KARA tracks current news around the world about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
These stories are a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.
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Australia: Collaboration proves vital for children in crisis
University of South Australia – July 27, 2017
Understanding the benefits of child protection, police, and child and family advocates and therapists working together in local communities to respond to allegations of sexual and other severe child abuse has been the focus of recent research led by the University of South Australia’s Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP).
Canada: ‘This is what reconciliation looks like’: Northern First Nations regain control of child welfare services
CBC News – July 28, 2017
First Nations in northern Manitoba have regained control over child welfare services in their communities. After 2½ years of meetings, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Manitoba government have signed an agreement that ends control of the northern authority by a government-appointed administrator.
Canada: Foster boy’s death a result of child welfare failings, Alberta judge says
Canadian Press – July 28, 2017
An Alberta judge says the death of a foster boy from abuse was a direct result of the failure of provincial child welfare to deal with his case properly. Kawliga Potts was three years old when he died in 2007 of extensive head trauma in Edmonton. His foster parent, Lily Choy, was later sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter.
Also: Judge blames social workers’ ‘failure’ to do their jobs for 2007 death of foster child: http://www.calgarysun.com/2017/07/28/judge-blames-social-workers-failure-to-do-their-jobs-for-2007-death-of-foster-child
International: Child abuse and neglect in the islands
Marianas Variety (Northern Mariana Islands) – July 31, 2017
According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discrimination against women substantially influence the levels of child physical abuse and child neglect. Specifically, greater levels of discrimination against women, greater gender inequity and greater gender gaps are associated with higher rates of child physical abuse and child neglect. Experts say efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect might benefit from reducing gender inequity.
International: Gender inequality linked to child abuse, neglect: study
Press Trust of India – July 30, 2017
Children growing up in societies that experience high levels of gender inequality are more likely to be abused and neglected, a study warns. The data was based on surveys conducted by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Demographic and Health Surveys conducted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2011 to 2015. The study was published in the Journal of Family Violence. Researchers analysed data about severe physical discipline of children, such as being hit, slapped or repeatedly beaten, or child neglect from 57 countries worldwide.
International: On abuse: Francis yet to make critical clerical changes (Opinion)
National Public Radio – July 28, 2017
Pope Francis’ attempts to hold bishops accountable have meant very little because his capacity to do so is limited by the Code of Canon Law. The three bishops he forced to resign – Archbishop John Nienstedt and his auxiliary, Bishop Lee Piché, of St. Paul-Minneapolis, and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri – had breached canon law in force in the United States since 2002 that required them to comply with civil reporting laws.
Jordan: Yemen factions pledge to ease access to aid, agency official says
San Francisco Gate – July 27, 2017
Warring sides in Yemen’s civil war promised visiting U.N. agency chiefs to clear obstacles to aid delivery in a nation where cholera is spreading rapidly and hundreds of thousands of children are severely malnourished, the head of the U.N. child welfare agency said Thursday.
Sudan: In search of safety: South Sudanese children travel alone to reach refugee camps in Darfur
Unicef – July 27, 2017
Over 155,000 refugees from South Sudan have taken refuge in Sudan since the start of the year, including about 100,000 children. With the continued conflict in South Sudan and widespread food insecurity, Sudan expects to receive three times as many refugees in 2017 than what was expected at the beginning of the year.
Brazil: US, Brazil investigate WNC sect accused of abuse, trafficking (Includes video)
Associated Press – July 27, 2017
Ten former members of the Word of Faith Fellowship church say they have been contacted by U.S. federal and state authorities investigating allegations of abuse, forced labor and visa fraud after a series of Associated Press stories about the Western North Carolina-based evangelical sect, which has branches in Brazil and Ghana and affiliations in other countries.
Also: Brazilians detail abuses by US church, shattered lives: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ap-us-church-brazil-instills-fear-splits-families-48828251
Also: Controversial Word of Faith Fellowship Church Accused of Working Brazilians ‘Like Slaves’: http://www.christianpost.com/news/controversial-word-of-faith-fellowship-church-accused-of-working-brazilians-like-slaves-193071/
France: Migrants in France Say Police Abuse Is Common
New York Times – July 26, 2017
“There’s nowhere else that I can think of where I’ve encountered to this extent the use of pepper spray on people who were sleeping and especially on sleeping children,” said Michael Bochenek, senior counsel to the children’s rights division of Human Rights Watch.
International: Diving into overseas adoption
Mission Network News – July 26, 2017
Adoption can be a complicated road with life-changing results, but what happens when you look overseas? Catherine Lafler, International Services Coordinator at Bethany Christian Services, says things are always changing when it comes to international adoption.
Australia: South Australia reportedly drafting laws to force passwords out of suspects
ZDNet / Australian Associated Press – July 26, 2017
State Attorney-General John Rau said the new laws will help police and the courts investigate and prosecute offences involving child exploitation material — admitting advances in technology mean police are increasingly unable to access incriminating material.
Australia: Changes provide forever homes for vulnerable Queensland kids (Press release)
State Government of Queensland – July 22, 2017
Queensland’s most vulnerable children will have a more certain and stable future under proposed changes to the Child Protection Act 1999. Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said as part of the Queensland Government’s proposed changes, new provisions will require that finding a permanent and stable home forms part of the case plan for each child coming into care and a new ‘permanency care order’ will be created.
Canada: Alberta’s Child Advocate Plays the Tattered Residential School Card
Canada Free Press – July 24, 2017
The Government of Alberta’s Child Advocate, Del Graff, is all over the news again. Del and his 65 underlings at the Office of Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) recently reported on three Aboriginal children who died shortly after being returned to their parents following time in government care. Del’s main beef is that the Government isn’t heeding recommendations spelled out in his 2016 report: Voices of Change: Aboriginal Child Welfare in Alberta.
Report: Voices for Change: Aboriginal Child Welfare in Alberta: http://cwrp.ca/publications/3145
Canada: Canada and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations working together to reform child and family services for First Nations in Saskatchewan (Press release)
Government of Canada – July 24, 2017
The well-being of Indigenous children and families is a priority for the Government of Canada. We are taking action and working with partners to help ensure that children receive the health and social services they need, when they need it.
Australia: Child protection staff to be embedded with Queensland Police
News Grio – July 24, 2017
The 12-month trial will be rolled out from September in Toowoomba, Townsville, the Gold Coast and four child protection staff will take up new roles at police headquarters in Brisbane, where they will have access to the Queensland Police Q-Prime database.
Canada: How a Change in Attitude Toward Adoption From Foster Care is Changing Lives Across Canada
Globe Newswire – July 24, 2017
With more than 30,000 children in Canada waiting to be adopted, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is excited to see that more Canadians are seriously considering foster care adoption, and are also embracing the idea that every child is adoptable.
Canada: Beamish sees privacy issues in new child welfare laws
IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals) – July 21, 2017
The new laws will give the Ministry of Children and Youth Services new and broad authority to collect, use and disclose personal information, though the privacy component of the Bill 89, the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, will be the first time children’s aid societies are bound by privacy law.
