Cebu Normal University College of Teacher Education Graduate Studies Osmena Boulevard, Cebu CityThe Young’s Social Arms An Outline of Children’s Rights Diploma in Professional Education Child and Adolescent Development Submitted to Ms. Marili Cardillo Submitted by Reynario Cabezada Ruiz Jr.
“Children’s Rights”The following rights enumerated in this paper are based on Art. 3 of P.D. No, 603 otherwise known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code of The Philippines (*) and the provisions and principles of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 1. Every child is a rights holdersSurvival and development rights 2. Every child has the right to Life, Survival and Development • Rights to health, health services • Right to adequate nutrition • Right to social security • Right to adequate standard of living • Right to healthy and safe environment • Right to education • Right to playProtection rights 3. Every child has the right to non-discrimination of any kind • Discrimination may take the form of: o reduced levels of nutrition o inadequate care and attention o restricted opportunities for play, learning and education o inhibition of free expression of feelings and views o harsh treatment o unreasonable expectations, which may be exploitative or abusive o ethnic origin, social and cultural status, gender and/or disabilities o Maltreatment within families, communities, schools or other institutions 4. Every child has the Right to be treated with dignity • freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatmentParticipation rights 5. Every child has the right for their best interest • care, health, education, etc • all law and policy development, administrative and judicial decision- making and service provision 6. Every child has the right to be respected for the views and feelings • Right to freedom of opinion and of expression • Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
• express his or her views freely in all matters, to have them taken into account • child’s agency - as a participant in family, community and society “The Child and Youth Welfare code of the Philippines” (1) Every child is endowed with the dignity and worth of a human being from the momentof his conception, as generally accepted in medical parlance, and has, therefore, the right tobe born well.(2) Every child has the right to a wholesome family life that will provide him with love, careand understanding, guidance and counseling, and moral and material security.The dependent or abandoned child shall be provided with the nearest substitute for a home.(3) Every child has the right to a well-rounded development of his personality to the endthat he may become a happy, useful and active member of society.The gifted child shall be given opportunity and encouragement to develop his specialtalents.The emotionally disturbed or socially maladjusted child shall be treated with sympathy andunderstanding, and shall be entitled to treatment and competent care.The physically or mentally handicapped child shall be given the treatment, education andcare required by his particular condition.(4) Every child has the right to a balanced diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter, propermedical attention, and all the basic physical requirements of a healthy and vigorous life.(5) Every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitudefor the enrichment and the strengthening of his character.(6) Every child has the right to an education commensurate with his abilities and to thedevelopment of his skills for the improvement of his capacity for service to himself and tohis fellowmen.(7) Every child has the right to full opportunities for safe and wholesome recreation andactivities, individual as well as social, for the wholesome use of his leisure hours.(8) Every child has the right to protection against exploitation, improper influences,hazards, and other conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his physical, mental,emotional, social and moral development.(9) Every child has the right to live in a community and a society that can offer him anenvironment free from pernicious influences and conducive to the promotion of his healthand the cultivation of his desirable traits and attributes.(10) Every child has the right to the care, assistance, and protection of the State,particularly when his parents or guardians fail or are unable to provide him with hisfundamental needs for growth, development, and improvement.(11) Every child has the right to an efficient and honest government that will deepen hisfaith in democracy and inspire him with the morality of the constituted authorities both intheir public and private lives.
(12) Every child has the right to grow up as a free individual, in an atmosphere of peace,understanding, tolerance, and universal brotherhood, and with the determination tocontribute his share in the building of a better world. Children’s Rights as ImplementedRights No. ISurvival and development rights 7. Every child has the right to Life, Survival and Development • Right to adequate nutrition(4) Every child has the right to a balanced diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter, propermedical attention, and all the basic physical requirements of a healthy and vigorous life. 8. Every child has the right to non-discrimination of any kind • Discrimination may take the form of: o reduced levels of nutritionArticle ISomalia: ‘Disaster fatigue’ must not dull compassion for starving children.The head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today made an impassioned appeal to theworld to save an estimated 390,000 starving children in famine-ravaged regions of Somalia, saying theinternational community must not let the so-called “disaster fatigue” numb compassion and generosity.“I have read in the last few days a number of articles noting a decrease of interest in the Horn of Africa inthe press and in the public’s. This must not happen. We cannot let a kind of disaster fatigue set in,” saidAnthony Lake, the UNICEF Executive Director, at a news conference at UN Headquarters to mark WorldHumanitarian Day.“The statistics can be mind-numbing, but remember that the data is sons and daughters. The statistics arelittle boys and little girls, every one of them,” said Mr. Lake, adding that the situation in Somalia was a“human disaster becoming a human catastrophe.”In addition to the tens of thousands of Somalis who have already died as a result of the drought-inducedfamine, which has been exacerbated by conflict and poverty, an estimated 390,000 children are sufferingfrom malnutrition. Four fifths of them are in the worst affected areas of the country’s south-central zone.“In some areas there we are seeing already historically high rates of severe acute malnutrition… whichmeans that the number of children in that zone facing imminent death is approaching 140,000 children,”said Mr. Lake. “In many ways this is a children’s crisis. Their plight demands and deserves our mosturgent, bold and sustained response,” he added.“I think that in all of us there is a desire when confronted with the images of people suffering so much topush them away, to categorize them as victims and to thus separate their lives from ours.“That is wrong. They are not simply victims to be pitied. They are courageous, resilient human beingsfighting under terrible circumstances to survive and save their children’s lives. They both deserve outadmiration and our support in their desperate struggle, and we are struggling to provide it,” said Mr. Lake.
