Entries under ‘vulnerable children’

vulnerable children
Street girl, Nairobi
Return to Kenya

As I prepare to leave for a three week trip to Kenya a sense of unease, an unsettled feeling, has taken hold. Kenya is a country I love. A place where the smiles of the children leave an indelible mark on visitors, and the natural landscape rivals any in the world.

2 UM 0019 #14
An Oxfam Hunger Banquet

(The following remarks were delivered at the Martha’s Vineyard Hunger Banquet by Betty Burton The event is sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Committee on Hunger and OXFAM) We are here this evening because: • More than 2.5 billion people live in poverty (last time I gave this talk that number was 1 billion. • 900 [...]

To Beat Back Poverty, Pay the Poor

Tina Rosenberg’s excellent article on the Bolsa Familia in Brazil delivers a welcome change from the many depressing stories about development programs and initiatives that fall short or have unintended consequences or simply don’t work. Bolsa Familia, and the Mexican counterpart, Oportunidades, have had a twenty-year track record with measurable results. These are scalable programs that have worked to reduce poverty. Let’s have more of this!
For the full article, click here

courtesy of The New York Times

© U.R. Romano
Universal Children’s Day

November 20th is Universal Children’s Day. Established in 1954 by a United Nations resolution, the day’s purpose is to focus attention on the welfare of children around the world.

UNAFF 2010
Rescuing Emmanuel

UNAFF 2010Premiering at the United Nations Association Film Festival at Stanford University on Saturday, October 30th at 8:30pm in the Annenberg Auditorium

Setting out to make a film about street children across the globe, the filmmakers are hijacked by a filthy 13-year-old boy on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. Belligerently stoned on shoe glue, Emmanuel grabs us. “I want to go to school right now!”. He is hungry. He tells of the death of his mother, his horrific life in Kibera, Nairobi’s most notorious slum, his escape to the streets. Undocumented, a nobody, he stinks, eats garbage, is raped “by the big boys,” is “swept” off the streets by police and sent to adult jail cells. Who will notice if this kid’s life is snuffed out? And ironically, his name, Emmanuel, means “God among us.”

After going to film in the slums and countryside to find the roots of why kids are pouring into the streets to raise themselves, we are haunted by Emmanuel. We find a grown man, “Bravo,” who raised himself on the street and he tells us, “It is hunger!” We take hidden cameras into clubs where little girls are selling their bodies “for a piece of chicken.” We visit a remarkable home where Mama Zipporah and her husband Isaac have taken in 150 abandoned children as their own, living on faith to feed the kids. We search for solutions, but are still haunted by Emmanuel. And when we return to Nairobi, he is nowhere to be found. Street boys tell us “he stole a TV. He is on the run.”
A search, a rescue, a home, a school . . . all follow, with unexpected results. Emmanuel is taken to a hospital to “dry out” from the glue he sniffs to “keep away the hunger.” He is cleaned (no small task.) He is clothed. He is taken to school. He walks into his dream . . . and yet the dream takes a turn . . . heartbreaking and yet, somehow, hopeful.
Why are 100 million children living on the streets of the world? Emmanuel’s story can teach us all.

Family to Family
Think Globally – Act Locally

This week at Media Voices we’re going to do a bit of shameless self-promotion, with a twist. We have been focused these past nine months on running and building the web site but on August 3rd we presented our first live event, Islanders Giving Kids a Chance, a film and conversation.

© U.R. Romano
Breaking Rocks – Child labor in Mines and Quarries

Child labor is the primary focus this week at Media Voices. In March, we posted ¿Soy Niño?, graphic footage of children working in the mining sector in the mountains of Peru. Now the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, IRIN, has produced a film about children working in quarries in Sierra Leone, “Breaking [...]

Piet Hein Donner - Dutch Minister for Social Affairs & Employment
In For the Long Haul – Bringing an End to Child Labor

I have just returned from the Global Child Labour Conference 2010 where a Roadmap for Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labour was unanimously adopted. Representatives of organizations and governments came from all over the world to learn from one another and re-charge the campaign to end one of the greatest moral blights of our [...]

Elsie Lewison
The SAFI Project – Sanitation and Community

It’s my first week back in Central Kenya working with the SAFI Project, a community-based waste management organization. We are in Dol Dol today, a remote town of about 1000 people, primarily pastoralists, working with the municipal council to lead a community mobilization to clean the town center. There is a buzz of interest that [...]

The Convention on the Rights of the Child: Empowering Parents

Even after 20 years of progress, there is still fear in the United States that the Convention on the Rights of the Child will take away parental rights and responsibility if the U.S. were to ratify the CRC. On the contrary, the exact opposite has occurred.  I have spent much of my professional career working [...]

