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Comparing Services For Children


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Essay for my masters at Swansea University

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Comparing Services For Children

  1. 1. SWANSEA UNIVERSITY Assessed coursework submission SCHOOL OF Name: HUMAN Programme (e.g. MSc Early Childhood): Alan Evans SCIENCES MSc Early Childhood Student number: 492992 Level of study: MSc Module code: ASCM76 Module title: Child Welfare Lecturer: Bob Sanders Actual word count: 6,051 Word count required: 4,000 I have registered with the disability office as OFFICE USE: Verified (initial and date): having dyslexia STATEMENT OF ORIGINAL AUTHORSHIP I certify that this is my own work, except where otherwise indicated as collaborative work within a School/Department and that use of material from other sources has been properly and fully acknowledged in the text. I have read the University’s definition of Unfair practice including plagiarism and the School’s/Department’s advice on good academic practice. I understand that the consequence of committing unfair practice, if proven, may include failure. I also certify that neither this piece of work, nor any part of it, has been submitted in the same format in connection with another assessment. I understand that I have to submit my work electronically via the JISC plagiarism detection service on the same day as paper submission or my work may be deemed as to have been improperly submitted. Signature: A. Evans Date: 12/01/2009 COURSEWORK SUBMISSION FORM For Office use Initials: Date received: Receipt stamp: I have chosen to compare services for children in the U.K. with those in Romania, which offer to protect children from abuse and neglect. I will use 1989 as a starting point because it has implications in both countries. The Children’s Act was passed in 1989 in the U.K. signalling major changes for
  2. 2. children and children’s services. 1989 was also the year that Nicolae Ceausescu was executed and the World saw the terrible conditions in which children were living in orphanages. I have worked in childcare settings in the U.K. and Romania and had many similar experiences in both countries despite the cultural differences. People loved their children. People worked hard to get on in life. People aspired to improve their environment. These differences were measured from my own cultural experiences living predominantly in the West, the U.K. By this measure I also noted that there were high levels of poverty and deprivation. Health and social care were particularly poor. These views could be described as ethnocentric. Ethnocentrism has been defined as the tendency to view one’s own culture as best and to judge the behaviour and beliefs of culturally different people by one’s own standards.1 Having worked in children’s homes and social care settings in the U.K. I had also witnessed failings and institutionalised abuse. There are a number of issues, which will overlap from one country to another. I was amongst one of the first teams of volunteers to visit the country following Ceausescu’s execution. What we found was beyond anything we had experienced in our own culture. The organisation I worked for, The Romanian Angel Appeal (RAA) was established by the Royal College of Nursing and funded by The Beatles. Olivia Harrison sums up how things were for children at that time. In a country starved of the basic commodities of life, paralyzed by a political climate of fear and corruption, thousands of children, abandoned at birth, emerged into the world at the very bottom of the heap. Their birthright was not a life, merely an existence. Resources were so depleted that in the worst cases children were confined to their cots for years, kept alive on a diet of powdered milk. All were deprived of that most essential form of human nourishment...Love.2 There was a mute acceptance from the Romanian people themselves. 11 Sanders, B. 2008, European Children, Lecture Notes 2 Harrison, O. 2009,
  3. 3. Romanians living under Ceausescu were convinced that if they could not afford the children the regime rewarded them the state would look after them in any number of institutions. The child had very little choice in the matter. The State in this instance was dictating to the family. Under Communist rule, the family did as they were asked. The children became wards of state and were cared for in two types of institutions. Children of less than four years were placed in orphanages. Those who were chronically ill were placed in dystrophic centres. People worked long hours for very poor pay in these institutions. During the 1980’s many infants were born with low birth weight or soon after became malnourished. Children were given blood transfusions in the belief that this would stimulate their immune systems. The blood was infected and children became HIV positive. The World Health Organisation believed this to be reflective of Romania’s tyrannical policies, which pushed the poor, the sick and un-educated people into unimaginable poverty and depression. In 1988 the official mortality rate was 24 deaths per 1000 births. Ceausescu was First Secretary of Romania during the 1960’s. He banned contraception because he wanted to increase the population of pureblooded Romanians. His aim was to supply a work force for his vision of a highly industrialised nation. By the 1980’s he introduced legislation, which enforced women under 45 to have at least 5 children. The people of Romania were rapidly falling into social