He warned that the onset of the next rainy season is not due until October and projections indicate that theentire central and southern Somalia will suffer the same extreme food and nutrition crisis now prevailingin the five areas where famine has been declared, with almost 300,000 children in imminent peril.“The crisis will get worse,” said Mr. Lake. “There will be no major harvest until the beginning of nextyear and those are predicted to be below average.“We are in a fight against time. We must take from these facts and projections not hopelessness, notsurrender, but a renewed determination to limit the deaths, to save lives and to know some day that we didall we could today. We need all the support that we can get in order to do this,” he added.Mr. Lake said that UNICEF had established hundreds of nutrition centers and programs in Somalia andwas reaching more than a million people with water and sanitation. The agency is also planning a measlesvaccination program that is expected to reach two million children in the coming months.Speaking at the same news conference, Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for HumanitarianAffairs, said that despite stepped-up efforts aid agencies were not reaching as many people across thedrought-stricken Horn of African with life-saving assistance as they would like.“We are all working as quickly as we can to provide life-saving aid and protection in the Somali capital,Mogadishu, across the border in refugee camps particularly in Kenya and Ethiopia and increasingly in thesouth, in Al Shabaab-controlled areas.“But we are still not reaching enough people. Donors and the public have continued to give generously,but we still need more than a billion dollars to provide all the aid that is needed,” said Ms. Amos, who isalso the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.Rights No. IIProtection rights 9. Every child has the right to non-discrimination of any kind • Discrimination may take the form of: o inadequate care and attention o Maltreatment within families, communities, schools or other institutions(5) Every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitudefor the enrichment and the strengthening of his character.(8) Every child has the right to protection against exploitation, improper influences,hazards, and other conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his physical, mental,emotional, social and moral development.Article IIAt Home or in a Homeby Eurochild / UnicefTwo United Nations agencies have urged governments in Europe and Central Asia to immediately end thepractice of placing young children in State-run homes for infants because of the risk of neglect and abuse.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights(OHCHR) have launched a campaign against sending children to State-managed homes after two newreports documented abuses of children in such institutions.The reports showed that across Europe and Central Asia, including in States that are members of theEuropean Union (EU), more than a million children and adults are living in long-term residential care,where they languish, often for a lifetime.Hundreds of thousands of babies with disabilities are routinely placed in State-run homes, severelyhampering their development, with many suffering in appalling conditions, according to the reports.The report by OHCHR, entitled Forgotten Europeans – Forgotten Rights, outlines international andEuropean human rights standards relevant to the situation of people in institutions.The UNICEF document, entitled At Home or in a Home – Formal care and adoption of children inEastern Europe and Central Asia, provides an overview of the major trends and concerns about childrenin formal care and institutions, as well as adoption in 21 countries and one entity in Central and EasternEurope and Central Asia.At a meeting in the European Parliament hosted by Irish legislator Mairead McGuinness, the two UNentities urged governments across the region to make the needs and rights of the youngest children apriority in policy-making, budget allocation and services development, while following international andEuropean standards.The call to action includes restricting placement of children in institutions to short-term emergencymeasures or a planned stay not exceeding six months – and only when it is absolutely necessary and in thebest interests of the child.“Children belong where their best interests are met – in loving, caring homes, not in institutions where weknow they all too often receive substandard care,” said Anthony Lake, the UNICEF Executive Director.“We need to support initiatives that help families stay together by increasing their access to socialservices – and governments need to invest in building stronger social protection systems that reach themost vulnerable families and most disadvantaged communities.”Jan Jarab, OHCHR’s regional representative for Europe, said: “Many Central and Eastern Europeancountries have largely maintained the system of large-scale residential institutions for children of all ages.“Placement of children into institutions – including those under three years of age – is still the society’smain response to disability, poverty or perceived lack of parental skills, rather than a measure ofprotection from individual abuse, from which these societies often fail to protect children.”* Eurochild is a network of organizations and individuals working in and across Europe to improve thequality of life of children and young people, for more details visit the link below.Rights No. IIIParticipation rights
