Last Horray for Day of the Girl!

Rima Salah, PhD, Chair of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium, Former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and myself with today’s’ Girl Activists.

           A 15 years old girl activist from Myanmar share her story. I am a Grade 9 student and studying very hard because I want to be an educated person to support my family.  In my life, the woman whom I admire most is my mother. She is a good mother to us. Although my family is poor, my mother is working very hard. Therefore, we all can study because of her endless hard-work. Sometimes, we don’t have enough food to eat in our home. In that situation, my mother always sacrifices for us. She gives all and said she’s not hungry at all. I felt very sad. I want to help my mother but she always said that it would be great help to her if I study hard. Because of this, I am studying very hard now and hoping one day, I can support my family effectively as well as my country. My mother is really a hero to me. I am gifted in drawing beautiful pictures. Thus, today, I drew a picture of my mother, sitting on the chair and guiding us.

The meaning of orange color is brightness and victorious.
The meaning of chair is to stand always and not to fall down.
The meaning of a hand is showing the right way for me.

Another girl shares: ‘When I was younger, I did not want to be a girl. But, when I came and stayed in the boarding house at (Good Shepherd Convent), the sisters teach us many courses about girls and women.  Since then, I have come to know more about the attributes of girls and women and I appreciate myself more and feel proud to be a girl. Women have strength and power not only to support others with compassion and kindness but also strength to take up leadership roles like Daw Aung Sun Su Kyi of Myanmar.   I am 16 years old and I want to be a woman who can stand on her own two feet and have the ability to help others. Don’t feel sad to be a girl because girls also have strength. Even when you face challenges, do not feel sad. Get up and stand up again!’   Happy International Day of the Girl.

We also had submissions from Malaysia. Linking a video

PLAY

This November 20th we will celebrate 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the light of that celebration the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty October 17th is focusing on poverty in the lives of children. The theme is: “Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty” The concept note explains what the day is about. It is in English and French ” Avant tout, il est impératif de reconnaître et de traiter les discriminations spécifiques vécues par les filles.”

Another experience that children endure has been outline in a UN Global Study on Children Deprived of their Liberty. This report was presented in the Third Committee in New York on October 8, 2019. It is in French, Spanish and Arabic. I attended an event at UNICEF that same evening to celebrate the launch and to call for action. There are a few interesting paragraphs on ‘Gender Dimensions’. See Paragraphs 35 – 38. Para 35 ‘On analysis the data show significant gender disparities in the situation of children deprived of liberty. Far more boys are deprived of liberty worldwide than girls. In the administration of justice and in the contexts of armed conflicts and national security, 94 per cent of all detained children are boys; in migration detention the figure is 67 per cent and in institutions it is 56 per cent. The number of boys and girls who live with their primary caregiver (almost exclusively mothers) in prison is similar.

In paragraph 36 the study shows a tendency of the child justice system to be more inclined to apply diversion measures to girls than boys. While approximately one third of all criminal offences worldwide committed by children are attributed to girls, only 6 per cent receive a prison sentence. There may be various reasons for this phenomenon. Most importantly, girls usually commit less violent offences and are more often accused of status offences. Girls are generally first-time offenders and more receptive to the deterrent effect of incarceration. Another explanation is the “chivalrous and paternalistic” attitude of many male judges and prosecutors in the child justice systems, who assume, according to traditional gender stereotypes, that girls are more in need of protection than boys.

Paragraph 37 highlights and interesting fact. Although most States allow convicted mothers to co-reside with their young children in prison, only eight States explicitly permit fathers to do so. Even in places where fathers as primary caregivers are allowed to co-reside with their children, there are (almost) no appropriate “father and child units” in the prisons, which means that there are practically no children co-residing in prison with their fathers.

Paragraph 38 continues… While boys are over represented in detention, girls often suffer gender-based discrimination. Research conducted for the study shows that girls are more likely to be arrested for status offences, for behaviour rather than actual criminal activity, including sexual activity, truancy and running away from home. Girls living on the streets are particularly vulnerable, as they are often arrested for prostitution. If States criminalize abortion, girls risk incarceration, even where the pregnancy is a result of rape. Girls from poor families run a higher risk of institutionalization and incarceration, as they lack access to supportive systems. In detention, girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual and other forms of violence.

39. Almost half the world population lives in the 70 States in which existing laws criminalize conducts on the basis of sexual orientation. Children belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community are more likely to be arrested and detained for status offences, in particular for sexual activity and expressions of sexual orientations and gender identities. LGBTI children are over represented in child justice facilities and health-related institutions. They are usually placed in gender-inappropriate detention facilities and are particularly vulnerable to sexual and other forms of violence.

Key findings from the study are listed in a publication on Human Rights Watch also in French. Some background information to the report can he accessed here

Performance by the Children’s Choir of Musicians for Human Rights

UN declares 2021 ‘International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour'” 28 July 2019

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted a resolution declaring 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, and has asked the International Labour Organization (ILO) to take the lead in its implementation.

