Committee: UNICEF UNICEF (United Nations Childrens Fund or originally the United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund) is an agency devoted to the welfare of children and cooperates with the World Health Organization in immunization programs. UNICEF was established in 1946 and currently has over 200 offices in 115 developing countries. The current focus is on establishing long- term human development and on providing emergency relief and rehabilitation assistance when needed.Topic: a) Child trafficking in West AfricaHUMAN trafficking remains an intractable problem in Nigeria and WestAfrica. It is believed to be a modern-day slavery occasioned by greed,poverty and poor legislation, with the victims predominantly children, girlsand women.Indeed the severity of the illegal sale and trade in persons particularlychildren and females in Nigeria, and west African sub-region, promptedgovernments to seek new strategies to combat the heinous crime.Cheerily the Libreville Platform of Action, which was drafted in 2000 andsigned by national, regional and international governments as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) was aimed to protect children andyoung women from the dangers of trafficking.Last June, the joint ECOWAS/ECCAS regional cooperation on humantrafficking was signed by 26 countries in West and Central Africa in Abuja,which was viewed by experts as the needed elixir against the hydra-heatedtrans-border crime.At the historic gathering, Executive Director, National Agency for Prohibitionof Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs. Carol Ndaguda, singled out poverty
as the major factor exacerbating the illegal trade even as she listed otherfactors as unemployment, child abuse and neglect, sexual exploitation.In addition, Champion Health Forum gathered from experts that poorlegislation and security measures also boosted the trade.United Nations Childrens Fund (NUCEF), said porous borders anddesperately poor economic conditions in the West and Central African sub-region have prompted people to migrate to trade and farm. "But povertyhas led families into more desperate measures as seen in the increasingnumbers of children being trafficked into exploitative labor andprostitution."Without doubt, sexual exploitation seems to be one of the most devastatingeffects of human trafficking.UNICEFs regional director, West and East Africa, Dr. Esther Guluma, at amedia chat after the conference said, "The working conditions werehazardous and exploitative especially for those engaged in commercialsex, where the risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) andHIV as well as risk of being raped. With increasing incidence of trafficking inchildren, particularly girls for sex and domestic work, the International LaborOrganization (ILO) estimates that the incidence of child labor in Nigeria forpersons aged 10 to 14 years is approximately 12 million. According to aUNICEF report on child trafficking in Nigeria, a few states such as Edo, Delta,Imo and Kano, are more seriously affected by child trafficking than others."In the South-West, a greater number of girls and women end up inprostitution, while in the East, the problem affects mainly boys who findthemselves trafficking into agricultural, domestic, trading andapprenticeship jobs," the report said. In the North, it noted that the problemof trafficking is not immediately evident, but analysis and assessment of thesocial situation revealed that trafficking is ongoing in Kano, Maiduguri andother major cities. You may also wish to know that at a workshop on humantrafficking, studies revealed that about 500 Nigerian girls were working ascommercial sex workers in Bamako, Mali and a similar number in BurkinaFaso.According to the apex childrens agency, trafficking of girls and women toItaly and other European countries has slave-like characteristics, because oftightening illegal immigration controls which force traffickers to resort tomore daring and dangerous forms of smuggling. Champion Health Forumgathered that many of these nationals who fall victim to these criminals areforced to take land routes across the Sahara to North Africa, and thenmake the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean in small boats.
Sadly, several others never reach their destinations as they may beabandoned or drown. "Those that reach their destination are sold off toprostitution rackets and, engage in other forms of commercial sex work," itadded. Presently, it is estimated that over 20,000 Nigerian girls largely fromEdo State are engaged in commercial sex work in Europe. The health risksof rape, forced sex and sexual exploitation due to human trafficking aremyriad and life-threatening. However, the underlying causes of slave tradeare even worse. It calls for serious actions by government and relevantagencies to save Nigerian citizens from unnecessary humiliation and sexualmolestation abroad .UNICEF Innocent Research Centre has worked with theUNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa to identify effectivepolicy solutions to the child trafficking issue in eight countries: Benin, BurkinaFaso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Mali, Nigeria and Togo. This studyfocuses on a region that is badly affected by this phenomenon, aiming toincrease understanding of this reality and maximize the effectiveness ofmeasures to overcome it. It illustrates the importance of field-drivenresearch and the essential role that research plays in policy formulation andthe proper design of programs. There are unfortunately no precise estimatesof the number of children trafficked in west Africa overall. The UN hasestimated 200,000 children per year, but even UNICEF is unaware of theorigins of that figure. Government estimates tend to be more conservative:for example, the Togolese government estimates that approximately 200 to300 children are trafficked from the country each year. One Togolese NGO(non-governmental organization), by contrast, estimates that there are over15,000 Togolese children working as domestic workers in Gabon alone. Itcan be said with certainty that the problem is significant and, as of now, notabating. We estimate that it will grow worse, particularly as AIDS and otherdiseases orphan increasing numbers of children in west and central Africa.Frequently used questions: 1- If trafficking in the country is present, what is the government doing to intercept does traffickers? 2- What organizations in the country are helping to prevent this issues? 3- Does in your country the child trafficking has something to do with the west Africa?