10.Every child has the right for their best interest • care, health, education, etc • all law and policy development, administrative and judicial decision- making and service provision(10) Every child has the right to the care, assistance, and protection of the State,particularly when his parents or guardians fail or are unable to provide him with hisfundamental needs for growth, development, and improvement.(11) Every child has the right to an efficient and honest government that will deepen hisfaith in democracy and inspire him with the morality of the constituted authorities both intheir public and private lives.Article IIIChris’s Story07 May 2008 / Posted by crChris lived through a horror story for twelve years, passing in and out ofMichigan’s child welfare system — and getting bounced around from onefoster home to the next — before he was finally adopted at the age of 14.At two, he was removed from the home of his alcoholic mother — and returned home after 18months. At eight, he was removed again — along with his brother and two sisters — whenneighbors and teachers reported signs of physical abuse.Chris and his brother were separated from their sisters and placed in a home where theirfoster mother physically abused them. They were moved again — twice — and ended up witha family that wanted to adopt them both. But Michigan’s Department of Human Services haddecided that the boys should be separated — and, appallingly, they were.Chris’s brother was sent to a residential treatment facility, where he was routinely beaten underthe supervision of institutional staff. Chris stayed with his fourth foster family for two moreyears before he, too, was placed in an institution — despite meeting none of the criteria for sucha move.Chris finally moved in with his adoptive father in December 2005. The adoption became final inAugust 2006, and his brother has now moved in with them and is awaiting adoption.On August 8, 2006, Children’s Rights filed a federal class action against Michigan’sDepartment of Human Services on behalf of the 19,000 children like Chris in state custody.The case is ongoing.Rights No. IV
Survival and development rights 11.Every child has the right to Life, Survival and Development • Right to social security • Right to adequate standard of living • Right to healthy and safe environment(12) Every child has the right to grow up as a free individual, in an atmosphere of peace,understanding, tolerance, and universal brotherhood, and with the determination tocontribute his share in the building of a better world.Article IVManny’s Story15 May 2008 / Posted by crManny was just three years old when he and his brother were first taken awayfrom their home and placed in foster care after multiple confirmed reports ofabuse and neglect. In the years that followed, they would be bounced around to more than ten different homesand subjected to one ordeal after another.At times, the two brothers were separated from one another. Manny was placed in the wronggrade at school. At one point, he was moved all the way to Florida and placed in a home whereauthorities later discovered more than 20 other children living under intolerable conditions.Back in New Jersey, Manny was reunited with his brother — in a home where their fosterparents kept them locked in the basement, in the dark, feeding them bowls of table scraps. Thefoster parents spoke mostly Spanish. Manny speaks only English.Manny’s nightmare came to an end when a foster mother named Joan fought to get him and hisbrother out of the abusive home to which the state of New Jersey had confined them. Children’sRights named both of them as plaintiffs in the class action that we brought against the statein 1999, seeking top-to-bottom reform of its failing child welfare system.Since the landmark settlement of the case in 2003, great progress has been made. A cabinet-levelchildren’s agency has been created. Adoptions for children who cannot return to their parents areup and caseloads among the state’s child welfare workers have been reduced, enabling them toprovide children like Manny with the care and attention they need. In 2007, the state more thantripled its number of licensed foster and adoptive families as compared to the year before. It alsofinalized a record 1,540 adoptions — exceeding the court-ordered requirement of 1,400 and theprevious state record of 1,418 adoptions in 2002 — and reduced the number of children on itswaitlist for adoption, from 2,260 in January 2006 to 1,295 a year later.
Manny was one of the children who had been on that list. On December 17, 2007, in a briefceremony at a courthouse in Essex County, New Jersey, he was legally adopted by hisfoster mother, Joan.Manny is finishing high school now. He plays lacrosse and basketball on his school’s varsityteams and also enjoys football. He is already looking forward to attending college, possibly inBoston, and plans to study either history — his favorite subject — or sports management. He isthriving with his loving family in his permanent home.Rights No. VSurvival and development rights 12.Every child has the right to Life, Survival and Development • Rights to health, health services • Right to adequate standard of living • Right to healthy and safe environmentProtection rights 13.Every child has the right to non-discrimination of any kind • Discrimination may take the form of: o inadequate care and attentionArticle VRussian children protected better than young people in theUK27th May 2011There has been a steady growth in the incidence of childhood illnesses identified by The RussianNational Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) as "possible diseases" arisingfrom mobile phone use.Of particular concern is the increasing number of affected young people aged 15 to 19 years (it is verylikely that most of them are mobile phone users for a long period of time).Since 2009, central nervous system disorders among 15 to 17 year-olds has been growing rapidly, thenumber of individuals with epilepsy or epileptic syndrome has also increased, and the number of blooddisorders and immune status disorders has nearly doubled.In younger children we see the same thing happening, though they have not quite caught up withtheir older brothers and sisters yet.Because of this the RNCNIRP considers it very important carry out more scientific research to find outfor certain whether the growth in serious childhood disease results from EMF exposure from mobilephone use or whether it is being caused by other factors.