depravation. There was little or no food in the shops, rising inflation and high unemployment. It was in this climate that people began to abandon their children in hospitals and orphanages. These institutions were poorly resourced with untrained staff and poor sanitary conditions. More than 10,000 children were abandoned in this way. In 1990, more than 20,000 women were admitted to hospital in the capital city, Bucharest Most were suffering from complications following illegal abortions. There were approximately 600 babies suffering with full blown Aids. This was a greater number than for the whole of Europe. The poorest people with large families saw benefits in placing children in orphanages as Western goods and money poured in. Much of the flow of funds and aid has stopped leaving children in terrible conditions. Criticism of Ceaucescu’s regime and tyrannical policies grew in western and Eastern European countries. This led to a resolution calling for an inquiry into alleged human rights abuses in Romania. It was adopted in Geneva on the 9th of March 1989. 3 3 Deletant, D. 2009,
  4. 4. There are approximately 100,000 children in institutions in Romania. This is almost the same figure as in 1989. Harsh economic conditions and 30 years of communist administrative systems have left families struggling. The European Children’s Trust is a charity promoting fostering in Romania. Fostering gives families 40 dollars a month and because it is seen as employment they will also receive a pension. Despite financial incentives for families who foster children, take up has been slow. The ECT suggests that people were suspicious about fostering but following the success of the first group of foster carers, they now have a waiting list of 100 people. Fostering is a new concept in Romania and whether it works or not remains to be seen. A government official suggests that Romanians have difficulty in changing long established attitudes. The traditional accepted opinion is the state raises children. The conditions in these orphanages and hospitals are getting worse and resembling the horrific images of 1989. There are still thousands of children living on the streets and in orphanages. There are a number of child protection issues, which arise from the widespread abuse of children in Romania. These range from physical, sexual and emotional abuse to the actual selling of children for trafficking to other countries including the U.K. An Independent Television News (ITN) film crew demonstrated how easy it is to buy a baby in Romania. They were offered a number of children for sale by parents wanting anything up to 10,000 dollars. Children are paraded as objects to buy. Some parents had sold more than one child. ITN described it as a shocking trade.4 The Romanian government pledged to crack down on the trade of baby selling in preparation of joining the EU. International adoption was banned in Romania to protect the children from paedophiles and sex traffickers. Many Romanian children are born into poverty and pregnant mothers have promised buyers their babies. The team drove out of Romania without any checks at the border with Hungary. These borders were removed when Romania joined the EU. It is difficult to see how these practices can be stopped without cross cultural cooperation between all of the EU countries. 4 ITN News, 2006,
  5. 5. The team also uncovered institutional abuse and neglect in a number of orphanages. Children were bound by their hands and feet and left for days. Many were malnourished and dehydrated. The Romanian government were meant to clean up their act and close down many of these overcrowded orphanages, placing children back with their families, in foster care or in smaller children’s homes. At present the homes are under staffed and under resourced. The children face an uncertain future when they eventually leave the homes an many end up living on the streets. These children are socially excluded as a result of activities outside of their control. It has been argued that social exclusion exists in most modern societies and that children and families with children are economically disadvantaged as compared to adults or families without children.5 This has resulted in widespread poverty where children are living in extreme conditions. Shocking images of abandoned children tied to walls and left to live like animals are being shown on the You Tube channels.6 Some refer to the many children condemned to virtual imprisonment until they die. They are unwanted, dumped because of birth defects. Children from the closed orphanages were placed in hospitals. A nurse described the hospital she worked in as a zoo. An aid worker said that children lay on their backs for months. The ITN team said they were witnessing the creation of mentally disabled children. Another nurse describes the children as victims of institutionalisation. The ITN reporter noted that when the children were untied, they did not know what to do with their freedom. New, smaller children’s homes have been created but they too have their critics. Aid workers have called the new orphanages show homes where celebrity fundraisers are given tours. The ITN team said that these places were also shocking. The Romanian government said it would investigate the claims. The Romanian government say that they have reformed the child protection system and made it possible for local authorities to prevent abandonment and protect all children in need by appropriate placement in substitute families. The government has set up a state department for child protection, which devolves power to local authorities. The government has blamed county authorities for not implementing child rights legislation. 5 Sanders, B. 2008, European Children, Lecture Notes 6 Journeymanpictures, 2007, Lost Children – Romania,