TOPIC: b) Preventing domestic violence, and children abuse.A growing body of clinical experience and research reveals that domesticviolence and child abuse occur in the same families and are highlyassociated with similar social and economic risk factors. Data also showthat children growing up in violent families are more likely to engage inyouth violence. Furthermore, the social and economic risk factors for youthviolence correspond to the risk factors for domestic violence and childabuse. Given these findings, an effective strategy to combat child abuse,domestic violence and youth violence would be a collaborative,community-based prevention/early intervention effort that aims to reducethe social and economic risk factors for at-risk families. This paper outlinesproposed components of such a program and presents a strong argumentfor the development of national and local collaborative prevention effortsbetween the three fields. Child abuse and domestic violence often occur inthe same family and are linked in a number of important ways that haveserious consequences for the safety of all family members as well as formembers of the larger community. First, where one form of family violenceexists, there is a strong likelihood that the other one does too. Second,research shows that the impact on children of witnessing parental domesticviolence is strikingly similar to the consequences of being directly abused bya parent, and both experiences are significant contributors to youthviolence. Third, many of the factors highly associated with the occurrenceof child abuse are also associated with domestic violence, and many ofthese are the same factors that put children at risk for youth violence andadult violent crime. Overlapping all these problems is substance abuse,which is associated with each form of violence as a co-factor. Theselinkages have important implications for intervention and prevention efforts.The concurrent incidence of domestic violence and child abuse within thesame families is well documented. In a national survey of over 6,000 families,researchers found that 50% of the men who frequently assaulted their wivesalso frequently assaulted their children.1 Reviewing 200 substantiated childabuse reports, the Massachusetts Department of Social Services found that48% of the case records mentioned adult domestic violence.2 Amonghospitalized child abuse cases, 59% of mothers of abused children havebeen found to be beaten by their male partners.3Domestic violence and child abuse take a devastating toll on children andsociety at large. Early childhood victimization, either through direct abuse,neglect, or witnessing parental domestic violence, has been shown to have
demonstrable long-term consequences for youth violence, adult violentbehaviors, and other forms of criminality.4Children can be killed, physically injured, psychologically harmed, orneglected as a result of either domestic violence or child abuse. From 1990to 1994, 5,400 children are known to have died from abuse or neglect.5Studies suggest that domestic violence was present in a large percentageof these cases: The Oregon Department of Human Resources reports thatdomestic violence occurred in 41% of the families in which children hadbeen critically injured or killed.3 In fact, the U.S. Advisory Board on ChildAbuse a nd Neglect suggests that domestic violence may be the singlemajor precursor to child abuse and neglect fatalities in this country.7Domestic violence perpetrators sometimes intentionally injure children in aneffort to intimidate and control their adult partners. These assaults caninclude physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of the children. Children mayalso be injured - either intentionally or accidentally - during attacks on theirmothers. An object thrown or a weapon used against the mother may hitthe child. Assaults on younger children may occur while the mother isholding the child, and injuries to older children often happen when theyattempt to protect the mother by intervening.Even when domestic violence does not result in direct physical injury to thechild, it can interfere with both the mothers and the fathers parenting tosuch a degree that the children may be neglected or abused. Aperpetrator is clearly not providing good parenting when he physicallyattacks the childs mother. The physical demands of parenting canoverwhelm mothers who are injured or have been kept up all night bybeatings. The emotional demands of parenting can be similarly daunting toan abused woman suffering from trauma, damaged self-confidence, andother emotional scars caused by years of abuse. In addition, abusers often -as a means of control - undermine their partners parenting.Children whose mothers are abused sometimes suffer at the hands of theirmothers as well. One study found that the rate of child abuse by motherswho were beaten is at least double that of mothers whose husbands didnot assault them.8Children of all ages are deeply affected by domestic violence and by childabuse. Infants exposed to violence may not develop the attachments totheir caretakers that are critical to their development; in extreme cases theymay suffer from "failure to thrive." Preschool children in violent homes mayregress developmentally and suffer sleep disturbances, includingnightmares. School-age children who witness violence exhibit a range of
