Tag Archives | Children

Global Epidemic: Every 5 Minutes a Child is Killed by Violence

The UNICEF report reveals that the vast majority of children are killed outside warzones and that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities.  (Image: UNICEF UK)

The UNICEF report reveals that the vast majority of children are killed outside warzones and that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities. (Image: UNICEF UK)

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

Violence against children is a global epidemic in which a young person is killed by violent conflict every five minutes, according to a new study released Tuesday by U.K. branch of UNICEF.

The global assessment—titled “Children in Danger: Act to End Violence Against Children”—reveals that an estimated 345 children under the age of twenty-years-old die nearly every day across the world. According to the report, the vast majority of these young victims are killed outside war zones, indicating that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities.

“We live in a world where some children are too scared to walk out of their own front doors or play on their streets,” said David Bull, executive director of UNICEF UK.

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Pity the Children

Photo by Matthew Freire

Photo by Matthew Freire

The horrors of war may affect children worst of all.

Chris Hedges writes at Truthdig:

Combat brings with it trauma for those who inflict the violence as well as those who suffer it. See a lot of combat and the trauma is severe. But the worst trauma is often caused not by what combat veterans witnessed but by what they did. The most disturbing memories usually involve children. War creates bands of ragged, poor, dirty street urchins. The bands wander about the edges of a conflict looking for something to eat. They pick through the garbage dumps. They line the sides of roads begging convoys for food or chocolate. They attempt to sell a few pathetic items to make money. In Iraq they offered American troops “freaky”—the slang for European porn videos—whiskey or heroin (Turner said he doubted there was heroin in the packets). The children lived in fear.

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Children and the Great Blur

Boy 1900 hgAll children suffer when they are born to varying degrees. This is no pessimistic life-is-an-illness-with-a-terrible-diagnonis-because-its-outcome-cannot-be-but-fatal rigmarole. Far from it; however, only occasionally childbirth is an entirely smooth process, and psychologists of all schools cannot stop telling parents how important it is to reassure the newborn immediately, to establish the “bond” with the mother, etc., etc. It must be owned that there is a sharp contrast between the liquid womb environment and the outer, dry world of sharp lights and loud sounds. Childbirth can indeed be seen as, or actually be, a trauma.

At any rate, after a successful delivery—let us assume it is a vaginal one, the labor has been brief and the pregnancy as devoid as the delivery of any complications—the infant is in a state which could be defined, if somebody cared to be frank about it, catatonic. It will take months for the infant to start crawling. Later on, the upright posture will be a hard-won conquest.… Read the rest

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The Kids Are Alright, It’s The School ‘Reformers’ Who Are Actively Hostile to Children

PIC: Russavia (CC)

PIC: Russavia (CC)

Peter Greene writes:

I was in a CCSS training, and the trainer stopped to make an observation about how Kids These Days lack discipline and order. She even illustrated it with a story about her own child. And  light bulb went on for me.

I have long considered that the Masters of Reforming Our Nation’s Schools view children as widgets, as little programmable devices, as interchangeable gears, as nothing more than Data Generation Units. I had considered that these MoRONS were indifferent to children. What I had not considered was that reformers are actively hostile to children.

I have certainly heard people in the ed world complain about Those Darn Kids, and I have taught in the building with more than one person who blames all their classroom woes on terrible awful no good pretty bad students. I try to be understanding. If I hear it once or twice, I assume somebody is having a bad day.

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Du Pont Heir Given Probation For Raping Daughter in Hush-Hush Case; Judge Said He Wouldn’t Fare Well In Prison

Pic: State of Delaware (PD)

Pic: State of Delaware (PD)

Du Pont Family heir (and son of a very powerful retired attorney) Robert H. Richards IV received a slap on the wrist in 2008 after he pleaded guilty to raping his three-year old daughter: Eight years probation. The offense is normally punishable by up to 15 years in prison, but Delaware Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden‘s rationale for the extremely lenient sentence was that the 6’4″ 264 lb. millionaire “[would] not fare well” in prison.

