ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN 
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Compilation of information and writing on these pages are the hard work of 

KARA volunteer Eshanee Singh

 

We all look to the government to provide support that protects children.

There is a disturbing trend of state inaction

preventing or even intervening in child welfare violations.

To hold our governments accountable and to ensure the well-being of children, more of us need to

contact our local politicians and policy makers and make our concerns known.

Be relentless as the Voice for At Risk Children 

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A common theme over the last decade is that children, the most vulnerable group of our society, has increasingly faced, and still continues to face, the burnt and burden of the consequences of decisions made by government. It would seemingly be assumed that the effects on children would be considered when policy decisions are implemented through legislation or political or government action, but that is sadly not the case. The following news stories are all examples of where government or those with power and privilege has continued to fail to provide and protect children.

 

Uganda – No time to play: Childhood in Uganda’s biggest refugee settlement.

Al Jazeera

Uganda receives increasing numbers of unaccompanied child refugees fleeing from civil wars. Parents are either killed while fleeing war or make the hard choice to return in order to earn money from their family. In addition to being land locked, Uganda faces challenges as many Ugandans themselves have been displaced due to armed rulers. Child while in settlements face serious dangers such as sexual exploitations, early pregnancy and robbery. Community based protection and foster families do offer some relief however, spending a childhood in refugee and settlement camps while being separated from families arguably will deeply affect growth, development and an enjoyable life.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/time-play-childhood-uganda-biggest-refugee-camp-200101080357207.html

 

World – Millions of children in need of humanitarian assistance heading into new year.

CBC News.

The many years of war and armed conflict has been and continues to rob children of a simple childhood. Children increasing face recruitment to be soldiers, exploitation and trafficking. The 59 million child in 64 countries in need of urgent humanitarian assistance illustrates how deeply entrenched these issues are. With armed conflicts lasting 4 years, 9 years and some with no foreseeable end, children are being born into war and are growing up within the war and knowing nothing different. Armed conflicts have and continue to affect a child’s education as schools are often the target of attacks or are taken over and used as shelters and distribution centres. As being of the most vulnerable citizens of society, children face and bear the brunt of decisions that do not account for them at all.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-child-welfare-1.5367654

 

Canada – No way out: How a mother is fighting to keep her Indigenous children out of care.

The Globe and Mail.

Indigenous children are 10 times more likely to be removed from their families than non-Indigenous children. This statistic is however question and may be greater as Canada’s national date on child welfare has significant gaps. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called on the government of Canada to child the child welfare system and address the systemic discrimination it carries as there is a potential risk and harm to children and families to face the first level of biases of the system in addition to spiritual, cultural and psychological damage unique to Indigenous children.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-bc-indigenous-child-welfare-fight/

 

Congo – Apple, Good, Microsoft, Dell, Tesla sued over allged child labour in Congo.

CTV News.

A class action lawsuit has been filed, on behalf of anonymous plaintiffs, who are described as guardians of children that have been killed or maimed in tunnel or wall collapses in cobalt mines. Cobalt is one of the main parts of lithium ion batteries, batteries which are used in rechargeable electronic gadgets. Young children are often used in the mining of cobalt for their cheap and unregulated labour. It is claimed that the named companies are knowingly benefitting and aiding and abetting the use of child labour to mine cobalt.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/apple-google-microsoft-dell-tesla-sued-over-alleged-child-labour-in-congo-1.4733644

 

Nestle’s ambition to eliminate child labour from cocoa: ‘It may take many years to get there’

Food Navigator.

Nestle and International Cocoa Initiative partners, aiming to prevent and identify instances of child labour throughout the cocoa supply chain. While Nestle has stated it is committed to tackling the factors that lead to child labour, some analysts criticize Nestle for not guaranteeing zero poverty or a living income in their supply chain at the level of cocoa farmers.However, it is argued that increasing the price of cocoa, so as to increase the wages of farmers, may in fact have the opposite effect and increase instances of child labour.

https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/12/13/Nestle-talks-child-labour-in-cocoa

 

England – Grooming ‘epidemic’ as almost 19, 000 children identified as sexual exploitation victims in England.