Germany: Vatican says report on abuse in Germany shows progress in fight against abuse (Includes video)
Catholic Online – July 21, 2017
“It will take time, but this kind of sensitivity that is created by publicly discussing these things of course will push, because people realize what is right and what is wrong, and they realize that they will be questioned if something goes wrong,” Fr. Hans Zollner SJ told CNA July 19.
Greece: Leaving lone refugee minors unprotected: HRW (Includes video)
Press TV – July 20, 2017
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Greece is failing to protect unaccompanied refugee children on the Greek island of Lesbos, warning that Athens is registering lots of lone minors as adults.
Report: Greece: Lone Migrant Children Left Unprotected: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/19/greece-lone-migrant-children-left-unprotected
Russia: Why adoption plays such a big, contentious role in US-Russia relations
Vox – July 22, 2017
For much of the period from the mid-’90s to 2012, Russia was one of the top three “sending” countries supplying adoptable children to the US. (Nos. 1 and 2 in recent years have been China and Ethiopia.) But in late 2012, in retaliation for a US law that imposed sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations (the Magnitsky Act), Russia retaliated by barring US families from adopting Russian children.
Also: What Putin means when he says ‘adoption’ (Opinion): http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-0723-magnitsky-20170720-story.html
United Kingdom: More than 100 child refugees missing in UK after being smuggled from Calais
Independent – July 23, 2017
More than 100 unaccompanied minors known to have crossed from northern France via unauthorised routes since last August remain unaccounted for by British authorities. Of 167 children referred to UK agencies as potential victims of human trafficking after making the crossing, 104 are missing.
United Kingdom: Child Protection Improvement Programme – Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment
Scotish Executive – July 21, 2017
The Child Protection Improvement Programme will directly affect children and young people who come into contact with child protection systems in Scotland, broadly conceived, as a result of concerns being raised about their health and wellbeing. A Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment has been carried out as any emerging recommendations from the Child Protection Improvement Programme will affect the provision of child protection services across Scotland for our children and young people.
United Kingdom: Repeat child protection referrals linked to high caseloads
Children & Young People Now – July 21, 2017
A report commissioned by the Department for Education looking into the issue of repeat referrals to children’s services departments found that, after six years, more than half (55 per cent) of a sample of children who were referred to children’s services in 2010/11 returned to the system at least once.
Also: Children’s services in England: repeat referrals: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childrens-services-in-england-repeat-referrals
Israel: Israel Should Allow Adoption by Same-Sex Couples (Opinion)
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – July 19, 2017
In short, the government is saying that social prejudice could negatively affect children of same-sex couples. But perpetuating discrimination in the name of child welfare is an untenable approach. Barring children from being adopted into loving, supportive families on spurious grounds is hardly in the best interest of the child.
Australia: Indigenous community calls for greater say in ACT foster care system
Newsgrio – July 18, 2017
The ACT Government recently announced a review into the Territory’s foster care system, to address the fact it has the highest rate of Indigenous kids in care in the country. Ms Walker said the Government needed to work with the community before families were separated.
Haiti: Post disaster: Protecting children in Haiti (Press release)
ACTED – July 06, 2017
Following Hurricane Matthew, which swept across the southern peninsula of Haiti in October 2016, a large number of Haitians found themselves in a situation of great vulnerability. The situation of children is particularly at risk: many have no place to stay, and access to education is compromised.
Israel: Israeli government has two months to rethink gay adoption policy, Supreme Court says
Jewish Telegraphic Agency – July 18, 2017
Israel’s Supreme Court has given the government two months to reconsider its opposition to allowing same-sex couples to adopt in the country. Welfare and Social Affairs Minister Haim Katz asked the court Tuesday for an extension to re-examine the issue, saying he wanted to seek more professional opinions.
Also: Israel, play fair with LGBT families! (Opinion): http://religionnews.com/2017/07/18/israel-lgbt-same-sex-adoption/
International: As Cities Grow Worldwide, So Do the Numbers of Homeless (Opinion)
Yale Global Online (Yale University) – July 13, 2017
People openly live on the streets of the world’s major urban centers – from Cairo to Washington, DC – a disconcerting reminder of homelessness. While some maintain homelessness is a solvable problem, others conclude that the condition is an enduring feature of modern urban landscapes. Many of the homeless are reluctant to be enumerated or registered. Homeless youth often avoid authorities who may contact parents or place them in foster care. Some parents may not wish to be labeled as homeless out of fear of losing custody of children. Also, some homeless persons, especially those suffering from mental disorders or substance abuse, fear arrest or confinement at a medical facility for treatment.
Israel: Government will not allow gay couples to adopt in Israel
Times of Israel – July 16, 2017
The government announced on Sunday that there are no intentions to change the law and allow gay couples to adopt in Israel. In response to a High Court petition, the state said that it was opposed to allowing same-sex couples to adopt because it would place an “additional burden” on the child.
Also: Israeli same-sex couples still may not adopt, government says: http://jewishjournal.com/news/israel/221695/israeli-sex-couples-still-may-not-adopt-government-says/
South Korea: Boxed in: S.Korea child law sees more babies abandoned
Daily Mail – July 17, 2017
Birth rates have plummeted to the world’s lowest with factors such as high child-rearing costs and a workaholic culture affecting the situation. But the number of abandoned babies has jumped in recent years in the wake of a law intended to protect children.
Belize: D.H.S.: Abuse reports must be substantiated
News 5 Belize – July 14, 2017
“In terms of the Family and Children’s Act, it specifies two entities that have responsibility to receive and to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect and that is the Department of Human Services and the police department. And so, we receive reports and then a two-track system of response is initiated whereby the Department of Human Services’ role is to look at has the abuse occurred and is the child safe, and how do we make that child safe within that environment. The police looks at whether there has been a crime committed and they follow the course, in terms of bringing justice for that child.”
Also: Foreign embassies assist with DHS cases: http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/149620
Democratic Republic of the Congo: UN refugee agency sounds alarm as displacement sees no end in Kasai region
UN News Centre – July 14, 2017
Mr. Spindler noted that during recent missions to two provinces bordering the main conflict region, Kwilu and Lualaba, UNHCR’s team met some extremely vulnerable new arrivals. “Many said that they spent weeks fleeing through the dense forest without food, drinking water, medicine or clothes and saw people dying on the way, including women and children,” he said. He warned that the risk of sexual abuse and exploitation makes the situation particularly worrying, as many children and women fled on their own and some unaccompanied minors are without proper foster care arrangements.
US: Toolbox: Building a Learning Culture in a Social Services Organization
Youth Today – July 14, 2017
At Graham Windham, a New York City-based child welfare agency, we have been developing a learning culture over time, an investment in improving our outcomes for children and families, while ensuring that we are able to adapt and innovate in the dynamic, evolving field of child welfare. One of Graham’s core pillars is that we grow: We are committed to continuous self-reflection and best practices, with opportunities to develop, practice and master skills with supports along the way.
