Blog Archive

Immigration and How it's Being Dealt With

In the summer of 2014, the Obama Administration had a problem. As Congress was debating comprehensive immigration reform, tens of thousands of children, and in many cases their mothers, fled gang violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala and were turning up at the US border. So the US made an expensive deal with Mexico to keep these desperate women and children from ever reaching the U.S. border. It would encourage Mexico "to interdict the flow of illegal migrants from Central America bound for the United States," according to Homeland Security Secretary Jed Johnson.

Egypt Turning A Blind Eye to Children

Egyptian security forces allegedly tortured a group of 20 people, eight of them children, in February 2016. This was after an arrest sweep in Alexandria, Human Rights Watch said on the 21st. Relatives and lawyers said the authorities refused to acknowledge holding them or to tell their families their whereabouts for more than a week and tortured them to make them confess to crimes or provide the names of other suspects. Six of the detainees described to relatives how they were tortured and subjected to other ill-treatment at the Security Directorate, according to their relatives.

Schools and Extremist Groups

Two years have passed since Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria, and 219 of the girls remain missing. The anniversary, and that of the kidnapping of another 300 schoolchildren from another town, marks a grim roll call for education in the country's northeast. More than 910 schools were destroyed, 1,500 forced to close, at least 611 teachers deliberately killed, and 19,000 were forced to flee. Close to a million school-age children have fled the violence and now have little or no access to schooling.

Newark's Schools Having Lead Issues

Early in March elevated levels of lead caused officials in New Jersey’s largest school district to shut off water fountains at 30 school buildings until more tests could be conducted. The district, Newark Public Schools, told the State Department of Environmental Protection on Monday that annual testing found concentrations ranging from undetected to above the department’s action level for lead, which is 15 parts per billion. That level requires additional testing, monitoring and remediation. Notices have been posted and bottled water and water coolers delivered to the buildings.

No One Should Die from Toxic Exposure

Recently there have been a lot of reports about children not being properly protected from hazardous or toxic substances and these reports are coming from all around the world, even seemingly right in our own backyard for those of us here at Kids Meeting Kids. This week, I've posted a few blogs about the issue so go ahead and take a look at those as well while you are here. Now, since its such a vast issue I'm going to take a wider and more worldwide view. I found that International law states that it protects children from child labor that is likely to be hazardous or harmful.

There's a Cowspiracy!

Cowspiracy? Yeah that's right. Not conspiracy but COWspiracy. It's the name of a impacting new documentary released on Netflix that was produced by actor and climate change activist; Leonardo DiCaprio. The documentary is about the Animal Agriculture System and how it affects the environment. The narrator, Kip Anderson, an ordinary Californian who had always been involved with environmental activism takes a strong stance against Animal Agriculture giving many, possibly even too many, facts about the negative environmental impacts of the industry.

New Program in NY

Today, April 4th 2016, New York took a vital step toward supporting working families. The governor signed into law a state budget bill establishing a paid family leave program. It will ensure that families will no longer have to choose between a paycheck and urgent family care needs. Under the program, which will take effect in January 2018, workers will be eligible for job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one, or address certain military family needs. The benefits will increase over time.

Brazil's Tobacco Industry

In the United States there has been one issue that has been brought into light in recent years. It is that of child labor in tobacco farms. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and many other news sites and organizations have covered the topic extensively. They have reported children as young as 9 years old being found working in fields in the US before. The US has implemented some laws since then like restricting the age to 16 to work on tobacco farms but it is not strongly enforced.

Bangladesh's Arsenic Water

The Bangladesh government is failing to adequately respond to naturally occurring arsenic in drinking water across large areas of rural Bangladesh. About 20 years after it coming to international attention, an estimated 20 million people in Bangladesh – mostly rural poor – still drink water contaminated more than the national standard. A report called, “Nepotism and Neglect: The Failing Response to Arsenic in the Drinking Water of Bangladesh’s Rural Poor,” documents how Bangladesh’s health system ignores the impact of exposure to arsenic on people’s health.

South Africa's Disabled

South Africa’s Parliament should urgently address the crisis in inclusive education affecting children with disabilities. The 600,000 children with disabilities in South Africa who remain out of school are indeed being left behind. On the plus side while addressing the Disability Rights Summit on March 10, The President of South Africa, President Zuma said: “Our goal as government is to ensure that by 2021, no children with disabilities will be out of school.