinations are greater.
Nigeria – Boko Haram’s other human tragedy: malnutrition.
Children and new borns have a greater chance of starving to death in Nigeria as the fight between Boko Haram and Nigeria’s military does not show signs of resolving. Several people have been killed and millions have been displaced by the insurgency. Farmland has been severely effected, decreasing access to food even further. Malnutrition and diarrhoea remains the top illnesses causing death among children and new borns. Supplies of food and vitamin supplements has helped to a certain extent but, stocks are dwindling. International aid and assistance has fallen short while local authorities’ ability to cope with the circumstances has been strained.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/boko-harams-other-human-tragedy-malnutrition-040657979.html?ref=gs&utm_content=buffer04002&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo3aR1KxShs
Iraq – Mosul attack could leave thousands of children homeless, says Unicef.
About a third of children in Iraq have been displaced by the ongoing civil war and the situation has the potential to worsen based on planned expected military attacks to seize back control of Islamic State held cities. The already and future displaced children are vulnerable to militant groups recruiting civilians to fight. Several cities and migrant camps are already strained with supplies of water, food, shelter and more; the planned attacks can hinder trade and access to the already strained supply of food. A conversation needs to take place between NGO/humanitarian workers and the military to coordinate a joint cooperation for a comprehensive plan on how to deal to the current exposure to conflict and future fall out from the planned attacks.
Iraq – Amid violence and displacement, child labour doubles in Iraq.
Children and their families are forced out of their homes into camps because of violence. Out of necessity, to help support their families, children are forced to quit school and work full time. There are mixed views amongst children regarding having to leave school to work. Some see it as hindering their education while others view it as learning a trade or craft that would be beneficial later on in life. Children in the camps are vulnerable to abduction, sexual violence and recruitment into armed groups. They are lured and recruited into armed groups with the appeal of making money or the provision of basic necessities, i.e. food and water.
Iraq – Millions of Iraqi children repeatedly and relentlessly targeted, says UN.
Due to violence and battles in and around Syria millions of children have been displaced from homes and have subsequently made them vulnerable to recruitments into armed groups. Children are not only recruited but blatantly abducted from homes. These children, more often boys, are used by armed groups in fighting and suicide bombings while young girls and women are used for sexual slavery. Those recruited or not recruited are exposed to haunting images of war crimes creating fear and hatred in impressionable minds and psychological trauma that will last a life time. The number of children recruited, abducted and abused have increased in the last year – 1.3 million in 18 months. Wether abducted or not, children are deprived of a childhood. They are not afforded an education and/or they are forced not to attend school to work instead.
Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s children of war.
Afghanistan is amongst the most dangerous places in the world to be a child. Everyday the most vulnerable, women and children, are killed by roadside bombs and face escalating violence. Several children are orphaned by bombings and shootings and are forced into poverty. Years of international humanitarian and NGO aid has done little to improve conditions or to decrease abuse and violence. While NATO forces have withdrawn and international aid has done little to help, children of war are moving further and further away from ‘normal lives’.
Germany – Rape and child abuse ‘are rife in German refugee camps’: Unsegregated conditions blamed as women are ‘seen as fair game’ in overcrowded migrant centres.
Unaccompanied women and children in refugee camps across Germany and Europe are more vulnerable to rape and sexual assaults. While some incidents are reported, figures may actually be higher than reported since many incidents go unreported. If the problem goes unrecognized and untreated the number of incidents may rise due to the announcement that there is no limit to the number migrants the country would take. Although taking in an unlimited number of migrants may seem charitable and idealistic, the conditions men, women and children have to endure are often less than ideal, i.e. being unprotected, leaving women and children even more vulnerable to assaults.
Canada – Human trafficking can happen to any child.
A country’s success in economic and political development often times overlooks the problem of human trafficking. People believe that trafficking could not exist in a country like Canada. The misconceptions that are drawn between prostitution and human trafficking, e.g. thinking that working in the sex trade is always by choice, further contributes to the worsening of the human trafficking problem. The generalized abuse, manipulation and enslavement that is thought of Europe or South East Asia also characterizes human trafficking of women and children in North America. Also, the sex trade does not discriminate; young girls and boys of all varieties of social and economic class are forced into trafficking unbeknown to parents.
China – China says abusive child labour ring is exposed.
The New York Times.
Some cities in China should be recognized for the efforts they make towards eradicating child labor by penalizing businesses through institutional mechanisms. Despite efforts of the police in a Chinese province forming special task forces to search for child labourers, little to no information is provided by the police about the real numbers of child labourers or about the companies employing them. Business justify their use of child labour by citing the rising costs of labour, energy, raw material and labour shortages.