US: Save Medicaid in Schools Coalition Issues Statement on Updated Senate Health Care Bill (Press release)
School Superintendents Association (ASSA) – July 13, 2017
The Save Medicaid in Schools Coalition issued the following statement today regarding the newest version of the Republican health care plan known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act introduced by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
US: Tell Congress to stop picking on our most vulnerable children! (Opinion)
Bulletin – July 13, 2017
We know many of the 37 million children enrolled in Medicaid today are from poor or low-income families and that 40 percent of children with special health care needs benefit from Medicaid. Among these children are almost half a million foster children, nearly 40 percent of them under age six. These children, invisible to many, are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable.
US: Why We Need to Focus on How Black Women Are Harmed by Police Violence (Opinion)
VICE News – July 13, 2017
There have been many studies of arrests of pregnant and birthing women showing that black women are up to ten times more likely to be referred to child welfare for actual or suspected drug use during pregnancy than white women, despite equal uses of drugs across race.
Also: Criminalizing Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the USA: https://www.amnestyusa.org/reports/criminalizing-pregnancy-policing-pregnant-women-use-drugs-usa/
US: Factbox: Five U.S. states face budget uncertainty in new fiscal year
Reuters – July 12, 2017
Connecticut, Wisconsin and Rhode Island’s legislatures have not yet passed a budget, while Massachusetts’ budget awaits action from state Governor Charlie Baker to either sign or veto it. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf allowed a state spending plan to become law at midnight Monday by not acting on the plan for 10 days. However, lawmakers are still wrestling with filling an approximately $2 billion deficit.
US: I’m a white foster parent seeing racism through my black and brown children’s eyes (Opinion)
Washington Post – July 12, 2017
As a rabbi, I have made it part of my spiritual work to fight this injustice. As an Orthodox Jew, I’ve sensed prejudice at times, but never in a way that I felt harmed me personally. I’ve never directly felt the impact of systemic racism, and have usually thought about race in the abstract. That changed after my wife, our children and I welcomed two foster children of color to our family. For the first time in my life, racism has become personal.
South Korea: South Korean adoptees call for end to international adoption
Korea Times – July 13, 2017
Adoptee-led organisations called on the Korean government to immediately end the “industrialised international adoption” system. The joint declaration, written at the University of California Irvine and addressed to the Moon Jae-in administration, was submitted at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul. In light of the recent death of deported Korean adoptee Philip Clay, members further stressed the need to prevent deportation and enhance the protection of rights for all adoptees.
Canada: Indigenous children are dramatically overrepresented in Canada’s child welfare system
Vice – July 11, 2017
At the root of it all, many say, are longstanding systemic issues that continue to go ignored – from intergenerational trauma caused by government policies seeking to assimilate Indigenous people, to unequal funding that lays the groundwork for child removal.
United Kingdom: Fathers’ experiences of child protection process examined
Science Daily – July 10, 2017
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) challenges assumptions that men in child protection cases do not stay involved in children’s lives and always, or only, pose a risk of harm to their child — fathers in this study were rarely ‘absent’.
Australia: Inside child removal in Australia
Coffs Coast Advocate – July 11, 2017
It seems like the government can be damned if they do, and damned if they don’t when it comes to removing children from their homes. No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. But when it comes to protecting Australian kids at risk of neglect and abuse, our state and territory-based child protection agencies are expected to not only find out what’s happening but to act when a serious threat of harm threatens the health, safety and wellbeing of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
South Africa: Children’s basic human rights will be protected – GDSD
Politics Web – July 10, 2017
The Gauteng Department of Social Development (GDSD) is the custodian of all children in the province and it is mandated by section 28 of the Constitution and the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 to safeguard children’s rights and ensure their wellbeing at all times. As a caring government, we go beyond the legislative imperatives to deliver on this mandate because we are keenly aware that, as Oliver Tambo would put it: “The children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future.”
United Kingdom: Study examines fathers’ experiences of child protection process
Phys.org – July 10, 2017
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) challenges assumptions that men in child protection cases do not stay involved in children’s lives and always, or only, pose a risk of harm to their child-fathers in this study were rarely ‘absent’.
Bermuda: Removing children from ‘homeless’ parents fosters legacy of ill will (Opinion)
Royal Gazette – July 07, 2017
The Bermuda Housing Corporation should increase the use of rent-geared-to-income housing. As many as 30 families are threatened with eviction from Bermuda Housing Corporation properties. We recognise the difficulty in dealing with families who accumulate large rental arrears. While there are bound to be a few who take advantage of the situation, our experience is that most of the families who have extensive arrears are single mothers who are either unemployed, or who have part-time or low-paying jobs. These mothers often have barely enough income to feed and clothe their children, and even the reduced rent in many of these dwellings proves to be too much.
International: Prof studies how world sees child survivors of war
Williamsburg Yorktown Daily – July 08, 2017
“The tension between protecting the privacy of child refugees and advertising their stories in order to raise awareness and funds is something that non-profits today must address, just as child welfare organizations did right after the Holocaust,” said Kirsh. “People are much more likely to donate to a cause if the issue has been personalized. Not with a generic story, but with specific details of a real individual in need. But, it’s important to make sure that such details are not used in a sensationalized way.”
United Kingdom: Child Neglect: The Hidden Torment
Parenting Without Tears – July 10, 2017
It’s a very sad fact that in the UK one child in every ten has experienced neglect. The NSPCC says neglect is the most common reason for taking child protection action, and around 30 per cent of calls received by their helpline are from people concerned that a child they know is being neglected.
United Kingdom: Focus on children’s services: Providing a safe home through fostering and adoption
Swindon Advertiser – July 07, 2017
When it becomes impossible for a child to stay with their family it’s the council’s army of foster carers who step in to fill the void and to make the difficult experience as comfortable as possible.
Zimbabwe: Child abuse prevalence cause for concern (Opinion)
Chronicle – July 08, 2017
Child abuse and neglect affect children’s health now and later, and costs to our country are significant.
Canada: ‘It’s a way of moving forward’: Innu leaders praise announcement of inquiry into children in care
CBC News – July 06, 2017
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Aboriginal leaders have agreed that an inquiry will be held into the treatment of Innu children in the child protection system.
Also: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/exec/memo_understanding.pdf
Canada: Canada announces funding for child protection, women’s economic empowerment and humanitarian assistance in the Democratic Republic of Congo
SocioLingo Africa – July 06, 2017
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced $97 million in funding to improve child protection, promote growth that works for all and provide crucial humanitarian assistance in the DRC and the region. The Minister made this announcement as she concluded a two-day visit to the DRC, as part of Canada’s re-engagement with Africa and its commitment to work together to address issues facing the continent.