Taking into account the RNCNIRP position and the precautionary measures suggested by the WorldHealth Organisation (WHO), the Committee considers that the following urgent measures must betaken because children dont seem to recognise for themselves the potential harmful nature of thephones, and that using them can expose them to life-threatening diseases.New RNCNIRP priority measures aimed at the protection of children and teenagers 1. It is required that the information that a mobile phone is a source of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) is clearly shown on the phone itself (or any other telecommunication device). 2. It is required that the "Users Guide" contains information that a mobile phone is a source of harmful RF EMF exposure. Usage of a mobile phone by children and adolescents under 18 years old is not recommended (UK department of Health say under 16s should only use a mobile in emergencies) and mobile phone use should be used with great care in order to prevent health risks. Mobile phone use by pregnant women is not recommended in order to prevent risk for the growing baby. 3. The easiest way to reduce RF EMF exposure is to move the mobile phone away from your head during the phone call. Keeping calls short is another way to reduce the exposure. 4. The RNCNIRP considers it is reasonable to develop mobile phones with reduced EMF exposure; even forced limitation as to the number and length of calls allowed in any given period. 5. Include courses on mobile phones use and issues concerning EMF exposure in school timetables. 6. It is reasonable to set limits on mobile telecommunications use by children and adolescents, including a ban on all types of phone adverts aimed at youngsters, especially adverts with children in them. 7. The RNCNIRP is ready to assist the mass-media in their awareness-raising work and EMF educational activities and, in particular, to provide information about the newest research showing the impact of EMF on human health and the measures to reduce the negative impact of this technological hazard. 8. Better safety criteria for children and teenagers are required as soon as possible. This should take into account the need for protection for growing, vulnerable children, whose cells, growing and changing rapidly, can be damaged severely, leading to serious health problems. 9. Development of an impartial national program (without influence from the telecommunications industry) for studying possible health effects from chronic EMF exposure of the developing brain is necessary.http://www.emfields.org/news/20110527-russian-children-emf-exposure.asp
Children’s Rights as ViolatedRights No. IProtection rights 1. Every child has the right to non-discrimination of any kind a. Maltreatment within families, communities, schools or other institutions b. unreasonable expectations, which may be exploitative or abusive(8) Every child has the right to protection against exploitation, improper influences,hazards, and other conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his physical, mental,emotional, social and moral development.Article IIs it OK to Touch?A boy strokes a girl’s bum. She giggles. Does she like it or is it a nervousgiggle? What do you think? Sexual bullying is a pressing issue and it occurs inall levels of society, and this includes schools. Can education stop this? Justwhat do we define as ‘sexual bullying’ and where do we draw the line?Students attending Islington Arts and Media secondary schools feel that sexual bullying isn’treally looked into. A majority of young people get sexually bullied and don’t know about it.A 15-year-old female student believes that it’s a young person’s right to know what is wrong andwhat is right: “I think a lot of people get sexually bullied at school and do not know it. It couldbe touching the bum, and for some people that might be alright, but sometimes it’s over the top.”People should have the confidence to say no and be able to draw the line on what they feel is ok,and when it becomes sexual bullying.Head of Humanities Mr Urtone said: “Sexual harassment can happen at most secondary schoolsall over the country. I define it as any sexual activity that is physical or verbal that is unwanted.“Sometimes you go around the school and hear young boys talking about or directly to girls in aderogatory manner and I would say that that is a low level of sexual bullying.“Young people are going through puberty and have a lot of hormones flying around, some tryingto impress their friends with their actions. The victims might not have the life skills to be able tosay ‘no, I don’t want to be touched in that way.’”