The Independent.

Grooming is one of the largest forms of child abuse in the country putting children at the risk of sexual exploitation. It is argued that victims are scared to report their abusers because of the lack of police investigations and support for victims. While the police have stated that they are committed to prosecuting more perpetrators and while anger is directed at the government for a lack of prevention and intervention, it is argued that internet and social media companies also need to be held accountable in the growing dependency on the internet as a grooming tool.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grooming-child-sex-abuse-exploitation-rotherham-rochdale-police-a9215261.html

 

Egypt’s top court says ‘Urfi’ marriage of minors is a violation of children’s rights

Egypt Independent.

A court in Egypt has denounced child marriages, stating that it is inconsistent with the implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and calls upon the media to raise awareness surrounding the impact on children.

https://egyptindependent.com/egypts-top-court-says-urfi-marriage-of-minors-is-a-violation-of-childrens-rights/

 

UK – Councils should ‘step up’ over child migrants.

BBC News.

An increase in the number of migrant children on the coast of the UK has council calling on the government to step up and to provide more support and wider dispersals of children.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-kent-50842364

 

Here’s what life is like for child migrants at Mexico’s Southern Border.

Huffington Post.

With an increase in the number of women and child migrants, organizations have begun to shift their focus to the physical and psychological needs of children that accompany the long detention periods many child migrants face.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/heres-what-life-is-like-for-child-migrants-at-mexicos-southern-border_n_5dc9868de4b02bf57943ec5c?ri18n=true

US: Child Welfare in Crisis (Audio)
City Journal – December 31, 2019
Naomi Schaefer Riley joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the state of the American child-welfare services, and describes and what some nonprofits are doing to improve foster care across the country.
https://www.city-journal.org/child-welfare-services

 

US: Greyhound giving free tickets home to runaway children (Includes video)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution – December 31, 2019
About two million children and teens runaway from home every year, but Greyhound and the National Runaway Safeline are partnering to give children a bus ticket to reunite with their families.
https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/greyhound-giving-free-tickets-home-runaway-children/Mj0tcwmOWlzfl04DKUDgyJ/

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Canada: New laws and rules coming into effect in 2020
CTV News – January 01, 2020
Legislation known as the Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families will come into full force on Jan. 1, 2020. It is meant to overhaul Canada’s Indigenous child welfare system, which critics have for years described as inadequate and discriminatory.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/new-laws-and-rules-coming-into-effect-in-2020-1.4743005

 

International: In Just 20 Years, Over 220 Million Children Have Been Saved From Marriage, Labor, and Violence
Good News Network – January 01, 2020
As English political philosopher Thomas Hobbes famously stated in his treatise On Commonwealth, life without the commonwealth was “nasty, brutish, and short”. In commemoration of its founding 100 years ago, Save the Children has released its third Global Childhood Report-and it contains figures that would make Hobbes blush. In Hobbes’ day, the average male life expectancy was about 35 to 45 years at birth in England; now the chances for a child-even in rural Africa-of reaching adulthood unmarried, nourished, and educated education, are getting stronger and stronger.
Report: Changing Lives in Our Lifetime: https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/node/15264/pdf/ch1338551_0.pdf
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/2019-save-the-children-annual-report/

 

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s fight against child marriage
Arab News – January 01, 2020
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice has taken important steps to combat child marriage, warning licensed individuals who conclude marriage contracts (Maa’zoun) to ensure that the Kingdom’s child protection laws are upheld. Poverty and cultural traditions, as well as social pressure and illiteracy, are blamed for early marriage.
https://www.arabnews.com/node/1606796

Armenia: Four Arrested in Ongoing Illegal International Adoption Investigation
Armenia Weekly – December 23, 2019
The Investigative Committee of Armenia arrested three civil servants late last week in connection with the National Security Service’s (NSS) ongoing investigation into illegal international adoptions. Officials arrested Liana Karapetyan, the director of a Yerevan orphanage; Razmik Abrahamyan, the director of the Republican Maternity Hospital; and Arshak Jerjeryan, Abrahamyan’s deputy director at the hospital. Abrahamyan had also served as head Obstetrician and Gynecologist of Armenia for several years.
https://armenianweekly.com/2019/12/23/four-arrested-in-ongoing-illegal-international-adoption-investigation/