Thailand: Tham Hin Temporary Shelter Profile (May 2017)
Relief Web – July 07, 2017
Tham Hin camp was established in 1997 following the arrival in Thailand of thousands of Myanmar citizens fleeing armed conflict and persecution in Southeast Myanmar. Since its inception, the camp has continued to receive Myanmar nationals seeking asylum. UNHCR Activities: …Ensure child protection through the promotion and application of the Child Protection Framework
Report from UN High Commissioner for Refugees: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/THI_May2017.pdf
United Kingdom: 1.8 million pounds to support vulnerable children (Press release)
Information and public services for the Island of Jersey – July 06, 2017
The Chief Minister has agreed to allocate an extra £1.8 million for projects to support vulnerable children for the next three years. This latest allocation will support six initiatives from 2017-2019. They include extra staff for the Youth Enquiry Service and the Children’s Change Programme, a pilot psychotherapy service for parents and babies and a full time staff member to establish on-island social work training.
United Kingdom: British couple claims racial discrimination during adoption process (Includes video)
CBS News – July 06, 2017
A British couple is taking legal action against a government adoption agency for alleged discrimination. Reena and Sandeep Mander said they were told they couldn’t adopt because the available babies were white and they are of Indian heritage. In short, white babies go first to white couples, though the Manders say they didn’t care what color their baby would be. They were pushed to the back of the line, right from the start.
International: Coroner calls for changes to treatment of child refugees after death of teenager
Guardian – July 05, 2017
A coroner has called for changes to the way Home Office officials in Calais and Dunkirk deal with vulnerable child refugees after a 17-year-old Kurdish refugee fled Isis in Iraq only to be crushed under the wheels of a lorry while trying to seek sanctuary in the UK.
Russia: ECHR ruling on U.S. nationals’ complaint over Russian adoption ban takes effect
RAPSI – July 04, 2017
The ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in favor of U.S. nationals, who had complained of violating their rights by banning them from adoption of Russian children, became effective.
Spain: ‘Risky’: how minors play cat-and-mouse in Melilla in bid to get to Spain (Includes video)
El Pais – July 02, 2017
More than 90% of these 600 unaccompanied minors proceed from Morocco. They hear stories – through Facebook or word of mouth – of others who managed to arrive at promised lands by playing the game. Without Spanish or European nationality, it is effectively their only hope of being able to live anywhere in the North.
Australia: Child abuse victim speaks out against Cardinal Pell and Catholic Church
New Zealand Herald – July 02, 2017
Smith said he wanted the Catholic Church to do more for victims of abuse. “They need to pay more attention to what we’re saying… and sit down for a better compensation deal for us that helps us with lifetime counselling and liftetime healthcare.”
Australia: Foster carer shortage creating crisis for older children and teens in NSW
ABC News Australia – July 02, 2017
Teenager Alex Cross-Bennett knows his life could have taken a very different path if he did not have a foster carer – and he is one of the lucky ones, with a desperate shortage of carers for foster children his age in NSW.
International: Charges against Vatican cardinal revive questions about Pope Francis’ handling of child sexual abuse by priests
Washington Post – July 01, 2017
The Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse scandal ensnared one of Pope Francis’s top lieutenants on Thursday, underlining the halting progress the reformist pontiff has made in addressing decades of abuse by the clergy even as Cardinal George Pell declared himself innocent of the charges against him.
Ireland: Number of homeless children in Ireland hits record high
News Talk – July 02, 2017
Earlier this year, the Government vowed to end by July the use of hotels and B&Bs as long-term accommodation for homeless families. However Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has admitted they will miss that deadline.
Also: There Were 3,000 Homeless Children In Ireland Last Month: https://lovin.ie/news/there-were-3-000-homeless-children-in-ireland-last-month
US: For Opioids’ Youngest Victims, Is Help Too Little, Too Late?
Governing – June 30, 2017
Opioids pose special challenges for child welfare agencies. Compared with addiction to cocaine or methamphetamine, the recovery period is longer and the chance of relapse is higher. Sobriety is often a requisite for placing children back with parents. But federal law mandates a short window –less than two years — for parents to undergo treatment and demonstrate that they’re sober enough to regain custody of their child.
US: Immigration ‘surge initiative’ to target parents, relatives who smuggled their children into U.S.
Washington Times – June 30, 2017
A new “surge initiative” aims to identify and arrest the adult sponsors of unaccompanied minors who paid coyotes or other smuggling operations to bring young people across the U.S. border, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed Thursday.
US: “Stop-and-Frisk” for Caregivers: How Expanded Mandated Reporting Laws Hurt Families (Opinion)
Truthout – June 29, 2017
Eighteen states now have “universal” reporting requirements, making all residents mandated reporters to child protective services, with exceptions in most states for defense attorneys and in some states for clergy. More such bills are in the works around the country.
US: Homeless LGBTQ youth struggle to escape harassment at shelters
Think Progress – June 29, 2017
LGBTQ youth need shelters to be safe from harassment and sexual assault. But too often, shelters fail to protect them.
US: How the Opioid Epidemic Harms Youth and Families
Chronicle of Social Change – June 29, 2017
The second most common cause for entry into foster care system nationwide, parental substance use disorder consistently jeopardizes child health and safety. An uptick in the use of opioids and other substances has led to a rise in the number of children being removed from their homes due to parental substance abuse.
US: New CHAMPS Campaign to Focus On State-Level Foster Care Improvement
Chronicle of Social Change – June 29, 2017
A large group of funders, advocates and service organizations are spearheading a new campaign to improve the quality of the foster care system in dozens of states.
US: The Fight for Racial Equity in Child Welfare Continues (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 29, 2017
While some will argue about whether racial disproportionality is a function of poverty or implicit racial bias, there should be a shared sense of urgency around the disparities that occur after youth are placed in the child welfare system’s custody. Children of color are less likely to return home to their families, more likely to age out of care, and are disproportionately placed in congregate care facilities.
US: “Trauma on Trauma on Trauma”: For Refugee Children, the Journey Is Only the Beginning (Opinion)
Truthout – March 29, 2017
Hundreds of thousands of other women and children have made the perilous journey to escape gang-related violence in Central America’s northern triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and many have been similarly ensnared in one of three US immigrant-family jails.
US: Double Punishment: After Prison, Moms Face Legal Battles to Reunite With Kids
Truthout – February 26, 2017
In 2013, an estimated 19,858 (8 percent) of the children who entered foster care in the US did so because of a parent’s incarceration. Child welfare advocates believe that number does not include cases in which a parent is incarcerated just before or at any time after a child’s foster care placement or cases in which a parent was not the child’s primary caregiver. Moreover, this estimate does not include cases in which the caseworker did not select incarceration as the cause of foster care placement.
Australia: Top-ranking Vatican cardinal charged with sex offenses in Australia (Includes video)
Washington Post – June 28, 2017
A cardinal in charge of the Vatican’s finances has been charged with multiple sexual offenses by Australian police, in one of the most significant indictments against a top-ranking leader of the Catholic Church.
Canada: Cybertip.ca warns parents about Snapchat’s new map feature
CBC News – June 28, 2017
Cybertip.ca, a program run by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, sent out a Cybertip alert on Tuesday about a new Snapchat feature called Snap Map. “The new feature is essentially a tool for individuals using Snapchat to share where they are and what they’re doing at any given time with their ‘Snaps,'” said Stephen Sauer, senior analyst with Cybertip.ca.