  6. 6. The situations of the orphanages have been well documented in the national and international media. One could argue that the well- meaning organisations, which responded to, the images in the media have contributed to some of the difficulties. The children with HIV became guinea pigs for testing new drugs. NGO’s were judgemental and attempted to impose their own model of care onto the Romanian staff. Many NGO’s never attempted to learn Romanian so communication was problematic. A large amount of aid never reached the poorest in the community. Organised gangs intercepted some of the aid and created a black market for goods. A number of humanitarian aid vehicles have been hijacked and robbed. The state provides little or no finances for equipment of any sort for the orphanages, hospitals or any of the handicapped units who are for the most part relying on outside help and NGO’s to enable them to keep going. Some U.K. NGO’s are still providing aid. A Scottish charity describes children in Romania as living without hope and freezing to death in winter. They suggest that children suffer disease and malnutrition but the greatest horror is that there is no one to hold them or love them, no one to care. They describe the service they offer as a feeding lifeline from Scotland to Moldova. They claim it provides for 900 families and keeps 7,000 children a year out of orphanages.7 This is an example of globalisation at work. Communities becoming inter dependent through interconnections as part of everyday social life. The bundle of clothes, which a Scottish family discards, is collected in a bag labelled with the logo of a Scottish charity sending aid to Romania. The clothes are processed in a high street shop, which receives the benefits of UK charitable status. The clothes are packed onto a truck and driven 1,500 miles contributing to the charities carbon footprint. The goods arrive and are distributed to children in orphanages whilst the villagers look on with some resentment. The charity publicises a picture of the poor children gratefully receiving the clothes. More people give to the charity. The head of the charity receives an OBE from the queen. This scenario is a familiar one in my home town of Carmarthen. McGrew describes globalisation as ‘those processes, operating on a social scale, which cut across national boundaries, integrating and connecting communities and organisations in new space-time 7 Cameron, P. 2008,
  7. 7. combinations, making the world in reality, and in experience more interconnected’. 8 The children in Romania encounter further risks when they leave the orphanages or institutions. It is reported that over 250 state orphanages have over 50.000 children. There is no governmental or non-governmental provision for these young people. Prior to 1990 homelessness did not officially exist in Romania. Vulnerable young people have to leave the orphanages at 16 years of age. Many turn to stealing, begging or prostitution as a means of surviving. Documentary makers have highlighted the plight of Romania’s street children in a number of documentaries posted on the You Tube channel. One Romanian comments that amongst luxury apartments and hotels in Pradel, a few families are establishing not only an architectural contrast but also one related to a way of living.9 A senator’s house was started to be built but was placed on hold. The house became home for four families. It is described as having no roof, no stairs, black walls, no electric, no water, glass, rags, and excrement all around the home. The children’s father collects firewood all day and children of six years of age look after a six-month-old baby. The reporter states that there are 200 roofless individuals in Pradel with no access to medicine, not even the institutions. The house and food is shared with dogs and cats. The reporter points out that some families are satisfied with their position and it affects their evolution. Tourists passing by make judgements and say that the parents are to blame. A response to a video I posted of Romanian children in orphanages was less than flattering. From Thorranssen: Hi. Remove please your video with the name: Romanian Children or change its name. Is very ugly and look almost hostile and offensive. Romanian children are beautiful but in your images look all ill or with some handicap.10 My response was as follows: This video represents the time I spent working with children in Romania. They are not to be removed. They are real children in real time. You only want to see perfect children. I am insulted on behalf of all the beautiful children of this world that do not conform to your utopian 8 9 108 Sanders, B. The child, the family and the state: a cross-cultural examination, Lecture Notes. 9 Idebate, 2007, making A living, Carmarthenboy, 2007, Romanian Children,