 

Romania: & United Kingdom: Romanian court upholds acquittal of UK trafficking suspects
BBC – December 23, 2019
A Romanian court has upheld the acquittals of 25 men accused of running a major child-trafficking operation. The men were arrested in 2010 as part of a large joint operation with British police – where children were rescued in London raids.
Also: Romanian Verdict Acquitting Alleged Roma Child Traffickers Condemned: https://balkaninsight.com/2019/12/23/romania-court-acquits-25-men-accused-of-trafficking-roma-children/
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50895988
US: Top Stories of 2019: The Indian Child Welfare Act Under Fire (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – December 23, 2019
Forty-one years ago, Congress approved the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) after years of painstaking research and activism revealed that up to 30 percent of all Native American children had been removed from their parents by state and local governments, and were often placed into the homes of white families. ICWA has been challenged in court numerous times, most recently in the 2018 case Brackeen v. Zinke, which called into question the law’s connection to sovereignty as opposed to race. This year saw a number of developments in the Brackeen case.
https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/top-stories-of-2019-the-indian-child-welfare-act-under-fire/39530
Ghana: Islam does not condone child marriage – UWR Chief Imam
Ghana News – December 24, 2019
Imam Alhaji Kanihi who stated this in an exclusive interview with the Ghana News Agency in Wa, pointed out clearly that the practice was still in effect today but stressed that the man only shares bed with such a girl when she attained the age of maturity as was in the case of Prophet Mohammed and Ayisha. He emphasized that even such a girl had the right to refuse to marry the man when she becomes of age, stressing that it was not compulsory for the girl to still go ahead to marry the man if she did not like him.
https://religion.einnews.com/article/505696565?lcf=wPYi6KY1O-Jhzw-LjOZgLQ%3D%3D

 

International: Ten Feminist Victories Heard Around the World from the Last 10 Years
Ms. Magazine – December 24, 2019
Women around the world fought hard to expand their rights over the last decade-and made significant gains in many areas, including political representation, reproductive health and combatting violence against women. In 2012, the UN passed a resolution outlawing female genital mutilation and declared the first UN Day of the Girl on October 11 to highlight the challenges and needs of girls and women across the world. Child marriage declined around the world over the last decade.
https://msmagazine.com/2019/12/24/ten-feminist-victories-heard-around-the-world-from-the-last-10-years/

 

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia moves to ban child marriage with a new ruling
National (United Arab Emirates) – December 23, 2019
Saudi Arabia on Monday issued a de facto ban on child marriages, in another social reform initiated since Mohammad Bin Salman became crown prince two years ago. The Justice Ministry issued an order to the courts that any marriage application for someone under the age of 18 would have to be referred to a special court to make sure that “marrying those below 18-years old will not harm them and will achieve their best interest, whether they are male or female”.
https://www.thenational.ae/world/gcc/saudi-arabia-moves-to-ban-child-marriage-with-a-new-ruling-1.955310

 

Vietnam: PM approves national action plan on prevention of child violence, abuse
Vietnam Plus – December 25, 2019
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the national action plan on preventing and combating violence and abuse of children in the 2020-2025 period.
https://en.vietnamplus.vn/pm-approves-national-action-plan-on-prevention-of-child-violence-abus/166151.vnp
US: Adopted Children – Rehoming Legal Issues
HG.org – December 24, 2019
Some adopted children will face situations where the biological parents want the youth to return home for some reason. The adoption paperwork may undergo a loss of consent. While the current adoption process may require a court case to dissolve the relationship, the child may suffer from the loss of his or her current family. Both legal and traumatic impact is possible that cause the young person injury. The legal aspects could tie up the adoption and biological parents in a case that could take years. If the youth is not able to stay with his or her adoptive family, this could further increase difficulties that could affect school and temperament.
https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/adopted-children-rehoming-legal-issues-48391