The report of the Special Rapporteur –  Ms. Urmila Bhoola – on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, is not available in the 6 languages of the United Nation. The report gives an overview of current legislative framework and definition. It then goes on to review the manifestations of child slavery, root causes, and the consequences for the child. Before making recommendations section VI outlines strategies to prevent and eliminate child slavery. The Special Rapporteur makes 30 Recommendations – most of them addressed to member states. Here are some facts and figures

  • Worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment.
    Among them, 152 million are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.
  • In absolute terms, almost half of child labour (72.1 million) is to be found in Africa62.1 million in the Asia and the Pacific10.7 million in the Americas1.2 million in the Arab States and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.
  • In terms of prevalence, 1 in 5 children in Africa (19.6%) are in child labour, whilst prevalence in other regions is between 3% and 7%: 2.9% in the Arab States (1 in 35 children); 4.1%in Europe and Central Asia (1 in 25); 5.3% in the Americas(1 in 19) and 7.4% in Asia and the Pacific region (1 in 14).
  • Almost half of all 152 million children victims of child labour are aged 5-11 years.
    42 million (28%) are 12-14 years old; and 37 million (24%) are 15-17 years old.
  • Hazardous child labour is most prevalent among the 15-17 years old. Nevertheless up to a fourth of all hazardous child labour (19 million) is done by children less than 12 years old.
  • Among 152 million children in child labour, 88 million are boys and 64 million are girls.
  • 58% of all children in child labour and 62% of all children in hazardous work are boys. Boys appear to face a greater risk of child labour than girls, but this may also be a reflection of an under-reporting of girls’ work, particularly in domestic child labour.
  • Child labour is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%), which includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding and aquaculture, and comprises both subsistence and commercial farming; 17% in Services; and 12% in the Industrial sector, including mining. Taken from ILO

“Boys appear to be at greater risk of child labour than girls.” What do you think is the actual situation of girls? Check out our Position Paper on the Girl Child page 8

Powerpoint
La verdadera riqueza de una nación debe medirse por el empoderamiento de sus niñas.

Catching a glimpse of Good Shepherd advocacy work from Paris to Indonesia, and from Washington to Santiago Chile.

An unusual moment to catch such a glimpse of advocacy work undertaken by Good Shepherd around the same time around the world.

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Cristina Durante and Catherine Mutindi were actively engaged in the OECD meeting in Paris. Director of Good Shepherd International Foundation , Cristina Duranti participated on April 17th together with Amnesty International and other panelists at #Cobalt session at #OECDminerals in Paris, to present our DRC program in Kolwezi and discuss abuses suffered by the most vulnerable in the cobalt mining communities.  Catherine presented on community-based approaches to ending child labour in Kolwezi during an NGO sponsored side event.  This side event was in collaboration with Care and Protection of Children – CPC Learning Network  Photographs are from Facebook.  Catherine is with the co-found of CPC Learning Network Mark Canavera.    Read more    See the documentary

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Once again children to the fore – now from Indonesia!  Congratulations to  Maria Anggelina, who  won Hermann Gmeiner Award 2018.  Maria Anggelina is an Administrative staff, Kindergarten of Good Shepherd Sisters, Batam, Indonesia 
Maria Anggelina is a champion for the cause of children and marginalised women in Indonesia. She is particularly active in trying to save children who have been trafficked to Batam, an island in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago. As part of her work with the Good Shepherd Sisters, Ms Anggelina and a team cooperate with law enforcement, the military, social services and church organisations to combat human trafficking on the island. Thanks to their efforts, at least 40 victims have been rescued and returned to their home villages. Seeing many cases, especially ones where children from her own hometown have fallen victim, makes Ms Anggelina very grateful to have been cared for by SOS Children’s Villages Flores in Indonesia. She realises, if it were not for SOS Chlldren’s Villages, she could have been a victim of trafficking herself. By raising the awareness of parents and children, Ms Anggelina hopes to reduce the number of trafficking victims.  Read more

Washingon

The National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd are organizing a Human Trafficking Conference for Tuesday, May 15, 2008

In Santiago Chile, the regional preparatory meeting for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) which will take place in New York, July 9-18, 2018 is presently happening.  The High Level Political Forum meets annually  to evaluate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.   We have two members present at the meeting in Santiago – Marta Iris and Erika Sanchez.  Hedwig Joehl attended a similar meeting in Geneva.  Georgette hopes to attend in Beirut (April 24 to 26)  and Donatus will attend with the Sisters from Senegal at Dakar (May 2 – 4) the meeting for Africa.  Read more HEREErika 5

Click on – Video Clip

 

 

UNICEF’s Report ‘A child is a child: Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation’ English, Spanish and French

French UNICEF                                                                  Lee ahora

UNICEF Report English Read the Report

Spanish UnicefLire maintenant

FAst Facts

Action Agenda

Girls Ambassadors from Ireland share their stories and experiences #childrenfirst

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Minahil and Natasha from Zimbabwe and Pakistan  shared their experiences and called for action.  Minahil and Natsha  arrived in Ireland some years ago and are passionate advocates for refugee children around the world. Listen to the interview.

They also spoke at the Vigil on Sunday evening.

Good Friends and ardent child activists were present.  Captured in the crowd was Leymah Gbowee who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.   She addressed the people gathered towards the end of the vigil.