  8. 8. dream. You have a lot in common with the certain regime, which also disliked imperfect children. Think again before you make such ridiculous requests. Other responses called me a sick paedophile; a filthy animal and one even sent a death threat. From Thorassen: You are very old if you remember such realties, idiotic paedophile. Why don't make videos with children from your country? Because you have money to take care of them? Guess what. We too now. Because we are a country form European Union and we have not financiar crises how you have. It's illegal in my country to show the children faces in a video in conditions like this. You don't respect our laws. And even the Holly Bible. Read this, stupid animal: "So whenever you give to the poor, don't blow a trumpet before you like the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they will be praised by people. I tell you with certainty, they have their full reward!" Your reward is my atention. :D If you ever come to Roumania again I will kill you. There are also films by Romanians documenting the plight of the children. One documentary describes the scene as broken glass; dilapidated walls long ripped electric wires and a thirteen-year-old boy wandering the corridors.11 Most of the boy, Dragos’s life relates to this abandoned factory. The boy lives with his parents and spends most of his time working for other people to eek a living. The Romanian ministry for education reports 70% children between 6 and 14 consider work a natural thing for their age He has difficulties attending or finding a school. Teachers are also leaving the teaching profession. The World Bank uses YouTube to portray some human investment schemes in Romania. The World Bank is involved in funding projects which enable people within communities around the world begin to develop solutions, which may lift them out of poverty.12 Romania joined the European Union in 2007 and it is now subject to E.U. legislation. The legislation means that they have to follow a policy of reuniting abandoned children with their families. This may prove difficult given the present economic conditions in Romania. Romanian NGO’s are struggling to give financial assistance or full time support to these young people. The government offers little help with approximately 1 million people registered as unemployed the country is in a crisis. Unemployment benefit is approximately £14 per month however you need to be registered to receive 11 idebate, 2007, 12 World Bank, 2008, Romanian Orphans,
  9. 9. this. There are films, which encourage fostering and adoption of abandoned children. They are very upbeat and positive films.13 Romanian news portal Nine O’clock reported a high numbers of child abuse cases in Romania. They suggest that in the first three months of the year 2008, almost 3,000 children were abused, neglected or exploited in Romania. These figures are according to data registered by the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child. They suggest that most cases of abuse and neglect took place in the family, while the majority of the cases of labour or sexual exploitation happened outside the family environment.14 Efforts are being made to provide telephone help line service to Romanian children. A Romanian organisation Asociatia Telefonul Copilului will start operating the 116 111 number from 1st October 2008. Linia Verde Pentru Protectia Copilului is a helpline, where Romanian children can call while suffering or being affected by some problems or to report the case of abuse. The helpline operates 7 days a week.15 The UK has the childline service, which is predominantly run by volunteers. The service was also set up in response to growing numbers of cases of child abuse and neglect. It is seen as giving children the opportunity to speak to a member of the childline team anonymously. A website promoting anti trafficking of children and offering a safe house describes children living on bleak streets in Europe’s poorest nation. The site suggests that parents are leaving to work abroad, leaving children behind with grandparents or in orphanages. They suggest that out of a class of thirty school children, only two go home to parents.16 The organisation argues that the children need safe houses from traffickers who target the abandoned children. They also list employment advice and a home environment as being important for the children. Other websites promoting anti trafficking also appear on YouTube. Some of these are linked to organisations like UNICEF.1718 The Reuters agency reports that Romania has adopted a new computer system to tackle Internet pornography, which officials fear may rise after the country joined the European Union this year. There 13 Unicef, 2007, Children residential reform In Moldova, 14, 2009, 15 Telefonulcopilului, 2009, 16 Trafficker 17 Aldeadle, 2007, Stop Human Traffiking, 18 Lexiiluvzu, 2007,
  10. 10. are fears that a growing labour migration and easier customs controls are likely to encourage the exploitation of children in the South Eastern European country. The United Nations considers this area to be a high source of human trafficking. A new NGO has been established to combat the growing problem of missing and exploited children, including child trafficking and child prostitution. The Romanian Centre for Missing and Exploited Children has opened in Bucharest, Romania. The centre is also a member of the global network being created by the U.S.