A 15-year-old female pupil added: “Maybe it happens because their parents haven’t taught themto respect the opposite sex, or it’s because it’s easy to access porn on the internet and this makesyoung people think that what they are seeing is normal.”Students have expressed the need for more sexual health education to be part of the schoolcurriculum. They feel that they need the lessons to give them a better understanding of whatsexual bullying is and how it could be prevented.An ex-year 11 male student says that they haven’t had enough sexual health education sincethey’ve been at school.Lead Learning Mentor, Lynette Brown thinks that education is the key: “We need to makeeveryone aware. If we make as many young people aware of all the things that are out there thenit’s a start.”Teacher, Mr Brown said : “Sometimes young people act in a certain way and think that they arejust messing around. But if they were out on the street or the work place they would get arrestedfor it and I think it has to be made clear what the boundaries are.”The school does run lessons on sexual health and relationships, however the school can only fitfour of those lessons a year, and Mr Urtone believes it is probably not enough.“PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) lessons are important because it gives youngpeople life skills that they need to make good decisions. Life is not just about academia andtyping on keyboards, some of it is how you interact and deal with problems that arise andunfortunately I think that not all young people are equipped to make those right decisions. Butschools are not able to give enough time to these lessons.“I don’t think it’s an issue of money. I think it’s a time thing and the school has too muchacademic pressure and its main responsibility is to get young people good grades and a goodeducation.“Maybe we can have them in assemblies. But I was teaching a sexual health lesson for year 7sabout puberty, and it can be very embarrassing for the students and the teacher. And to do that infront of 180 children! It begs the question, are the teachers qualified to teach these kinds thelessons?”So sexual bullying still seems to be left in the shadows. Without education we don’t know ifpeople are suffering from it and sometimes they might not even know that what is happening tothem is sexual bullying.If this issue is highlighted more we might know how to deal with it and have the confidence tosay stop.In class we learn that a child is born innocent and their primary and secondary surroundingsinfluence them. School is one of those surroundings and that means they need to influence us inthe right way.This article was produced by Renais Mejeh, 15, Aderayo Adealy, 12, Ylyn Crowstaff, 11,Kevin Struett, 12, Aisha Ajona, 15, Ada Ismaili, 15 and Miranda Williams, 15.
Rights No. IIParticipation rights 14.Every child has the right for their best interest • care, health, education, etc(10) Every child has the right to the care, assistance, and protection of the State,particularly when his parents or guardians fail or are unable to provide him with hisfundamental needs for growth, development, and improvement. Protection rights 3. Every child has the right to non-discrimination of any kind • ethnic origin, social and cultural status, gender and/or disabilitiesArticle IIGrowing Up In CareDo you ever wish you could get rid of your parents? Don’t they really annoyyou sometimes? Well, I don’t really blame anyone who thinks that way. Butimagine if you had to grow up without your parents. Would you be or havebeen able to handle it? Hamida Begum, 14, interviewed a couple of careleavers to find out more about life in foster homes.Hoz, 21, who has recently left care, had to come to this country from Congo. He says: “because of myethnic background, I had to get away.” When Laurent Desire-Kabila took over from Mobutu Sese Seko asCongo’s President those who belonged to the Mungala, Mobutu’s ethnic group, were persecuted. Hoz isof Mungala descent himself.When Hoz was just 16, a man who claimed to be a friend of his father took Hoz travelling along withhim. “He made me travel to one country then to another. I was travelling with three different people andout of the three I knew just one. He proposed to help which at that point didn’t seem like an option todiscuss. So I accepted his help.”Shahinera, 23, who has also now left the care service, was taken away from her parents at the age of 13.She explains how she had been “young and naïve” back then, roughly 10 years ago. “I thought I wasgoing on a holiday or something. At that time my thinking was like a child.” As far as I’m concernedthere’s never really a right time for children to deal with foster care.After 3 years in care Shahinera went back to live with her parents. Her younger brother and sister also hadto go into care but unfortunately they lived separately to Shahinera. When asked if they kept in contact,she replied: “We did but it was really not that often just once in a while or something. We didn’t keep intouch so much with my family as well.”