Organic NCCF: A Force for Human Change

The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) residential programs serve homeless families, victims of domestic violence, and vulnerable adolescents in the Washington, D.C. area. The Greentree shelter is considered a model for the comprehensive array of support services for homeless families.

© U,R. Romano
Every Second Child

There are two billion children in the world. Every second child is living in poverty, lacking at least one of the essentials of life; food, shelter, medical care, education, clean water, gender equality or sanitation. UNICEF reports that nearly 25,000 of these children die daily from wholly preventable causes, every day of the year, year [...]

Girl in a displaced persons camp
Forced to Flee – The Philippines

An IRIN film about Pepito Akero, who is taking care of his children in a displaced persons camp in Legaspi, The Philippines, after a landslide killed his wife and ruined his rice fields.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind-Why Education Matters

Too often we see Africa as a place where children struggle for the basics of life with limited prospects for survival and even less opportunity to fulfill their dreams, a landscape of human misery without redemption.

Summary- Child Soldiers- 2008 Global Reports

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers was formed in May 1998 by leading nongovernmental organizations to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, both boys and girls, to secure their demobilization, and to promote their reintegration into their communities. The last Global Report was published by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (Coalition) in November 2004; since then the movement to end the use of child soldiers has seen continued progress towards a universal consensus against their use in hostilities. However, this downward trend is more the result of conflicts ending than the impact of initiatives to end child soldier recruitment and use.

Gem Slaves

Mererani in northern Tanzania is the only place on earth where the precious stone tanzanite is mined. Every day thousands of children risk their lives in poorly constructed mine shafts for barely a meal a day. Despite efforts to curb this deadly practice, the global thirst for tanzanite continues to drive these children underground.

For Gem Slaves, Part 2 – click here

Gem Slaves – Part 2

Mererani in northern Tanzania is the only place on earth where the precious stone tanzanite is mined. Every day thousands of children risk their lives in poorly constructed mine shafts for barely a meal a day. Despite efforts to curb this deadly practice, the global thirst for tanzanite continues to drive these children underground.

CIF Report

Hundreds of thousands of children work as hired labor in America’s fields and orchards.
These children are among the least protected of all working children. Since 1938, exemptions in
the federal child labor law—the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA—have excluded child agricultural
workers from many of the protections afforded to almost every other working child.
This report produced by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs May 2007 sets out the current state of children working in agriculture in the United States.

ILO Convention 182

This is the complete text of ILO Convention 182: Recognizing that child labour is to a great extent caused by poverty and that the long-term solution lies in sustained economic growth leading to social progress, in particular poverty alleviation and universal education, and Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its 87th Session on 1 June 1999, and Español Français German The General Conference of the International Labour Organization, International Law

Report on Kenyan Education Fund Sponsorship Programme at ANPPCAN

This is a summary report, prepared by the child labor specialist at The African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) about the children who have been and are currently being supported by the Kenyan Education Fund. Since 2002, 104 children have been removed from hard labor on the coffee and tea plantations and supported in school.

Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009

Trafficking in Persons Report, J u n e 2 0 0 9. Since President Clinton issued the first U.S. Government policy against human trafficking in 1998, we have seen unprecedented forward movement around the world in the fight to end human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery. A majority of the world’s countries now have criminal legislation prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons, and global awareness has been immeasurably raised. This annual report from the U.S. State Department is one of the best sources of information about this difficult subject and summarizes U.S. government efforts to halt trafficking.

2006 Child Labour Global Report

The International Labour Organization’s first report on the state of global child labor in 5 years, this summary of trends makes the case that things are improving and more children have been removed from the workforce, in particular reductions in the number of children engaged in the worst forms of child labor.
The report imagines the real possibility of ending abusive child labor by increasing access to education. This is a useful overview document for those trying to understand where, why and how child labor occurs and what can be done to reduce it.

Girls and Child Labor Media Summary

This report was prepared by ILO/IPEC to focus attention specifically on girls and child labor for this year’s observance of World Day Against Child Labor (2009). It warns that the global economic slowdown threatens to erode what progress has been made in the last ten years. It is a useful summary of the challenges girls face in claiming their human rights to childhood and education.

Orphans and Vulnerable Children

The orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) crisis in Africa is far bigger than the 15.7 million children projected to be orphaned by AIDS in 2010 and will have major implications for the long-term survival of the worst affected countries. UNICEF projects that a total of 53 million children in Africa will be orphaned from all causes in 2010. That equates to 1 out of every 8 children in Africa being an orphan! In 11 countries, more than 1 out of every 7 children will be an orphan. In 5 countries where the crisis will be the most acute, more than 1 out of 5 children will be orphaned. When the number of highly vulnerable children is added to
the orphans in the worst affected countries more than 30% – 40% of all children will be either orphaned or highly vulnerable. This report from WorldVision is an important warning of a real emergency for some of the world’s most vulnerable children.