-based International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC). The centre aims to work with other NGO’s and the general public. They will work on cases and issues affecting missing and sexually exploited children and their families. Some of the services they offer include: • Operate a new 24-hour call centre to receive and manage reports of missing and sexually exploited children; • Establish networks within Romanian stakeholders who work to report and solve cases involving missing and sexually exploited children; • Facilitate communications and coordination with similar centres throughout the world; • Establish a system to monitor and track cases; • Develop a national network of volunteers that will be trained and utilized in search operations; • Provide technical assistance to professionals who interact with children and their families to be responsive to the special needs of victim children and their families; • Increase public education and awareness about the issues of missing and exploited children through media campaigns, conferences, workshops and other events; and • Establish a monitoring system to help prevent children from becoming victims of Internet child pornography.19 The IWF reported that nearly one in three children depicted on child abuse websites appear to be under six. They suggest that one in twenty are under the age of two years. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) suggests that more than seven websites showing child abuse are reported to the police every day. The IWF also said that new research showed website images had become more severe and included rape, sadism and bestiality. The IWF suggests that approximately 1.5 million adults have seen child abuse online and that one third of child sexual abuse sites contained the most severe forms of abuse. 20 19 National Mandate Mission, 20 BBC News Online, 2007,
  11. 11. The Internet crosses cultural borders and attempts are being made to clamp down on the availability of child pornography and abuse being committed in one country and being viewed in the UK. Peter Robbins the Chief Executive suggests that his analysts witness terrible sexual abuse being inflicted on young children, which is circulated online. It is an offence in the U.K. to download explicit images of children. The IWF works towards removing these sites. Their figures suggest that their efforts are paying off in the U.K. They report that It appears to be working in the U.K. and their figures suggest that of all the sites reported to them in 2007 just 1% could be traced back to a UK server, compared with 18% 10 years ago. Sex trafficking has been attributed to uneven distribution of wealth. The Dutch researcher Sietske Altink suggests that trafficking has become a global problem in the last seven years. Sietske suggests, more and more countries are joining the ranks of sending countries and increasing numbers are becoming target countries and that economic hardships and their consequences for women create a potential supply of workers for the sex industry. But this supply would never be used for sex trafficking purposes without the creation of demand.21 According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), "the sex industry has become highly diversified and global in recent years".22. They suggest that technological developments such as the Internet and the proliferation of tourism, escort agencies and media outlets that advertise sexual services, have all contributed to the growing demand for commercial sex. The Internet plays many parts in cross-cultural issues of child abuse and neglect. There are growing numbers of Internet sites, which act as a platform for the sex traffickers, and the opponents of sex trafficking. I was able to view a Romanian film, which uses celebrities to highlight the problem of human trafficking.23 The Internet could be considered in another view of globalisation, which sees it as a process in a world in which time and space have become compressed because of the operation of modern transport, communications and the increasing internationalisation of economic activity. Thus, actions in one part of the globe have consequences elsewhere.24 A number of child abuse cases have been linked to economic activity in other parts of the world. The trafficking between Romania and the UK is a prime example.The UK has had an influx of Romanian economic migrants in recent years. They have 21 Nikolic-Ristanovic, V, 2001, 22 Sex Trade Reliant On Forced Labour, Madslien, J, 2005, 23 SvetlanaLoboda, 2007, Anti Traffiking Of Woman: commercial, 24 Sanders, B. 2008, The Child The Family And The State, Lecture notes
  12. 12. attracted bad press in the UK and many have been labelled as criminal. There are legitimate Romanians living and working in the UK. 25 The U.K. has been linked to the demand for child pornography and prostitutes being trafficked from other countries including Romania. Organised gangs in London and other larger U.K. cities have been linked to the maintaining of gangs in their home country from the profits of their crime in the U.K. The Daily Mail reported Fagin-style criminal gangs from Romania are making vast amounts of money from trafficking children into Britain to work as pickpockets and beggars, it is revealed today.26 The Mail suggests that the gangs send money back to Romania, so that gang members can build new homes. The Daily Mail reports that villages where once horses and carts were the only form of transport are being transformed into places with expensive cars and glitzy mansions. Tandrei is a village 90 miles from the capital Bucharest. Police reported finding children amongst one hundred extended family members when they raided a house in Slough. The Mail goes on to report the revelation comes as police staged a dramatic series of dawn raids yesterday in a campaign to stamp out the trafficking of Romanian slave children smuggled into Britain. Many of the youngsters watched in terror from bedroom windows before being carried away. Ten children were taken into care. These links are having an affect on services in the U.K. and ultimately it is the children who are suffering. Newspaper reports suggest that there is a growing number of children being used and abused for crime. The Times reports a “Fagin's army” of 200 gypsy children from Romania has been smuggled into Britain and could be earning more than £19m a year from street crime and fraud, the European Union’s head of police has disclosed. The children, who have an average age of eight, have been trafficked into the UK with the consent of their parents in return for a “hiring” fee from 25 Kelley, T. & Reid, S. 2008, Images 26 Kelley, T. & Reid, S. 2008,