The child trafficking separates parents and children with no hope of reuniting them. In a special and unusual case one father was able to reunite with his son after his son was kidnapped from the family’s vegetable stall. Other families are not so lucky. Law enforcement take little to no steps towards finding missing children, forcing families to take investigations into their own hands. One father created a website dedicated to finding his son. The Chinese government is considering harsher penalties for those who sell and buy children.
South Asia – Horrors of Human Trafficking in South Asia.
The New York Times.
Facing religious persecution, poverty and other life threatening circumstances, minority groups are lured by the promise of safety and jobs. Often times children are kidnapped and sold into the human and sex trafficking trade. Groups are pushed into migrating and/or trafficking because of the conditions and policies in their home countries. For example in Myanmar, a law has been passed restricting the right of Rohingya women to have children. Several policies have created pre-genocidal conditions. The governments have condemned trafficking and the migrant crisis yet they have not taken steps towards improving conditions that creates an environment for trafficking.
Europe – Migrant crisis: Child trafficking on rise in EU.
The presence of war and persecution has been fuelling the migrant crisis. Accompanying the increase in migrants across the world is an increase in child trafficking by gangs. Children of poor communities are particularly vulnerable to gang affiliated trafficking. Young girls are trafficked into the sex trade and there has been increase in unaccompanied children seeking asylum. Other children are forced into petty crimes, begging and exploited for sex.
Turkey – Hidden child labour: how Syrian refugees in Turkey are supplying Europe with fast fashion.
Rather than attending school, Syrian refugee children are forced to work long hours under poor conditions and low wages in factories especially if they are not afforded a space in refugee camps. Outside of camps, refugees receive little to no help from the state. A major industry in which Syrian refugees find work is in the garment industry due to the lack of regulation. Because the refugees do not have the right to work, they are forced to work illegally. Combining an unregulated industry and working illegally makes the conditions under which refugee children work discriminatory and possibly inhumane.
Kenya – Breaking the silence.
A refugee camp in Kenya houses victims of rape. During the HIV/AIDS crisis there was a myth believed by men that sex with a virgin would cure them. More likely to be the cause of child rape, the HIV/AIDS crisis had left several children orphaned and vulnerable to predatory adults.
Afghanistan: Taliban Child Soldier Recruitment Surges.
Human Rights Watch.
In direct violation of the international prohibition on the use of child soldiers, the Taliban in Afghanistan have been recruiting children for the production and planting of IEDs. Islamic schools have been the fronts for the Taliban indoctrinating and training children. The Taliban educated children learn material and skills that are conducive to the Taliban themselves.
Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone Rebels Forcefully Recruit Child Soldiers.
Human Rights Watch.
The rebel forces of Sierra Leone are forcing children, even those who had laid down their arms, to join the rebel combat mission. The children are placed on the front lines, forced to commit abuses, forced to carry loads of looted good and girls are regularly raped. If the children do not cooperate rebels put pressure on children to join the combat by threatening to sell them, kill them or by promising false hopes that the rebels have located their families and could one day be reunited with them.
Sudan – South Sudan: Government Forces Recruiting Child Soldiers.
Human Rights Watch.
Child soldiers are often believed to be recruited by rebel and/or militant forces in conflict. In Sudan, both sides of the conflict have recruited and deployed boys as young as 13 to be soldiers, therefore implicating both the Sudanese government and rebel/militant forces of war crimes and violations of human rights. In some cases young boys were either forcibly recruited from UN bases and others voluntarily left. Forces are even forcibly recruiting children from inside the town. In Sudan children are going to war instead of going to school.
China – Kidnapped and Sold: Inside the Dark World of Child Trafficking in China.
Child trafficking plays an major role in child adoption in China. Unknowingly some Americans have adopted babies from China that have been kidnapped, purchased and essentially resold for profit. Chinese orphanages forge and purchase adoption papers for these babies making the adoption seem legitimate; every aspect of these adoptions are fraud. Chinese government officials have acknowledge the child trafficking in adoption does exist but not steps are taken to quantify the issue or to prevent and stop trafficking.
Canada – Frustrated University of Ottawa students take fight against ‘rape culture’ into their own hands.
The Globe and Mail.