Richards’ arrest and subsequent trial was not disclosed by the District Attorney’s office and received no media coverage, locally or nationally. The details of Richards’ case only came to the attention of the public this month after his ex-wife filed a civil suit against him on behalf of their two children. The suit alleges that Richards also molested their son numerous times over the course of two years, beginning when the boy was 19 months-old.… Read the rest

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A 1969 Visit To The Shoreditch Experimental Music School

Welcome to the Shoreditch Experimental Music School – I would give anything to have had an elementary school experience along these lines. This amazing Peter Fletcher-hosted BBC program from 1969 reveals the cutting edge of experimental art education. Highlights include kids learning about tape loops, a music piece about the concept of heat, and a deeply disturbing masked group performance about cholera death:
Children from infant, secondary modern & comprehensive schools apply methods of contemporary music, including demonstrations of simple tape & electronic techniques. The children discuss with teacher how different sounds may be produced and experiment with electric circuits and loops on the tape recorder.
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Did the CIA Rape Iraqi Children in Front of Their Parents?

Pic: Institute for Policy Studies (CC)

Pic: Institute for Policy Studies (CC)

Seeing as how questions about the CIA’s torture program(s) and what crimes they’re attempting to cover up are in the news again, it seems like a good time to pull an old Seymour Hersh quote out of the Memory Hole:

“Some of the worst things that happened that you don’t know about. OK? Videos. There are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at [Abu Ghraib], which is about 30 miles from Baghdad — 30 kilometers, maybe, just 20 miles, I’m not sure whether it’s — anyway. The women were passing messages out saying please come and kill me because of what’s happened. And basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children, in cases that have been recorded, the boys were sodomized, with the cameras rolling, and the worst above all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking.

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Money Makes Parenting Less Meaningful

310px-K.V.Lemoh_(d.1910)._Parent's_Joy

Pic: “Parents’ Joy” by Karl Lemoch (PD)

According to this study, having a higher socioeconomic status makes parents value the experience of raising children, particularly so for women. In contrast, poverty is associated with an increased risk of child abuse.

Via EurekAlert!:

Money and parenting don’t mix. That’s according to new research that suggests that merely thinking about money diminishes the meaning people derive from parenting. The study is one among a growing number that identifies when, why, and how parenthood is associated with happiness or misery.

“The relationship between parenthood and well-being is not one and the same for all parents,” says Kostadin Kushlev of the University of British Columbia. While this may seems like an obvious claim, social scientists until now have yet to identify the psychological and demographic factors that influence parental happiness.

New research being presented today at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) conference in Austin offers not only insight into the link between money and parental well-being but also a new model for understanding a variety of factors that affect whether parents are happier or less happy than their childless counterparts.

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Study Shows Children Can Be Better Than Adults at Figuring Out New Gadgets

Yasmin Anwar at UC Berkeley:

Preschoolers can be smarter than college students at figuring out how unusual toys and gadgets work because they’re more flexible and less biased than adults in their ideas about cause and effect, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Edinburgh.

The findings suggest that technology and innovation can benefit from the exploratory learning and probabilistic reasoning skills that come naturally to young children, many of whom are learning to use smartphones even before they can tie their shoelaces. The findings also build upon the researchers’ efforts to use children’s cognitive smarts to teach machines to learn in more human ways.

“As far as we know, this is the first study examining whether children can learn abstract cause and effect relationships, and comparing them to adults,” said UC Berkeley developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik, senior author of the paper published online in the journal, Cognition.

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Mistreatment of Palestinian Children Continues

Pic: "Stone Cold justice" (C)

Pic: “Stone Cold justice” (C)

César Chelala writes at Common Dreams:

An Australian documentary just released titled “Stone Cold Justice” alleges that some Palestinian children were being physically abused and forced into false confessions by the Israeli military to gather intelligence on Palestinian activists. Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, states in the documentary, “The natural reaction is that this is intolerable – these are intolerable cases, and that I would like my authorities to do their utmost to make sure that this will not be repeated and that this will change. And I believe that this is precisely what we are doing.”

Jewish leaders in Australia issue a blistering rebuke on what they call a “quasi-documentary”. They claim the documentary was a “blanket demonization” of Israel, “laced with sensationalism, inadequate skepticism and fact-checking.” An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) official debunked the allegations of torture contained in the documentary, and branded its director’s portrayal of the Israeli court system as “fictitious, blatant and malicious.”

The documentary comes after a 2013 UNICEF report entitled “Children in Israeli Military Detention (pdf),” which was sharply critical of Israel’s treatment of detained Palestinian children and youths.

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