  13. 13. gangsters. Fagin’s army of Romanian children earns gangs millions. 27 The police suggest that the gangs are using children under ten years of age. These children are too young to be prosecuted. The Romanian children in the U.K. will be entering into a system, which has undergone some major changes in the last century. There have been very high profile cases of systematic abuse of children, which any Romanian could justly argue is a reflection of society in the U.K. It has been reported that Britain's most vulnerable children are at risk because of a chaotic child protection system.28 The report (Safeguarding Children) suggests that the system is under funded, understaffed and too far down the Government's list of priorities. Inspectors from eight different government bodies have compiled the report. The U.K. approach to tackling child abuse and neglect is under fire. The Chief Inspector of social sevices has warned that local authorities have low priority status towards child protection. The NSPCC has also launched a campaign, which called on the government to halve the number of child abuse deaths by 2010. The concerns are valid as figures suggest that up to two children per week are killed at the hands of parents or carers. Britain has been ranked as having the highest child homicide rate in Europe. UNICEF suggests that the UK’s record on child deaths from abuse is more than twice as high as official records suggest. The Innocenti report suggests that two children under the age of 15 die from abuse in the UK each week. Nearly 3,500 children under 15 die from abuse (including neglect) every year in the industrialised world, with the youngest children most at risk. UNICEF study has begun constructing a league table of child deaths. The table combines national totals of child deaths from known abuse and neglect with those child deaths that are recorded as being of “undetermined cause”. Unicef report that five nations namely Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Hungary and France have levels of child maltreatment deaths that are four to six times higher than the average for the leading countries. The United States, Mexico and Portugal have rates that are between 10 and 15 times higher than those at the top of the table. A small group of countries – Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland and Norway – appear to have an exceptionally low incidence of child maltreatment deaths and lie at the top of the rankings. 29 27 Leppard, D. 2008, Fagin’s Army Of Romanian Children Earns Gang Millions In UK, 28 McSmith, A. 2002, Scandal Of Britain’s Neglected children, 29 Child Deaths From Abuse In UK Could Be Double Official Records, 2003,
  14. 14. In the report a connection was made between child abuse and a broader spectrum of violence against children. It is argued that in order to make any serious attempt at tackling child abuse there should be a promotion of a culture of non-violence towards children. The report argues for the eradication of the hitting of children by parents or carers for the purposes of punishment or discipline. Despite the onslaught of reports and recommendations, children continue to be neglected, abused and murdered. Maria Colwell died on 7th January 1973, when she was seven years of age. She was starved and had been subjected to a terrible beating.30 This relatively unknown child became a landmark in social care. There followed a public inquiry, which led to major changes in child protection. Almost 30 years later a little girl by the name of Victoria Climbie became another landmark in social care. She had been beaten with a bicycle chain, starved of food and light and left tied up in a black bag in her own excrement. The Home Office pathologist, who examined her body and found 128 separate injuries and scars. A large number of cigarette burns peppered her body. Dr. Nathaniel Carey described the injuries as "the worst case of child abuse I've encountered". 31 As hard as it is to imagine that anyone could do such a thing to children, the truth is that child abuse continues to occur throughout the UK and Romania. In conclusion, the conditions in Romania may have improved as a result of their move into the European Union. There has been an ethnocentric attitude prevalent within Romanian society even with the failings and systematic institutionalised abuse of children in orphanages. The efforts of NGO’s in the UK and in Romania although sometimes misplaced and misguided do continue to contribute towards the prevention of child abuse and neglect. The awful conditions that children endure often spurs people to act at a local, national or international level. It is argued that assessing the child abuse in any country is a major undertaking.32 The high profile cases of abuse and neglect in the UK such as those of Maria Colwell, Victoria Climbie, James Bulger and more recently Baby P, do not paint a very good picture of the UK to those living in other countries. The images of the Romanian children abandoned in orphanages are equally disturbing. The media plays its part in bringing some of these to our attention. The media attention on high profile cases in the UK may have played some part in forcing the government to make changes. 30 31 Dickson, N. 2002, Climbie: Legacy Of An Inquiry, 32 Sanders, B. 2008, Child Protection Cross Cultural, Lecture Notes