International: German plans to send migrant children to reception centres in Morocco ignore lessons from history
Conversation – June 29, 2017
In a controversial move, Germany is considering plans to open two reception centres in Morocco for repatriated childen. According to a leaked document of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees cited by a German newspaper, the centres would have space to receive 200 Moroccan minors and would be run in collaboration with Moroccan non-governmental organisations.
Germany: German gay marriage vote given green light by Angela Merkel (Includes video)
Telegraph – June 27, 2017
Angela Merkel has opened the way for gay marriage to be legalised in Germany after she called for a free vote in parliament on the issue. “If the state gives a homosexual couple children to take care of, I can no longer argue this issue simply on the question of child welfare. These are issues that greatly concern me.”
India: NCPCR for child-friendly police stations
Press Trust of India – June 27, 2017
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) today held a meeting with senior government officials to discuss draft guidelines for establishment of child- friendly police stations.
Tanzania: Need to Take Child Welfare to a Different Level
All Africa – June 25, 2017
Majority of activists in Tanzania have been advocating for female sexual abuse, early marriages and child pregnancies as core factors that have for long limited girl children in Tanzania from meeting their dream, but the Save the Children report of June 2017 titled ‘End of Childhood 2017,’ among other things, has cited malnutrition as the new emerging threat preventing children from marginalised families realise their full potential.
Canada: ‘Am I Indian?’: A young man’s journey to reclaim identity (Includes audio)
CBC News – June 26, 2017
Growing up, Matthew Shorting knew that he was Indigenous – but didn’t know much more than that. At two months old, he was placed in foster care. He moved from home to home, eventually becoming a permanent ward of the child welfare system in Manitoba.
India: Role of schools in child protection
Morung Express – June 24, 2017
Citing study data maintained by Childline India, Mali said that only 10 percent of schools nation-wide reported having a Child Protection Policy while only 1% schools have a sexual harassment policy. Only 3% of schools reported having grievance committees for issues relating to SC/ST and human rights issues, 2% for gender discrimination and 4% for issues related to corporal punishment, he said, while adding that 64% schools reported taking no measures to ensure safety of children outside school premises.
Ireland: Social workers ‘retrained’ to manage risk instead of remove it
Irish Times – June 26, 2017
Ireland could have the “best child protection services in the developed world” within five years, according to an international expert. Dr Andrew Turnell, who in the 1990s pioneered a radical approach to child protection known as “Signs of Safety” in western Australia, is training all of Tusla’s 1,466 social workers in the model. Over the next two years almost all of the 3,640 staff at the child and family agency will be trained in the approach.
Uganda: Over 800,000 child abuse cases registered
Uganda Today – June 23, 2017
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has said 823,277 cases of child abuse to children have been registered by National Child Helpline Call Centre since January 2014.
Canada: United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights visits Tewegan Housing for Aboriginal Youth
Morningstar – June 22, 2017
Sharing the unique life experiences faced daily by young Aboriginal women living in Ottawa, residents discussed the difficult issues of racism, discrimination, and human trafficking, and spoke of the supports and solutions needs to address them. “Meeting with the Deputy High Commissioner was empowering and inspirational,” said one of the residents after the visit.
United Kingdom: Child sex abuse ‘part of initiation ceremonies’
Telegraph – June 23, 2017
Children have been sexually abused – including by other children – during “initiation rituals” within British sport, the industry’s most senior child protection officer has revealed.
Japan: Abused children find Japan’s shelters provide little comfort
Reuters – June 21, 2017
The conditions inside many of them are so regimented that the children can find the experience harrowing, according to interviews with more than a dozen people who have stayed or worked in the facilities, as well as child psychology experts familiar with the system.
United Kingdom: Care system not to blame for increased risk of mental health issues in children
Medical Xpress – June 21, 2017
Children in the care system – who are more likely to have mental health difficulties than others in the wider population – are not more at risk due to being in care, according to new research from the University of York.
Ireland: Foster care system ‘besieged’
Breaking News .ie – June 21, 2017
“The whole care system is under tremendous pressure and TUSLA is under tremendous pressure in terms of it’s quite a besieged agency at the moment,” he said. “One of the issues that’ll probably come up at the committee is the whole question of private foster care.
United Kingdom: Child emotional abuse reports surge 200% amid cuts to child protection services
Independent – June 20, 2017
The number of children being reported as victims of emotional abuse has soared by 200 per cent in seven years, more than any other form of child abuse, according to new figures released by the NSPCC.
Report: How Safe Are Our Children 2017: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/research-reports/how-safe-children-2017-report.pdf
Australia: Inquiry to examine rate of Aboriginal kids going into foster care
Canberra Times – June 15, 2017
A national body which advocates for the welfare of Indigenous kids has welcomed an ACT inquiry into the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the foster care system.
Germany: Study reveals the scope of child sexual abuse within families
Deutsche Welle – June 14, 2017
An independent commission investigating child sexual abuse in Germany released an interim report on Wednesday after conducting interviews and gathering responses from hundreds of victims and witnesses. The report found that a majority of reported cases occurred within the family or close social circles, followed by abuse in institutions such as schools.
Malta: More needs to be done for the most vulnerable
Times of Malta – June 18, 2017
Roberta Lepre, whose name is synonymous with advocacy for victims of crime, is stepping down as director of the NGO Victim Support Malta nearly a decade after she took up the post. The lawyer tells Sarah Carabott there is a lot more to be done, especially when it comes to child protection.
New Zealand: UNICEF on our appalling child welfare record – but apparently we don’t care (Opinion)
Standard (NZ) – June 16, 2017
The wellbeing of New Zealand’s children places us 34th out of 41 developed countries, according to a report released by Unicef on Thursday. The report tracks the progress on goals such as reducing child poverty, inequality and deprivation and improving things like education and health for children.
Also: Independent review highlights shortfalls in child protection reforms: http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/education/independent-review-highlights-shortfalls-child-protection-reforms
Romania: Among last places in UNICEF ranking for child welfare
Romania Insider – June 16, 2017
Romania has recorded some of the worst results for progress related to child welfare, according to a UNICEF report.
Canada: Canada lags when it comes to child hunger, violence: UNICEF ranking
Health Medicine Network – June 16, 2017
Canada ranks 37th on a list of 41 wealthy countries for children having access to enough nutritious food, a UNICEF report says, and higher-than-average rates of child homicide and teen suicide also point to a need for action.
Haiti: Haiti fears deportations will see increase in child servitude
Westside Gazette – June 15, 2017
Studies indicate the population Haitian of child domestic workers rose from some 172,000 in 2002 to roughly 286,000 in 2014 – four years after an earthquake flattened much of Port au Prince and outlying areas, killing as many as 300,000 and leaving some 1.5 million people homeless.
New Zealand: Government disputes damning Unicef report on child welfare
New Zealand Herald – June 16, 2017
Ministers have disputed New Zealand’s shameful ranking near the bottom of a child wellbeing report released yesterday. A Ministry for Vulnerable Children spokeswoman said they were concerned with the way the report was compiled.