Hoz however was an only child. Sadly, his parents and grandmother passed away. His Dad had been inthe army, on the subject of his father Hoz says: “I didn’t see my Dad that much. If I had to count howmany times I’ve seen my Dad I would say 20 in my whole life.”Foster care is when young people under the age of 18 have stand-in careers as their guardians. Thishappens as they have been taken away from their biological parents for various reasons. While the childin question is under foster care, one of the following three plans is determined for the child’s future:reuniting with the child’s birth parents, making the child’s foster home into his/her permanent home oradoption and placing the child with another legally permanent family.Fortunately for Shahinera, she was reunited with her parents after 3 years in care. Yet things weren’t thateasy for Hoz as he had no family back in Congo: “With my ethnic background it wouldn’t really be anoption to go back because things aren’t that good.” He also says how when he first arrived to the UK hewas: “dropped in front of the home offices.” The person who had brought him to the UK said: “’just walkin there and I’ll explain the situation and they’ll give you help.’” And with that Hoz was left by himself ina foreign country at 16 years old.Fostering appears to be quite a positive arrangement, but Hoz and Shahinera tell us about negativeexperiences. Shahinera: “My younger brothers and sisters. I think they were bullied in their foster carehome by their foster brother. The bullying was quite bad for my brother because when he thinks about it,he gets quite emotional. I was bullied, when my foster sister was putting me down, I didn’t realize.”Hoz talked about a girl he knew who went through something similar: “Her foster mother was extremelymean to the girl; she wasn’t doing anything for her and wasn’t buying her anything. When she went outshe asked the girl to get out and stay outside the house and she would lock the house. She would comeback whenever she wanted to. The girl couldn’t explain what was happening because she couldn’t speakEnglish.” Luckily, the social services were eventually told by someone who knew her language as well asEnglish, this helped to right the situation.Shahinera shares another bad experience; “My first foster mother wasn’t that understanding. She boughtstuff for her adopted daughter but nothing for me. I used to lock myself in my room but she never tried tocome in and see if I was okay.”It wasn’t just the foster residencies which led to problems; it was also the Social Workers: “Sometimesyou get the impression that you have to shout to get something,” says Hoz. Whilst Shahinera adds: “Theytake action after the damage is done. Whenever it suits them.”Yet not all Social Workers were bad, Hoz says: “I had a Personal Adviser and she was really good, shewas efficient. Once the carpet was dirty, so she asked the manager if the building had a vacuum cleaner.The manager said there was only one which was used by the cleaner who did the corridors and stairs. Therooms are the responsibility of the residents. Two days later she got me money for a vacuum cleaner.”Hoz also experienced conflict with others in care: “I was in a sharing accommodation and one boy used toalways use my stuff in the kitchen and leave it dirty. I ignored it at first. One day I said to him, ‘if you usemy stuff can you please clean it?’ He got aggressive and he had a knife and I thought that was it for me.”After their own experiences with fostering, both positive and negative, Hoz and Shahinera are bothwilling to give it a try. Shahinera says: “I wouldn’t mind because there are a lot of children who havebeen abandoned but it’s not easy. You need to put a lot of commitment into it.” Hoz adds: “there arechildren in need of a guide and if I have what it takes I will be willing to do it.”
This article was written by Hamida Begum, 14.Rights No. IIISurvival and development rights 15.Every child has the right to Life, Survival and Development • Rights to health, health services(4) Every child has the right to a balanced diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter, propermedical attention, and all the basic physical requirements of a healthy and vigorous life.Article IIIThe worst country in the world to be a sick childby Sarah BoseleySave the ChildrenSep 2011 (The Guardian)A league table from Save the Children establishes the safest - and most dangerous - places in the worldfor a child to fall sick, which correlate closely with their chances of getting to see a health worker.Chad and Somalia are the riskiest places in the world to fall sick if you are a child. Switzerland andFinland are the safest.That’s the conclusion of an index produced by Save the Children, which ranks 161 countries based on theavailability of health workers.There is an inevitable link, it seems. The analysis shows that children living in the bottom 20 countries –with just over two health workers for every 1,000 people - are five times more likely to die than thosefurther up the index.It stands to reason. Children die of malnutrition, of diarrhea, of malaria, of pneumonia and many otherdiseases in the poorest countries in the world. They need treatment, but often it is not just the drug or thefood supplement that is lacking - it is the nurse or the community health worker who can diagnose what iswrong and do something about it. In some places, children never see a health worker in their sometimespitifully short lives.The index is being published ahead of a UN high level meeting on non-communicable diseases in twoweeks time, which campaigners hope will call for increases in the numbers of doctors, nurses, midwivesand community health workers for the developing world.The World Health Organization estimates that the world is 3.5 million short. The index not only reflectsthe numbers in each country, but also their success in reaching children. It takes into account thepercentage of children receiving three doses of the vaccine for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanusand the number of women giving birth with a skilled birth attendant.On those measures, the worst places in the world for sick children are Chad, Somalia, Lao, Ethiopia and