  15. 15. The government has been moved to establish a new and more ordered social work profession. There has been the establishment of a regulatory agency. The General Social Care Council and the Social Care Institute for Excellence. These establishments are aimed at promoting higher standards of practice. It is argued that there is no universally accepted standard for optimal child rearing or for the abusive and neglectful behaviours. It is also argued that child treatment like other categories of behaviour, must be defined by an aggregate of individuals, by a community or cultural group, to be meaningful.’33 It falls to organizations like UNICEF, UNESCO, Save The Children and European Union Legislation to intervene in countries such as Romania. There are excellent cross-cultural projects already running. Organisations like the SEYPA project was designed by the London-based “European Forum for Children, Young People & Families Affected By HIV/AIDS” The organisation aims to address problems of HIV-related social exclusion faced by young people. The project was set up with five NGO partners from Southern and Eastern European countries. The project is funded by Glaxosmithkline, which allowed the project to start in 2003. More importantly the project complied with policies of consulting directly with young people. This helped them to engage constructively with the problems that they encounter living with HIV. Thirty-six young people contributed to the project. The project provides ‘toolkits’ which can be used to help reduce social exclusion relating to HIV/AIDS. The media reports of young children smuggled into the UK to steal on the streets of London has brought child protection issues of Romanian children to our front doorstep. Globalisation, a £50 bus service from Bucharest to London has seen a rise in families leaving Romania and often leaving their children in search of employment. There are a number of cross-cultural issues, which arise from this practice, which will need to be addressed, by the UK and Romanian authorities. Some of these issues fall under the ILO definition of child work and child labour. The ILO describe the worst forms of child labour as those involving children being enslaved, forcibly recruited, prostituted, trafficked, forced into illegal activities and exposed to hazardous work. The European Union report on children’s rights suggest that some of the key challenges identified are • Violence suffered by children within the family, in the community, in residential care and in other settings. 33 Ibid
  16. 16. • Many children continue to be placed in institutions across the EU. Alternatives such as fostering and adoption remain inadequately resourced • Trafficking of children into and between EU states to be exploited for sexual and other purposes. • Frequent violation of the rights of children who seek asylum. • Discrimination often on multiple grounds, suffered by some groups of children such as Roma or disabled children. • Child poverty and social exclusion, which has increased significantly in some EU countries during the past twenty years, with younger children facing a higher risk of relative poverty than any other group. • Developing children’s participation.34 Identification of these concerns requires cross-cultural cooperation between child protection and law enforcement agencies. One could argue that one of the contributing factors for many of these illegal activities is fuelled by the desire to escape from poverty. Romanians are leaving their country in search of work often to the UK. When they reach here they find they are subject to stringent regulations. Since January 2007, Romanians have been able to move and reside freely in any EU Member State They have the status of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. Criminal gangs have always found a way of exploiting systems and cross-cultural links are evident in their activities. Globalisation has also contributed to the ease in which children can be exploited for sexual or economic purposes in Romania and the UK. The time has come where a local authority in a rural community in the UK has to consider cross-cultural issues around child abuse and neglect of children in their own homes and children in public care. A series of papers published by The Lancet medical journal in collaboration with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have published a series of papers which point towards the unseen sufferings of an estimated 1 million children a year in the UK. The report suggests that teachers and other professionals have a fear of reporting neglect or abuse. The fear is that the children may be worse of if taken away and placed in a home. A key finding from the Baby P case was that there was a lack of communication and sharing of suspicions by professionals. 34 Sanders, B. 2008, European Children, Lecture Notes