Sudan: International street artists help South Sudanese child refugees tell their stories (Press release)
World Vision International – June 16, 2017
Ahead of World Refugee Day, World Vision partnered with Apartial, an online community of artists, to bring colour and hope to the world’s largest refugee settlement. Bidibidi in northern Uganda, is now home to 280,000 South Sudanese refugees; 68 per cent of them are children.
Syria: Whole of Syria: Child Protection Response Snapshot, January- April 2017
Relief Web – May 31, 2017
The child protection sector in Syria is comprised of approximately 58 partners including, UN, INGO, Syrian NGO and government agencies operating in 13 governorates. The sector works to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against children through strengthening community-based child protection programming, including psychosocial support, providing specialized child protection services, mine/explosive remnants of war risk education and strengthening the capacity of frontline workers and volunteers to respond to child protection issues.
International: New Report Ranks Easiest and Hardest Places to Be a Kid
Smithsonian – June 13, 2017
Using data from the United Nations and governmental sources, Save the Children ranked 172 countries based on the prevalence of eight “childhood enders,” or factors that negatively impact a child’s wellbeing: child mortality rates, incidence of stunted growth (an indicator of severe malnourishment), the percentage of children who do not attend school, the percentage of children who are engaged in labor, adolescent marriage rates, adolescent birth rates, the percentage of the population displaced by conflict, and child homicide rates.
United Kingdom: UK LATEST: Social Services Taking Away Kids From Immigrant Parents
ZimEye – June 13, 2017
Charities around the country working with people with no recourse to public funds have said they have encountered multiple cases in which people approaching local authorities for housing were told social services would accommodate the child but not the parent.
Canada: No, Canada Will Not Take Your Child Away If You Disagree With Their Gender Identity
BuzzFeed News – June 12, 2017
Stories claiming that a new Canadian law lets the government remove a child from a family if the parents don’t accept the child’s gender identity have gone viral on conservative websites in the US. But the government says the reports are false.
Asia: Lies, greed and heartbreak: How orphans are ‘made’ for the adoption industry (Includes video)
Channel NewsAsia – June 10, 2017
Statistics show that more than 40 per cent of children in inter-country adoptions over the last 70 years have come from Asia, and almost all of them ended up with families in Europe and the United States. But many of these uprooted adoptees are not actually orphans at all, and have at least one surviving parent or extended family, the investigative programme Undercover Asia discovered.
Norway: Touching New Video Promotes Foster Care (Includes video)
Crosswalk – June 09, 2017
A short video has gone viral in Norway, where it’s been helping to promote the country’s foster care system.
International: Study abroad: Bringing home additional tools for child protection
Catholic Spirit – June 08, 2017
When Drew Dillingham packs his bags after spending the past five months in Rome, he will head back to Washington, D.C., with a unique diploma and added insight into ways the church can continually improve on its duty to protect children from abuse.
Canada: Province Puts Forensic Labs Under the Microscope
Toronto Star – May 30, 2017
The Motherisk scandal, which was revealed by a Star investigation in late 2014, has cast doubt over thousands of child protection proceedings across Canada that relied on the lab’s discredited hair-strand drug and alcohol tests from the late ’90s to spring of 2015, when Sick Kids closed the lab.
Swaziland: Kinship System and Social Work Practice (Opinion)
Times of Swaziland – June 06, 2017
Do we have enough knowledge on kinship values and relations to families and their members? Standing to be corrected of course, I believe there are hidden biases. It should be noted that social care should consider numerous factors like class, religious, ethnic, cultural backgrounds etc.
United Kingdom: Failings by child protection services are uncovered after baby’s death
BBC News – June 08, 2017
The baby, identified only as Child A, died in hospital in March 2015 after being found in a home strewn with dirty nappies and drug paraphernalia. A significant case review said failures of communication led to deficiencies in the care of child protection services. Glasgow CPC said they were developing a plan in response to the review
United Kingdom: Extend Staying Put foster care initiative to age 25, urges charity
Children & Young People Now – June 07, 2017
Under the Staying Put policy, which was made law through the Children and Families Act 2014, councils have a duty to support looked-after children who want to remain with their foster carer until they are 21. But an election manifesto put together by The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (Tact), based on interviews with children and young people, has called on the next government to extend the entitlement up to the age of 25 in order to improve placement stability.
Syrian Arab Republic: Whole of Syria – Child Protection Facts and Figures – January-April 2017
UNICEF – May 30, 2017
Child protection awareness-raising activities have reached about 112,000 children and caregivers in nine governorates. In addition, about 438 children, including children with disabilities, have received follow-up and support through case management interventions in four governorates.
Australia: Youth homeless hell: not enough beds for local kids
Tweed Daily News – June 06, 2017
The Tweed has only four crisis accommodation beds for homeless children and teenagers – the worst in the state, according to a local provider. The organisation claims the crisis was forcing vulnerable young people into unsafe situations while pushing support services to breaking point.
Canada: Naked Mole Rats Fighting ‘Sextortion’ in Canada
NEWSER – June 02, 2017
Incidents of “sextortion”-adults posing as teens to get actual teens to send nude photos, then blackmailing them-are on the rise in Canada. But Canadian teens have a new defender: the humble naked mole rat. Quartz reports a new campaign from the Canadian Center for Child Protection encourages teens asked to send a naked photo to send a picture of a naked mole rat instead. The nonprofit even has naked mole rat memes available on the campaign website to get teens started. The PSA is aimed at teen boys in particular. The center says there’s been an 89% increase in sextortion cases victimizing teen boys over the past two years. And it’s not just in Canada; a Minnesota man was sent to prison last year after sextorting more than 150 boys, according to the New Yorker.
Also: Send naked mole rats, not naked pics of yourself, Canadian PSA tells boys: https://www.mnn.com/family/protection-safety/stories/send-naked-mole-rats-not-naked-pics-yourself-canadian-psa-tells-boys
Haiti: Country Fears deportations will mean surge of child servants
My Northwest – June 04, 2017
Studies indicate the population of child domestic workers rose from some 172,000 in 2002 to roughly 286,000 in 2014 – four years after an earthquake flattened much of Port-au-Prince and outlying areas, killing as many as 300,000 and leaving some 1.5 million people homeless.
Canada: Adopted at 6 days old, Quebec woman hopeful new law will help her find birth mother
CBC News – May 29, 2017
Millidge is among those anxiously awaiting the passing of provincial legislation that would make it easier for adoptees to find their birth parents.
Ethiopia: Sen. Cruz Urges Ethiopia Prime Minister to End Adoption Ban from U.S.
Katy News – June 01, 2017
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) this week joined 122 members of Congress urging the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to reconsider his April 21st decision to suspend international adoptions. The order has left more than 200 U.S. families separated from the Ethiopian children they have adopted and are trying to bring home.
India: Teens pick up the phone to save their friends from child marriage
Washington Post – June 01, 2017
Child marriages, though banned, continue in India. The country has the world’s highest number of child brides, with an estimated 47 percent of girls married off before their 18th birthdays, according to a non-governmental organization called Girls Not Brides.