A Canadian university launched a task force long after reports of allegations of sexual assault made against several members of the schools men’s hockey team. The school administration has not taken any academic action against the perpetrators stating that that is one of the responsibilities of the task force. School administration further states that they are willing to cooperate with independent groups, when they have incident(s) to report the administration will take them into account. What students and society is frustrated about is that the school administration has to hear incident reports from a third party rather than the victim themselves and the administration is taking a passive stance.
Canada – ‘Honour killings’ on the rise in Canada: Expert.
Female victims of rape and sexual assault are often times in the Muslim face further abuse through honour killings. In Pakistan, if a girl was raped she could be accused of infidelity or premarital sex. Recent honour killing cases in Canada involved Muslims, however; honour killings take place in several religions including Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity. In Canada honour killings often involve first generation girls having to struggle with the balancing of the culture clash despite any religious background. Psychiatrists argue that religion is often used as an excuse to get lenient sentences or that what is behind most cases is mental health issues.
India – Horrifying: Parents in India are using ‘corrective rape’ to cure homosexual children.
First Post India.
The LGBTQ community, both male and female, in India face physical abuse in the form of corrective rape. Out of fear of physical and psychological repercussions, victims often do not report incidents of rape or assault.
India – Indian girl, 14, shot dead for resisting advances of two men.
A teenage girl and her older sister were shot after being harassed by two men on motorcycles. Although the men were arrested, the sisters did not receive any help after filing multiple complaints of harassment and being regularly staked by men before the shooting incident.
Pakistan – Pakistani teenage girl burned alive in ‘honour killing’ after helping friend elope.
The event of honour killing is not strange to Pakistan. The traditional assembly of leaders in a Pakistani village kidnapped, assaulted and killed a teenage girl for helping her friend flee the village to marry of her own free will. This was seen as being bringing dishonour to the girl’s family and village. The punishment of strangling and being shot up with drugs before being burned was presented as being a deterrent to girls. Efforts by the Pakistani government in Punjab to protect women against physical, financial and psychological abuse are being countered by religious groups for promoting obscenity and the destruction of the country’s traditional family system.
India – India is in denial about its rape culture – but then so are we.
Government officials in India choose to ignore the issue of rape culture in hopes that the issue just goes away. Funding for rape crisis centres in India has been cut in the belief that local authorities are equipped to deal with rape cases. Responsibility of being rape and for the nature of the assault is placed entirely on the victim, more than likely a female. The rape culture in India and other similar countries are perpetuated by ideas about how proper females should conduct themselves and that if attacked no one would listen to the victim for the reason that the victim was unbecoming or irresponsible.
South Africa – Is South Africa’s education system really ‘in crisis’?
In addition to high failure rates, South Africa is home to high drop out rates not only in upper years or higher education but in primary grades such as grade one. The lack of funding and language barriers ensures that there is no fair and equal quality education for all. Perpetuating remnants of apartheid, access to education is difficult for certain social and economic groups; black children are packed into mini-busses and driven at least 19 miles away to schools in white only suburbs which are better funded and resourced with qualified teachers, school buildings and educational material.
UK – ‘Decade of delay’ for children with mental health issues.
Long waiting times for addressing a mental health problem in youth deepens and develops the problem even further. The awareness of mental health issues in youth is low which lengthens the period a child is left without treatment or health. This pushes a child to a crisis point where quality and availability of treatment is low. Funding needs to be increased to support families, to increase education for awareness and to improve waiting times for treatments.
India – Secrets of the Autistic Mind.
The presence of mental health issues in India had been overlooked and ignored. Disorders have been misdiagnosed, treated wrongfully, and been blamed for on bad parenting. There are severals myths that surround mental health in India, this articles debunks some of the most common myths.
Preventable child deaths not always linked to poorest countries: UNICEF.
Inter Press Service News Agency.
It is often assumed that child mortality rates is proportional and equivalent to the stage of economic development of a country, but a recent UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report proves otherwise. Children under five dying of preventable also occurs in rich countries and child morality rates with rich countries also varies. One key point to take away from the report is that education has the potential to improve several aspects including decreasing child marriages of girls, delaying births and to seek treatment for children if or when they fall ill.
Venezuela – As food supplies dwindle in Venezuela, children feel sharp pinch.
The Christian Science Monitor.
With the increasingly scare food source, the cost of food going up more quickly than wages and inflation, children and teachers in Venezuela are forced to skip school to stand in the extremely long grocery store lines in hopes of receiving food. Venezuela’s food shortage can further lead to negative health consequences for children including stunted physical growth or mental capacities due to severe malnutrition.