  17. 17. The Internet has played a part in bringing global issues of child abuse and neglect. There are Internet sites, which are used by the perpetrators of crimes against children and those who want to stop the crimes. The Internet must be taken into consideration in any attempts at reducing child abuse and neglect through cross-cultural cooperation. The evidence suggests that services in the UK are struggling to cope with the levels of child abuse and neglect. There is evidence which suggests that the services are not getting at the root causes which include health, poverty, exclusion, gender inequality, racism, the class system, international crime and globalisation. The Lancet editor Dr. Richard Horton suggests that the extent of the risk factors and consequences of child maltreatment, which are of such complexity that any attempt to apportion blame or think there is a simple solution to this issue is to completely misrepresent the extent and depth of the problem’. Dr Horton argues that the series of papers ‘will unfortunately not halt the blight of child abuse, because the phenomenon is too common, too surreptitious and too deeply rooted in deprivation and other social ills - but we nonetheless hope to raise awareness of the scientific evidence that is available, and indeed essential, to guide paediatricians and other professionals in their practice with children who might have been abused and to help bring a new logic and clarity to public debate about this contentious area’.35 Bibliography Aldeadle, 2007, Stop Human Traffiking, 2 BBC News Online, 2007, Child Abuse Websites Worsening, 3 BBC News, Timeline: Victoria Climbie, 4 Boseley, S. 2008, One In Ten Children Suffer Abuse Say Experts 5 Cameron, P. 2008, Stella’s House, 6, 2009, Romania, 7 Carmarthenboy, 2008, Romanian Children, 8 Deletant, D. 2009, Romania 1943-1989 A historical Overview, 9 Dickson, N. 2002, Climbie: Legacy Of An Inquiry, 10 Harrison, O. 2009, 1 ICMEC, National Mandate Mission, 35 Boseley, S. 2008, One In Ten Children Suffer Abuse Say Experts,
  18. 18. 2 Idebate, 2007, Horizon, 13 Idebate, 2007, Making A Living, 14 ITN News, 2006, Romanian Orphanages, 15 Journeymanpictures, 2007, Lost Children – Romania, U&feature=related 16 Kelley, T & Reid, S. 2008, pickpocket-gangs-building-palaces-home-child-slave-labour.html 17 Kelley, T & Reid, S. 2008, Image, carry-1-000-crimes-months.html 18 Leppard, D. 2008, Fagin’s Army Of Romanian Children Earns Gang Millions In UK, 9 Lexiiluvzu, 2007, Human Traffiking, Global Effects, 20 Madslien, J. 2005, Sex Trade Reliant On Forced Labour, 21 McSmith, A. 2002, Scandal Of Britain’s Neglected children, news/scandal-of-britains-neglected-children-613944.html 22 Nikolic-Ristanovic, V, 2001, Sex Traffiking: The Impact Of War Militarism & Globalisation In Eastern Europe, 23 Sanders, B. 2008, Child Protection-Cross Cultural Lecture Notes 24 Sanders, B. 2008, Child protection Procedures, Inquiries & After – Lecture Notes 25 Sanders, B. 2008, Child Welfare Children’s Rights, Lecture Notes 26 Sanders, B. 2008, Child Welfare In The UK: A Historical Context, Lecture Notes 27 Sanders, B. 2008, European Children, Lecture Notes 28 Sanders, B. 2008, Family Support-The Varied Roles Of Family Centres & The Voluntary Sector, Lecture Notes 29 Sanders, B. 2008, The Child, The Family & The State: Cross-Cultural Examination, Lecture Notes 30 Slack, J. 2007, Romanians Living In The UK Carry Out 1,000 Crimes In Six Months. 31SvetlanaLoboda, 2007, Anti Traffiking Of Woman: commercial, 32 Telefonulcopilului, 2009, 33 Trafficker, 34 Unicef, 2003, Child Deaths From Abuse In UK Could Be Double Official Records, 2003, 35 Unicef, 2007, Children Residential Reform In Moldova, v=CI6C0i3kYOc&feature=related 36 World Bank, 2008, Romanian Orphans, Footnotes Sanders, B. 2008, Child Protection – Cross Cultural, Lecture Notes 2 Harrison, O. 2009, 3 Deletant, D. 2009, Romania 1943-1989 A historical Overview, 4 ITN News, 2006, Romanian Orphanages, 5 Sanders, B. 2008, European Children, Lecture Notes 6 Journeymanpictures, 2007, Lost Children – Romania, U&feature=related 7 Cameron, P. 2008, Stella’s House, 8 Sanders, B. 2008,The Child, The Family And The State: A Cross-Cultural Examination, Lecture Notes. 9 Idebate, 2007, Making A Living, 0 Carmarthenboy, 2008, Romanian Children,
  19. 19. v=SbCyH3Y6Tm4&feature=channel_page 1 Idebate, 2007, Horizon, 2 World Bank, 2008, Romanian Orphans, 3 Unicef, 2007, Children Residential Reform In Moldova, v=CI6C0i3kYOc&feature=related 4, 2009, Romania, 5 Telefonulcopilului, 2009, 6 Trafficker, 7 Aldeadle, 2007, Stop Human Traffiking, 8 Lexiiluvzu, 2007, Human Traffiking, Global Effects, 9 ICMEC, National Mandate Mission, 20 BBC News Online, 2007, Child Abuse Websites Worsening, 2 Nikolic-Ristanovic, V, 2001, Sex Traffiking: The Impact Of War Militarism & Globalisation In Eastern Europe, 22 Madslien, J. 2005, Sex Trade Reliant On Forced Labour, 23 SvetlanaLoboda, 2007, Anti Traffiking Of Woman: commercial, v=tPgJef9UqWg&feature=related 24 Sanders, B. 2008, The Child The Family And The State, Lecture notes 25 Kelley, T & Reid, S. 2008, Image, carry-1-000-crimes-months.html 26 Kelley, T & Reid, S. 2008, pickpocket-gangs-building-palaces-home-child-slave-labour.html 27 Leppard, D. 2008, Fagin’s Army Of Romanian Children Earns Gang Millions In UK, 28 McSmith, A. 2002, Scandal Of Britain’s Neglected children, news/scandal-of-britains-neglected-children-613944.html 29 Unicef, 2003, Child Deaths From Abuse In UK Could Be Double Official Records, 2003, 30 BBC News, Timeline: Victoria Climbie, 3 Dickson, N. 2002, Climbie: Legacy Of An Inquiry, 32 Sanders, B. 2008, Child Protection Cross Cultural, Lecture Notes 33 Ibid 34 Sanders, B. 2008, European Children, Lecture Notes 35 Boseley, S. 2008, One In Ten Children Suffer Abuse Say Experts, child-abuse-lancet-baby-p Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14. Evans A 12, 13, Daily Mail