Nigeria. The best are Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, Norway and Belarus. The UK comes 14th and the US15th.This is what Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, says:A child’s survival depends on where he or she is born in the world. No mother should have to watchhelplessly as her child grows sick and dies, simply because there is no one trained to help.World Leaders must tackle the health worker shortage and realize that failing to invest in health workerswill cost lives. Even the poorest countries in Africa can make real progress if they stick to their pledge ofinvesting 15% of their budgets in health.Some countries have done remarkable things in spite of the shortages, says the charity. Community healthworkers are not as expensive as nurses and are more likely to stay. Bangladesh and Nepal have madestrides in bringing down children’s death rates by investing in community health workers and are on trackto meet millennium development goal 4, which is to reduce mortality by two-thirds.But more help is needed from the rich world - and only eight developing countries have met acommitment to spend 15% of their national budgets on healthcare, Save the Children points out.Meanwhile, Amnesty International has just published a report showing that - in spite of Sierra Leone’smuch-vaunted free healthcare for pregnant women and their children - mothers are still being asked topay for drugs they cannot afford.Erwin van der Borght, Amnesty International’s Africa programme director, says there is no monitoring oraccountability system, allowing poor practice and mismanagement to go unchallenged and allowing somepeople to plunder expensive medicines. He adds: The healthcare system remains dysfunctional in manyrespects. Government figures show that since the introduction of the initiative, more women aredelivering their babies in health facilities.However, many women continue to pay for essential drugs, despite the free healthcare policy, and womenand girls living in poverty continue to have limited access to essential care in pregnancy and childbirth.Rights No. IVSurvival and development rights 16.Every child has the right to Life, Survival and Development • Right to adequate nutrition(4) Every child has the right to a balanced diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter, propermedical attention, and all the basic physical requirements of a healthy and vigorous life. 17.Every child has the right to non-discrimination of any kind • Discrimination may take the form of: o reduced levels of nutritionArticle IVSurvival of millions of children in Horn of Africa at risk, warns UNICEFby ReliefWeb / UN Children"s Fund
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that two million children are malnourished asa result of the drought in the Horn of Africa, and half a million could soon die or suffer long-lastingmental or physical damage.The agency appealed for urgent funding to assist millions of children and women in Kenya, Somalia,Ethiopia and Djibouti, which are all facing a crisis that is being called the worst in 50 years.“UNICEF estimates that over two million young children are malnourished and in need of urgent life-saving actions, if they are to survive conditions in drought-affected countries in the Horn of Africa,” theagency said in a press statement.“At least half a million of those children are facing imminent life-threatening conditions, with long lastingconsequences to their physical and mental development.”The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it is already assisting six million people in the affectedcountries, plus eastern Uganda, “but as the impact of the drought grows, we expect this number will riseto as much as 12 million.”Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Program (WFP), told a conference in Rome that acombination of natural disaster and regional conflict was affecting more than 12 million people."We are seeing all the points able to distribute food completely overwhelmed," she said, adding that acamp in Dadaab in Kenya that was built for 90,000 people now housed 400,000."We want to make sure the supplies are there along the road because some of them are becoming roads ofdeath where mothers have to abandon their children who are too weak to make it or who have died alongthe way."Women and children were among the most at risk in the crisis, Ms Sheeran said, calling it the "children’sfamine" given the number of children at risk of death or permanent stunting of their brains and bodies dueto hunger."I believe it is the children’s famine, because the ones who are the weakest are the children and those arethe ones we’re seeing are the least likely to make it," she said."We’ve heard of women making the horrible choice of leaving behind their weaker children to save thestronger ones or having children die in their arms."High food prices and prolonged drought are worsening an already dire situation for thousands of familiesin need of food and water, according to UNICEF.“Thousands of families are crossing the border from Somalia as emergency feeding centres are being setup by UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies in neighbouring countries,” the agency said.“The threat of disease on already weakened young children is of particular concern and UNICEF isurgently setting up child immunization campaigns. UNICEF, government agencies, NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and other UN agencies will be working in the vital areas of water, food andsanitation in the coming days to ward off a massive emergency,” said the agency.“However funding shortfalls, and in some areas the denial of access, threaten to disrupt these essential
services. UNICEF is asking for $31.9 million for the coming three months to provide life-saving supportto the millions of affected children and women.”WFP estimates it will need around $477 million to address hunger needs in the region through to the endof the year, but it currently has a 40 per cent shortfall in funding amounting to around $190 million.Advance planning and forward-purchasing of food has positioned WFP to respond to the current needs,but as food requirements grow, more resources will need to be mobilized to address the needs of thehungry across the Horn of Africa region, the agency said.Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, started a two-day mission toEthiopia today, to review the humanitarian situation and response to the drought.“We urgently need to scale up our response in Ethiopia, as in Kenya, Somalia and other countries, tominimize the loss of human life and livestock, which are the chief asset of pastoralist households,” Ms.Amos, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said after meeting with government andhumanitarian officials.WFP, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the British-based Oxfam agency todayissued a joint appeal for a more resilient and longer-lasting response to the drought and other “slow-onset” humanitarian crises.Although the international community responds to sudden crises, “unfortunately, ‘slow-onset’humanitarian crises, such as the worsening drought in the Horn in Africa, have not received the sameattention, leaving millions of women, men and children vulnerable to devastating hunger andmalnutrition,” they stated.The three agencies asked the international community to commit to longer-term, longer-lasting solutions,such as sustainable food assistance, support for small farmers, and support for policies and investmentsthat address core challenges such as climate change adaptation, preparedness and disaster risk reduction,rural livelihoods, conflict resolution, pastoralist issues and access to essential health and education.19 August 2011Rights No. VProtection rights 18.Every child has the Right to be treated with dignity • freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment(1) Every child is endowed with the dignity and worth of a human being from the momentof his conception, as generally accepted in medical parlance, and has, therefore, the right tobe born well.(8) Every child has the right to protection against exploitation, improper influences,hazards, and other conditions or circumstances prejudicial to his physical, mental,emotional, social and moral development.Article V