Canada: “Solutions are in our communities” as child welfare legislation prepares to hit the table
Edmonton Journal – May 29, 2017
Legislation to improve Alberta’s child death review process will be introduced in the house this week. It comes after the province’s child intervention panel delivered a swath of recommendations to Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee in April. It’s the latest is a series of steps to improve a system many believe has been broken for decades.
Also: What will it take for Ottawa finally to tackle Indigenous child-welfare crisis?: Editorial: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/05/29/what-will-it-take-for-ottawa-finally-to-tackle-indigenous-child-welfare-crisis-editorial.html
Haiti: Children homes come under scrutiny
Jamaica Observer – May 29, 2017
The Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) has started a programme re-evaluating the functions of children’s homes in Haiti, where nearly 32,000, mainly abandoned children live.”This reassessment of children’s homes is a prelude to the process of deinstitutionalization of children in Haiti. Without the data, we cannot give good results,” said Diem Pierre, IBESR Assistant Director General.
India: How an Online Initiative Is Helping Children Fight Sexual Abuse
Quint – May 30, 2017
A young girl in rural Haryana was suffering sexual abuse at the hands of her biological father. She was too scared to tell her mother fearing that the father might harm her. What makes this story extraordinary is that, a few months ago, the girl filed an online complaint through e-box, an initiative of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), to safeguard the rights of children.
International: Bridge to Life centers give children tools and support to thrive
Mission Network News – May 30, 2017
AMG has 56 Bridge to Life centers in 10 different countries. A key component of AMG’s ministry is partnering with nationals in their own country, which Myers says is a more effective way to impact lives.
Scotland: Child abuse inquiry told records have been lost (Requires free registration)
Times – June 01, 2017
An inquiry into the historical abuse of children by their carers will be hampered by the destruction of records that were held by many of the charities who ran residential homes, a lawyer representing victims has said.
Canada – Police Services Board to Debate Cops in Schools Programs on Thursday.
The School Resource Officer (SRO) program was implemented in 2008 after the shooting death of a 15-year-old student. Toronto’s black community activists criticizes the program, arguing that black, indigenous and undocumented students do not experience the sense of safety that officers are supposed to bring to schools. The program is also meant to bridge the gap and build relationships between students and the police. The coordinator of the SRO program alternatively argues that it takes a proactive approach and allows students to talk to officers in an informal and casual environment. The mayor of Toronto states that a review should be done before hastily removing the program.
Ireland – Irish Teenager who Asked for an Abortion was Sectioned Under Mental Health Act.
Huffpost United Kingdom.
Ireland’s Catholic-influenced abortion laws prohibits abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. An Irish teenager requested an abortion and was determined to be at risk for self-harm and suicide as a result of the pregnancy. In such circumstances, where the mother’s life is in immediate danger, Ireland’s laws allows for the mother to be considered for an abortion. A district judge, however, ruled that the teenager did not suffer a mental health disorder. Abortion rights groups and activists argue that the Mental Health Act in this case was used as a tool to advance personal beliefs rather than considering the well being and human rights of the mother.
Kuwait – Kuwait Strives to Combat Child Labour.
Children are forced to drop out of school and work in order to help their families afford the basic necessities. The head of the national society for child protection calls for more aid for families in difficult financial conditions. The official also stated that punitive punishment needs to be implemented against parents who allow their children to work and against employers who employs them.
Syria: Key Concerns for Raqqa Battle.
Human Rights Watch.
The Deputy Middle East director at Human Rights states that the battle for Raqqa is not just about defeating ISIS, but is also about protecting and assisting the civilian population. During this war children are recruited and used for military purposes and fighting on the front lines. Children who were child soldiers are also interrogated and screened without a parent present and are detained and prosecuted rather than provided with rehabilitation and reintegration efforts.
India – India’s Move to Join Global Pacts to Eradicate Child Slavery is Lauded as a Paradigm Shift by Nobel laureate and Child Rights Activist Kailash Satyarthi.
India ratifies global agreements on child slavery. The ratification specifies a minimum age of work and prohibits using minors in areas like armed conflict, prostitution or drug trafficking. The agreements opens up India’s labour standards to international scrutinization and review which will occur every four years. These political and legislative steps forces India to confront its child labour and child slavery issues head on and no longer allows the government and society to ignore it.
Child Refugees Held in ‘Harrowing’ Conditions Across South-East Asia.
In detention centres across South East Asia children, fleeing violence, conflict, and poverty, are held separately from their family members without food, adequate health facilities or access to education. Immigration officials from host countries detain children as illegal immigrants for lengthy periods contrary to rights afforded to them under international law. All circumstances put together has extremely damaging consequences for child development and puts children at a greater risk of violence, sexual abuse and exploitation, warns Save the Children’s interim director for Asia.
Pakistan – Media Role Sought in Child Rights Protection.
Child rights activists and NGO coordinators stated that the media should take on a bigger role in promoting and informing society of Pakistan’s international commitments to child protection. The government and legislative bodies are also being called on to cited create and implement mechanisms that would deal with child protection issues, given the occurrence of children suffering horrific incidents of violence.
Charity Calls for ‘Period Emoji’ to Address Taboo of Mensuration.
Girls and women face embarrassment and shame for something that is common and natural, menstruation. Girls are often face bullying and unfair treatment due to perceptions that menstruation is dirty and shameful. Girls also miss school and receive little to no hygienic products as a result of such perceptions. Plan International proposes using a period emoji to raise awareness of the plight of girls and to normalize menstruation.
Yemen – These People are Fighting off a Famine in Yemen.
Conflict and war in Yemen has hindered the importation and delivery of food. Water ways and convoy routes are either destroyed, blocked, or subject to inspection checkpoints. Corruption on all levels of government and society results in little to no food reaching intended groups. Civil society charities and social groups are making commendable efforts to provide food baskets and necessity to families for religious observances and day-to-day life.
Thailand – Army Secretly Detains 14-Year-Old.
Human Rights Watch.
Thai authorities violate international laws and conventions by detaining a 14-year-old boy and denying him access to a judge, a lawyer, and his family. With orders of the Prime Minister, prosecuting crimes of insulting the monarchy has been made top priority and has been labeled as a serious national security offence. Military authorities have been given the power to secretly detain people for up to seven days without charge and interrogate them without safeguards to protect against mistreatment. Recently the young boy had been transferred to a remand facility for pre-trail detention.
U.K. – Child Emotional Abuse Reports Surge 200% Amid Cuts to Child Protection Services.
Helpline staff report increased accounts of emotional abuse and threats of extreme violence against children. The numbers of children facing emotional and other forms of abuse may be greater than what is reported, as the Helpline represents only a fraction of reported incidents and research in the extent of child abuse is scarce. Concerns arise because child protection services are facing budget cuts in local councils while facing difficulties allocating already scarce resources. Executives from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children calls on the government to step in and take action to provide a clear picture of the extent of child abuse and neglect in the U.K.
Myanmar – ‘My Gun is Taller than Me’: Child Soldiering in Myanmar is Far from Over.