problem behaviors including depression, anxiety, and violence towardspeers.9The impact of domestic violence and child abuse may continue throughadolescence and adulthood. Adolescents who have grown up in violenthomes are at risk for recreating the abusive relationships they have seen.10They are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run awayfrom home, engage in teenage prostitution and other delinquent behavior,and commit sexual assault crimes.11 A study conducted by the Office ofJuvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention found that 70% of adolescentswho lived in families with parental conflict self-reported violent delinquency,compared to 49% of adolescents from households without this conflict. Thisstudy also revealed that exposure to multiple forms of violence, includingdomestic violence, child abuse, and general family climate of hostility,doubles the risk of self-reported youth violence.12Researchers have also found that men who as children witnessed theirparents domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wivesthan sons of nonviolent parents.13 A significant proportion of abusivehusbands grew up in families where they witnessed their mothers beingbeaten. Clearly, domestic violence and child abuse are spawning groundsfor the next generation of abusers, as well as for violent juveniles.In 1994 there were an estimated 2.9 million reports of suspected child abuseand neglect.14 Data from a 1995 Gallup Poll of family violence suggest thatfrom 1.5 million to 3.3 million children witness parental domestic violenceeach year. These are sobering statistics in light of the known impact of childabuse and witnessing domestic violence on each child, the social costsassociated with it.15The overlap between child abuse and domestic violence is not limited totheir consequences or prevalence. Many of the risk factors that are highlyassociated with child maltreatment are the same factors that put womenat risk for domestic violence and children at risk for juvenile violence. Forexample, child abuse risk factors include young age of parents, socialisolation, the abusers history of being a victim of child abuse or a witness todomestic violence as a child, and poverty, among others.16Similarly, research on domestic violence risk factors shows that women inlow-income households experience a higher rate of violence by an intimatepartner than women in households with higher incomes. The rate of intimatepartner violence against women generally decreases as household incomelevels increase. Also, younger women, aged 16-24, experience the highest
per capita rates of domestic violence, and slightly more than half of femalevictims have children under the age of 12.17Social isolation characterizes many families in which either domesticviolence or child abuse is present,18 although it is not always clear whetherthe isolation causes the abuse or whether the abuse causes the isolation. Astudy of the social support and social network relationships of neglectingand non-neglecting, low-income, single, African-American mothers foundkey differences in the mothers perceptions of their relationships andinteractions. The study found that negative relationships were an importantdifferentiating factor between neglecting and non-neglecting mothers. Therelationships of neglecting mothers were characterized by conflict, distrust,and lack of mutuality, while non-neglecting mothers experienced satisfyingsupportive relationships which emphasized a sense of mutuality andfairness.19Another recent study in Chicago demonstrated a strong correlationbetween violence rates and community cohesion. Researchers found thatseveral neighborhoods with characteristics generally associated with highcrime rates, such as poverty, unemployment and single-parent households,nevertheless had low rates of violence. The common factor in theseneighborhoods was high levels of collective efficacy, a term defined as asense of trust, common values and cohesion in neighborhoods.20 The studyconcludes that "the combined measure of informal social control andcohesion and trust remained a robust predictor of lower rates of violence."21Finally, a significant portion of child abusers, domestic violenceperpetrators, and violent juvenile offenders grew up being abusedthemselves and/or witnessing their parents domestic violence. However,exposure to child abuse or domestic violence as a child is not the only riskfactor for juvenile violence. Living in an impoverished community that is rifewith drugs, guns, and crime, having parents that use harsh or erraticdiscipline, and being isolated from the community, family, or school - all ofthese also put children at higher risk.22 These factors are, again, strikinglysimilar to those contributing to both forms of family violence.Child welfare and domestic violence organizations are now beginning torecognize the overlap between domestic violence and child abuse andthe need for collaborative efforts between the two fields. In the fewcommunities where child welfare agencies and domestic violenceprograms have developed collaborations aimed at intervening in bothforms of family violence, early results are promising. These efforts haveunderscored the need for collaborative efforts to focus on identifying these
families earlier on in the cycle of family violence, and on preventing theviolence in the first place.Moreover, there has never been a comprehensive community-basedprevention/early intervention collaboration that addressed all threeinterrelated types of violence - child abuse, domestic violence, and youthviolence. The overlap of factors that we have seen contributing to all theseforms of violence provides a fertile ground for successful and urgentlyneeded collaborative prevention efforts.Frequently used questions: 1- In what manner the government could interfere in the prevention of the domestic violence? 2- How much organizations in the country are trying to prevent the domestic violence? 3- Does NGOs are helping, and in what way? http://www.mincava.umn.edu/link/documents/fvpf2/fvpf2.shtml