 

US: Top Stories of 2019: The Faith-Based Battle Comes to Washington (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – December 24, 2019
In 2018, three states – Kansas, Oklahoma and South Carolina – passed legislation that permits discrimination by faith-based child welfare providers in choosing who they serve. Those three join seven other states that let government-funded providers choose clients based on sexual orientation, marital status or religion. Legal battles over the legislation have already started in some states, and advocacy groups in other ones are contemplating similar challenges. The issue of using taxpayer dollars for child welfare services, but following religiously-influenced selection processes, seems destined for the Supreme Court one day.
https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/featured/the-faith-based-battle-comes-to-washington/39726
US: Behind the troubling rise of uninsured American kids (Includes video)
PBS – December 23, 2019
Over a million children have fallen out of public health insurance programs since December 2017. In some cases, their parents acquired coverage at work. But researchers also see a troubling rise in uninsured children — and say the Trump administration’s policies are partially to blame. Special correspondent Sarah Varney reports from Tennessee, where the rate of uninsured kids has soared.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/behind-the-troubling-rise-of-uninsured-american-kids
International: Ten Feminist Victories Heard Around the World from the Last 10 Years
Ms. Magazine – December 24, 2019
Women around the world fought hard to expand their rights over the last decade-and made significant gains in many areas, including political representation, reproductive health and combatting violence against women. In 2012, the UN passed a resolution outlawing female genital mutilation and declared the first UN Day of the Girl on October 11 to highlight the challenges and needs of girls and women across the world. Child marriage declined around the world over the last decade.
https://msmagazine.com/2019/12/24/ten-feminist-victories-heard-around-the-world-from-the-last-10-years/
Ghana: Islam does not condone child marriage – UWR Chief Imam
Ghana News – December 24, 2019
Imam Alhaji Kanihi who stated this in an exclusive interview with the Ghana News Agency in Wa, pointed out clearly that the practice was still in effect today but stressed that the man only shares bed with such a girl when she attained the age of maturity as was in the case of Prophet Mohammed and Ayisha. He emphasized that even such a girl had the right to refuse to marry the man when she becomes of age, stressing that it was not compulsory for the girl to still go ahead to marry the man if she did not like him.
https://religion.einnews.com/article/505696565?lcf=wPYi6KY1O-Jhzw-LjOZgLQ%3D%3D
Vietnam: PM approves national action plan on prevention of child violence, abuse
Vietnam Plus – December 25, 2019
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the national action plan on preventing and combating violence and abuse of children in the 2020-2025 period.
https://en.vietnamplus.vn/pm-approves-national-action-plan-on-prevention-of-child-violence-abus/166151.vnp
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia moves to ban child marriage with a new ruling
National (United Arab Emirates) – December 23, 2019
Saudi Arabia on Monday issued a de facto ban on child marriages, in another social reform initiated since Mohammad Bin Salman became crown prince two years ago. The Justice Ministry issued an order to the courts that any marriage application for someone under the age of 18 would have to be referred to a special court to make sure that “marrying those below 18-years old will not harm them and will achieve their best interest, whether they are male or female”.
https://www.thenational.ae/world/gcc/saudi-arabia-moves-to-ban-child-marriage-with-a-new-ruling-1.955310
US: Researchers look at factors outside the family that cause child neglect
Phys.org – December 03, 2019
A recent paper by two UConn researchers and their colleagues highlights the importance of examining factors outside the family that contribute to child neglect. This research strategy could help policymakers and social agencies design programs to reduce child maltreatment-specifically, neglect.
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-factors-family-child-neglect.html

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Finland: Children born preterm are more likely to be placed outside the home
EurekAlert – December 27, 2019
Children born prematurely, i.e. before week 37, are more likely to be placed outside the home as a supportive child welfare measure than their full-term counterparts, according to a population study conducted by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The more premature a child is born, the greater the probability that the child will be placed outside the home.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-12/nifh-cbp122719.php

 