International pressure from groups, such as the United Nations and Child Soldiers International, has resulted in the release of child soldiers from the state’s army. However, there is little reliable data accounting for policy and legislative enforcement for the prevention and cessation of employing children in both state and and non-start armies. The co-operation of non-state armies in not using children as soldiers is crucial to eradicating the practice, but the size, strength, and influence of non-state armies limits any efforts.
Trinidad and Tobago – Questions After boy’s Suicide.
After a child committed suicide while in the custody of Trinidad’s Children’s Authority, several questions are raised by concerned citizens and taxpayers regarding how the child’s situation resulted in such a tragedy. These questions address the child’s access to medical care and education, the qualification of child care workers, and the level of worker supervision, among several other topics. The lack of information and willingness to provide answers to questions, on the part of the government, proves to be a barrier in addressing and improving child care issues.
Afghanistan – Women for Child Bearing, Boys for Pleasure: The Ugly Side of Afghanistan.
The sexual exploitation of young boys has seen a resurgence in Afghanistan’s southern and eastern rural areas. While laws in Afghanistan do address rape and pederasty, they fail to enforce legislated penalties intended to criminalize the practice of bacha bazi. Often times perpetrators of the crime have powerful political, economic, and social ties, which many argue protects them from prosecution.
UAE – Online Dangers for Children on the Increase.
Dubai Police increases its efforts in monitoring and apprehending online sources of criminal activities, including those involved in drugs, theft, and murder. Officials, however, urge parents to take a more active role in monitoring and preventing their child’s use of the internet.
Concerned About Goods Made Through Child Labour? Boycotts Don’t Help.
Rather than whole sale boycotts of companies or products, it is proposed that consumers learn about the types of products that are vulnerable to child labour and for companies and groups to work to improve labour conditions. If consumers were to boycott companies or products, this could cut off an essential source of livelihood for children and their families. It is also proposed that consumers contact their governments and favourite brands inquiring into their policies and enforcement of child friendly labour standards.
Norway Child Abuse Victims were Let Down by Authorities: Investigation.
The Child Abuse Investigation Committee uncovered several failures of the Norwegian child care system. There were discoveries of a significant lag in discovering cases of violence, abuse, and neglect. Also, it was found that the system failed to follow up on complaints and failed to give attention or help to children and families at risk.
Canada – Why Child Labour Still Works.
Little transparency in supply chains allows us to believe that child labour is not an issue in the goods and materials we consume. Companies in Canada face no legislation requiring them to report their efforts to address child labour in their global supply chains. With little transparency and legislation, companies face no pressure to take active steps towards helping prevent, or at least not engaging in, forced and child labour.
India – Rights Panel Ups the Ante Against Child Labour.
The Commission for Protection of Child Rights is organizing a workshop to combat child labour and to implement mechanisms that would help children reintegrate into ‘normal’ society.
World Day Against Child Labour 2017: In Conflicts and Disasters, Protect Children from Child Labour.
At risk for child labour, trafficking, and sexual exploitation are child refugees and children caught up in conflicts and disasters. The UN has committed to eliminating all forms of child labour but this can only be done through the cooperation of the international community. All children need to be considered in developing policies that would support children and protect their rights. Sanctuary and host countries bare the burden of supporting these children and more needs to be done to share the responsibility.
Philippines – Big Child Webcam Sex Bust Reveals Rising Abuse.
The Detroit News.
An arrest was made in connection to a webcam sex tourism ring. People from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia would pay facilitators to abuse children and stream the horrific acts online. Access to internet, smartphones, and the vulnerability of children lead to the rapid growth of live streaming the sexual exploitation of children. The legal system is playing catch up in amending laws, creating laws, and prosecuting these new forms of abuse.
Canada – ‘Monstrous’ Crimes: Alberta Man Accused of Abusing 3 Daughters Faces Sex, Weapons Charges.
An Alberta man faces charges for abusing his three daughters over the past six years. He faces 23 sex charges, including incest, making and distributing child pornography, and human trafficking, along with several firearm charges. It was alleged that the father forcibly prostituted one of his daughters and video recorded the encounters. The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection are working together to remove data and pictures involving the girls online.
Ghana – Child Labour Upsurges This Year – Survey.
The Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations calls for stakeholder collaboration and greater media coverage of child labour issues, after arguing that the government alone cannot address the issue. On the other hand, addressing key root causes, such education, employment opportunities, and social protection, can be argued to be areas that are the responsibility of the government and areas in which only the government has the resources to sustainably support and develop. A representative from the International Labour Organization highlights the importance of child protection and solving child labour in achieving national social, economic, and political goals.
Sri Lanka – More than 1.5 Million Sri Lankans Now Affected by Weather Disasters as Drought Cripples the North and East, Floods Ravage the South.
Weather and climate issues lead to flooding in Sri Lanka. The flooding has not only damaged agricultural land but also many schools, leaving children out of school for some time. The longer children are out of school the less likely they are able to make up any missed school and the more likely they are to develop psychological strain from not have routine, normalcy, and a send of safety. Such circumstances would put children at a further disadvantage for development.
Data Gaps on Children in Residential Care Leave the Most Vulnerable Unaccounted for.
The director of child protection at UNICEF advocates for children to be out of residential care and with their families instead, as bring in institution puts children at a higher risk of violence, abuse and long term damage to their development. The governments of countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, among many others, are urged to focus on the factors that lead to family separation. Among those factors are health issues, poor or unequal provision of social services, disability and poverty.
Australia – Border Force Admits Failure in Response to Nauru Abuse Claims.
Gulf News Australia.
After allegations of sexual assault and abuse were reported a board task force was deployed to conducted investigations. The task reported that some incidents, including the sexual assault of a minor and self-harm, were not deemed to be in need of immediate action. Issues with classifying incidents and disclosing information led to incidents slipping through the cracks without any notice.
Iraq – ISIS Targets the Young, Then the Old in Twin Baghdad Bombings.
The terrorist group ISIS targeted a busy street filled with popular restaurants and cafes. First an ice cream shop was bombed where families gathered and children enjoyed ice cream as they broke their Ramadan fast. Shortly after, the General Retirement Department, where the elderly collected their pensions, was attacked with a bomb. Several witnesses recount the haunting images of the aftermath of the explosions.
Pakistan – Autism, Law and State Responsibility.
The number of people with Autism is estimated to be a lot higher than official figures as it is thought to be severely underreported. Despite federal and provincial legislation addressing autism and other disabilities, there has been little to no effort made to reform policy and implement measures that are in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Numerous suggestions are made as to how the government can make legislation more inclusive and services more accessible.
Haiti – Advocate Fear Deportations Will Lead to Child Labour Surge in Haiti.
In loom of cuts to international humanitarian programs, Haiti is bracing for another surge in child labour. One program that faces a cut is the humanitarian program in the US that protects thousands of Haitis from deportation, on the assumption that Haiti could not absorb them following the earthquake disaster. Cultural anthropologists warn that the practice of poor families sending their children other families or homes, in hopes of better opportunities, could instead be putting their children at risk of abuse, assault, and domestic servitude.