60,000Today in Rwanda, there are at least sixty thousand households run by children. These are families which were leftwithout parents after the genocide five years ago.Here you can listen to these children reflecting on the genocide and talking about how they are rebuilding andraising their families.aloneTribal fighting between the Hutus and Tutsis led to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. An estimated one millionpeople died in the violence.Of the children who survived, many fled to the refugee camps situated on the borders of Rwanda. Disease was rifeand both adults and children died in the camps.Some of the surviving children have now returned to Rwanda and are living in child-headed households. These arehomes where there are no resident adults.Habasa, 17RwandaThe militia would come and snatch us carrying us on their shoulders.They told us we must produce for them as many children as possible.They said they would use them in the future to help them fight.Habasa, 17Rwanda In the bush I was allocated to a man to be his second wife.If you refused to show respect you were beaten thoroughly.Estella, 15Rwanda You know I am still very young and I cannot manage.But I have no alternative,I have got to do what I am supposed to do.Habasa, 17RwandaI cannot go to school today because the baby is ill with malaria and diarrhoea.This is what happens every time he falls ill.I want to go to school.rapeDuring the war, many girls were raped by the militia and soldiers on all sides. In addition to raising theirsiblings, these girls are also bringing up the children they conceived when they were raped.Nyira is one of these girls.Poems from RwandaThis is the story of an old man coming from a long journey. He was very tired and ill. His children came
to him asking for wealth thinking he is about to die. He told them that their wealth is in their country. Hetold them that they should build on love and not on tribalism, whether a person is a tutsi, hutu or mtwa.He said we are all Rwandese. He told them to work for their country and build on love and not on hatred.He told them to forget the genocide because it would tear them all apart. He stressed that the mostimportant thing is loving one another.Peace is what we children of Africa want. Peace here in Africa, peace in our country Burundi, in ourcountry Rwanda and in our country Uganda. We children of Africa are tired of wars. We children wouldlike peace, peace is what we want.We children of Africa would like unity, peace and serenity in our countries. We would like these becauseunity is strength and that is what brings about development. Oh father, oh mother do not teach me abouttribalism, because that is poisonous and we children of Africa do not want or like that. We just wantunity, peace and security.Nyiras story:I was raped by a soldier when I went to the field to search for food. The soldier told me that he wouldmake me his wife. I had gone with a small child. The soldier threatened to shoot us with his gun if wemade any noise. So I told him to do whatever he wanted. So he grabbed me by force.When we got back to the camp we did not say anything because we were afraid. When we got to Gomawe were placed with the family of Mapendano. After a while Mapendano called me because she noticedmy body was changing. She asked me if I had slept with a soldier. I said yes. She told me not to abort mypregnancy.ResponsibilityThree quarters of all child-headed households are led by girls. There are households where the age of the oldestchild is just eleven years old and there may be as many as eight children in a household.Finding money for food and clothes usually leads the children to beg. Some girls resort to prostitution to raisemoney. Fetching water, cooking and cleaning are all tasks that are shared amongst the children.17-year-old Habasa heads a family of five children. She was raped in a camp and is now bringing up her 2-year-oldson, 2 sisters and 2 cousins. She finds it hard to combine bringing up a family with going to school.Habasas story: Part OneI cannot go to school today because the baby is ill with malaria and diarrhoea. This is whathappens every time he falls ill. I want to go to school.Its not easy looking after the baby as well as my young brothers and sisters.We get some help from the neighbours and the government but its not enough. Sometimesit is available, sometimes not.Interviewer: As the oldest in your family, what do you worry about most?Looking after the children. You know I am still very young and I cannot manage. But I haveno alternative, I have got to do what I am supposed to do.Interviewer: When you remember life before losing your parents what was it like?Its enough to drive you mad but then what do you do except pray to God. You learn tocope.
new rolesSometimes the property of these childrens parents has been destroyed.If not it may have been claimed by neighbours and relatives.The children have to build new houses, or repair damages to existing homes.Out in the countryside some homes just consist of plastic sheeting.Habasas story: Part TwoInterviewer: What do you miss most in life?Now that I have this baby, I dont think much about it. But I pray it does not happen toothers.If there is anything I would like to have most now it is to have some help to lead a betterlife, maybe build a house for us to let and provide us with some income, instead of beggingall the time.Interviewer: Habasa, you are a family of five, how do you share the workload?We take turns, cooking, fetching water, cleaning etc. The little boy lives with us, he helpswhenever he can mending broken things and fetching water. The younger ones dont domuch. We teach them a few tasks. At weekends we go to church and my sisters earn a bitof pocket money performing dances and songs at various places, for example at weddings.