KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and
attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
This is only a sampling of what should be reported
the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.
contact politicians and policy makers and make your concerns known.
Children have no voice in politics, law or the media.
We must be relentless to effect change.
Be the Squeaky Wheel for 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.
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.
World – Millions of children in need of humanitarian assistance heading into new year.
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.
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.
Congo – Apple, Good, Microsoft, Dell, Tesla sued over allged child labour in Congo.
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.
Nestle’s ambition to eliminate child labour from cocoa: ‘It may take many years to get there’
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.
England – Grooming ‘epidemic’ as almost 19, 000 children identified as sexual exploitation victims in England.
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.
Egypt’s top court says ‘Urfi’ marriage of minors is a violation of children’s rights
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.
UK – Councils should ‘step up’ over child migrants.
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.
Here’s what life is like for child migrants at Mexico’s Southern Border.
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.
Governments and international organizations have passed legislation to ban the use of child soldiers and the practice of child marriage, yet in many countries it is still prevalent. Why? Initiatives have been devised to combat the problem and underlying issues, and some strides have been made, but more needs to be done at all levels of society to protect the innocent and vulnerable.
Indonesia – Indonesia military: Use of child soldiers a rights violation.
The Washington Post.
Despite the ratification of the UN treaty regarding the recruitment of child soldiers, independence fighters have been accused of using child soldiers in Indonesia’s long held armed conflict between a Liberation Arm and Indonesia’s military. Indonesian army has also been accused of serious human rights violations, which includes unlawful killing of civilians.
Millions of child marriages not counted as child labour.
Radio Canada International.
7.5 million children are not included in the International Labour Organization’s statistics on child labour, despite having to engage in hard labour when married off.
India – Child labour in India: Violators go scot-free as only 25% cases reach conviction.
India has passed legislation, the Child Labour Act, prohibiting child labour, but because of a poor conviction rate of violators, poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy, the problem of child labour is still occurring. A poor conviction rate of violators may be attributed to a lack of registering and reporting violators in some states. As a result, children continue to face serious long term illness and missed opportunities at an education.
Canada – Child marriage in Canada means country’s efforts to end it abroad are ‘insincere’: researcher.
The legal age of marriage in Canada is 18 with one exception, a person 16 years or older may get married with the consent of their parents or of the court. It is reported that between 2000 and 2018 3382 marriage licences were issued, a statistic which does not include common law marriages involving minors.
Nepal – As world makes gains against child marriage, Nepal struggles to catch up.
The New York Times.
Low literacy rates and economic constraints make chid marriage almost necessary despite the practice being illegal. The dowry that accompanies the marriage and resources which the continuation of school requires makes child marriage an economically smart move. Incentives provided by the government for keeping girl children in school have no proven to be enough.
Canada – Missing and murdered Indigenous women and children : initiatives will rally communities across Canada to commemorate, heal and advance reconciliation.
Government of Canada is investing over $13 million to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as a response to the recent national inquiry report. The report provides that commemoration is essential to the reconciliation process and as such over 100 projects will receive financial support from this investment.
Isreal – Israeli police deposes victim again in controversial rape case of young girl in West Bank.
I24 International News.
The rape of a school aged girl attracts political commentary in a complicated and sensitive climate. The case had be to reopened due to inconsistencies in the investigation, the accused providing an alibi and no forensic evidence. Individuals along the political spectrum call for varying punishments.
England – Child rapist who ‘kept library of attacks’ jailed.
A man was sentenced for prison for 16 years and placed on the sex offenders register list for life after he filmed himself raping and sexually abusing a young girl.
Vietnam – ‘Shame and pain’: Vietnam starts to grapple with child abuse epidemic.
Teachers and family members fail to report sexual assault after a student showed serious signs of trauma. This is reported to be reflective of a culture of ignorance, indifference and stigma. The government introduced initiatives which include mandatory sexual assault-prevention classes and textbooks. A UNICEF representative says that more needs to be done by the government in not only in targeting teachers and the police, but also to protect children from online abuse.
Canada – 122 charged in child pornography investigations across Ontario last month.
During police investigations 55 victims were identified, the youngest victim being 3 years old. Police stress the prevalence and reality of the situation in Ontario and that the numbers reported are just the tip of the iceberg .
US – ‘Free dad hugs’ at Pride shows the lasting effect parents’ rejection can have on LGBTQ kids.
It is reported that parental rejection contributes to significant physical and mental health problems of LGBTQ youth, with them being more likely to attempt suicide, having high levels of depression and being more likely to use illegal drugs. Affirmation and acceptance is critical to lasting positive and healthy lives.
Children in Armed Conflict
Children are meant to play, learn and grow, but holding weapons and carrying out attacks are in complete opposite of these goals. The Child Soldiers World Index shows that children have been used in war in at least 18 countries since 2016 and that there is an upward trend in the recruitment of girls and the number of countries with verified cases of child recruitment. With 357 million girls and boys living in areas affected by war or armed conflict, it is clear that the international community needs to take action to stop and prevent the use of children in armed conflicts. Many children join armed groups because of economic or social pressure, or to relieve food insecurity. If we are to ban the use of children in armed conflict, measures need to be taken to first ensure recovery of the child themselves and secondly to equip the child with life skills needed to support themselves and their families. The following videos explain the presence of children in armed conflict and the effects experienced by them.
Hundreds of child soldiers released in the Philippines
Former child soldier Michel Chikwanine tells his story for young readers
Made out to look beautiful and sent out to die – BBC News
Liberia: Child soldiers struggle to reintegrate into society
ISIS’ children: soldiers trained to kill and die
How rape is used as a weapon in South Sudan’s war
Escaped child soldier describes life
Central African Republic: Child soldiers learning to be children again – BBC News
Protecting children affected by armed conflict in South Sudan
Former Child Soldier on Children and Armed Conflict – Briefing to UN Security Council
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN –
Compilation of information and writing on these pages are the hard work of
KARA volunteer Eshanee Singh
Children In Armed Conflict +
Compiled Children’s Issues Articles, Stories, Video and Data
We all look to the government to provide support in order to protect our children.
Eshanee’s reporting points to a disturbing trend of state inaction in preventing or even intervening in child welfare violations.