US: Fraud Reporting Statute Immunizes Those Reporting (Commentary)
LexBlog – December 26, 2019
Does New York Public Health Law (§) 230 (11) (b) create a private right of action for bad-faith and malicious reporting to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct?
https://www.lexblog.com/2019/12/26/fraud-reporting-statute-immunizes-those-reporting/
US: More LGBTQ millennials plan to have kids regardless of income, survey finds
NBC News – December 27, 2019
Family Equality polled 500 LGBTQ and 1,004 non-LGBTQ adults, and found that the desire to become parents is nearly identical among both lower- and higher-income lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Forty-five to 53 percent of LGBTQ people between the ages of 18 and 35 are planning to become parents for the first time or add another child to their family (compared to 55 percent for their non-LGBTQ counterparts, a gap that has narrowed significantly compared to older generations).And those making less than $25,000 a year plan to have children at a similar rate to those making over $100,000, according to the report.
https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/more-lgbtq-millennials-plan-have-kids-regardless-income-survey-finds-n1107461
US: ‘Feeling Like We Belong’: U.S. Adoptees Return To South Korea To Trace Their Roots (Includes audio)
WEAA – December 27, 2019
Kim was among the first wave of a 200,000-strong exodus of adoptees, as South Korea became the world’s first source of international adoptions. She was born in 1955, two years after the Korean War cease-fire. In recent decades, adoptees like Kim have been returning to South Korea to find out more about where they come from, build ties with their birth families and connect with others with similar experiences.
https://www.weaa.org/post/feeling-we-belong-us-adoptees-return-south-korea-trace-their-roots#stream/0
US: Black Mothers Are Treated Less for Postpartum Depression Than Other Moms
Truthout – December 27, 2019
Nationally, postpartum depression affects 1 in 7 mothers. Medical guidelines recommend counseling for all women experiencing postpartum depression, and many women also find relief by taking general antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft).
https://truthout.org/articles/black-mothers-are-treated-less-for-postpartum-depression-than-other-moms/
US: 2020 Should Launch Zero Tolerance on Psychotropic Drugging of Foster Youth (Press release)
PressCable – December 30, 2019
This year highlighted the ongoing psychotropic drugging of foster care children and adolescents despite a decade of exposure of the risks of these drugs, according to Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) International. The group says 2020 should be the year to launch a government zero tolerance policy to using mind-altering drugs on children, especially those in foster care. Immigrant children being held in psychiatric institutions, including those owned by for-profit companies, deserve the same protections, CCHR says.
https://marketersmedia.com/2020-should-launch-zero-tolerance-on-psychotropic-drugging-of-foster-youth/88940838
US: Top Stories of 2019: A Youth-Led Effort to Prevent Homelessness for Teens in Foster Care
Chronicle of Social Change – December 30, 2019
Research on youth aging out of the foster care system shows a staggering number of them will experience bouts of homelessness as they shift from state supervision to the sometimes scary independence of adulthood. This year, a group led by current and former foster youths helped craft and implement a new federal policy to help address this problem. The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities (FSHO) Coalition – which includes youth-led ACTION Ohio and the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare – convinced Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to free up millions of existing dollars for a targeted voucher that can be used by aging out foster youths to quickly access public housing.
https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/featured/a-youth-led-effort-to-prevent-homelessness-for-teens-in-foster-care/39878
US: ‘Destroying these kids’: The foster children growing up in detention centers
Wasington Post – December 30, 2019
“We are just destroying these kids. They’re warehoused into emergency shelters, out-of-state institutions and juvenile detention centers, which can cause lifelong emotional trauma – their childhoods spent segregated from the outside world,” said Marcia Lowry, executive director of A Better Childhood (ABC). The nonprofit has filed lawsuits against 10 states alleging that agencies tasked with caring for children instead “infringe upon the rights of its foster children, jeopardizing their most basic needs.” The most recent lawsuit was filed against West Virginia in the fall.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/we-are-just-destroying-these-kids-the-foster-children-growing-up-inside-detention-centers/2019/12/30/97f65f3a-eaa2-11e9-9c6d-436a0df4f31d_story.html

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