May 28, 2009
La Red de Honduras sirve como una voz para la exigibilidad y garantía de los Derechos de las niñas, niños y jóvenes, y hacer visible el poder del municipio para solucionar los problemas que enfrentan la niñez y la juventud en el país.
May 25, 2009
By Vivian Siu
NEW YORK, USA, 22 May 2009 – UNICEF sponsored a panel with representatives of various indigenous youth groups at its headquarters in New York yesterday, as a side event of the Eighth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
The panel – ‘Taking advocacy digital: Emerging online indigenous networks’ – addressed the progress of indigenous young people, and the obstacles they face, as they engage the global community in the digital age. The event also aimed to foster a better understanding of UNICEF’s work with indigenous populations and provided updates on UNICEF programmes affecting youth in these communities.
Finding a cultural balance
While technological advances have afforded indigenous young people the opportunity to establish an open dialogue worldwide, panelists said, they are striving to strike a balance between using new technologies effectively and maintaining the face-to-face communication inherent in their cultures.
“All of these different tools that are available for us to communicate with each other, and to be able to reach somebody that’s in another part of the country almost instantaneously, is a very great resource,” said Ursula A. Johnson, a member of the United Nations International Indigenous Youth Caucus and Director of the Kitpu Youth Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Ms. Johnson has taken advantage of online technologies to help maintain her mother tongue and stay connected to her community.
“If I go on the Internet and I talk to my family on MSN messenger, we speak our language on the computer,” she said. “It’s been almost 14 years now since I’ve left my home reserve, but I still retain my language. If it’s not on the telephone, then it’s on the Internet or it’s through my e-mails or it’s on Facebook.
“It’s really important for us to understand that even though there’s a number of different resources out there, we kind of have to remember to sit down and sit across from one another just to keep it real,” she added.
Ben Powless, Climate Policy Representative for the Indigenous Environmental Network and also a member of the UN Indigenous Youth Caucus, said he hoped indigenous communities would be able to integrate these new tools into their unique cultural contexts.
“We’re not going to necessarily live the same way as we did 100 or 1,000 years ago,” he said. “Our people are going to adapt, respond to these changes and use these technologies for their own purposes – and that’s something to be welcomed in many cases.”
Youth and technology initiatives
In addition to connecting indigenous youth to the global community via the Internet, forum participants noted, UNICEF is engaging young people worldwide through the promotion of mobile devices. The organization is currently researching different platforms to combine the power of the mobile phone with the web.
“There are over 4 billion mobile subscribers just this year,” said UNICEF Communication Specialist Erica Kochi. “So this is a huge potential network with young people to use this tool that is in everyone’s hands and in everyone’s pockets – to engage them, to let them participate, to have their voices heard.”
In one illustration of the power of mobile technology, UNICEF’s online community for young people, Voices of Youth, launched a programme called Rural Voices of Youth to reach out to young people in Nigeria who did not have Internet access. The programme successfully documented their experiences and perspectives on a variety of issues; it has now expanded to 20 countries.
The panel discussed another UNICEF initiative, Connecting Classrooms, which brings together students from around the world to share their viewpoints through the web. The programme has finished its pilot phase and will be expanding globally in the next year.
“It’s really a chance for young people to come together around issues they care about and work in a protected, closed environment around a curriculum,” said Ms. Kochi.
May 25, 2009
Panama May 18, 2009 -
In an emotional ceremony, three major regional projects shared the award for best initiative to promote the correlation of children and adolescents with the media. The Regional Network of Adolescent Communicators LACVOX, “shared honors with” Youth Media Guyana “and the magazine Escuta Soh! (Oye) “.
LACVOX is an initiative of the UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, bringing together in a common space children’s media networks from local communities to promote the right to participation of children and adolescents.The initiative supported by UNICEF Guyana Youth Media Guyana, “encourages young people to produce TV programs aimed at a younger audience, where they discuss social and political issues within their own perspective. Thus creating windows from which their voices are heard.
The magazine “Escuta Soh! (Oye!),made by teenagers and young people living with HIV / AIDS, with support from the UNICEF Brazil Office, has been created to promote human rights of young people living with HIV / AIDS. Its objectives seek to diminish prejudice, and integrate them into society, including participation in policy issues.
Through mass media, children and adolescents, demonstrate their capacity for public discussion on matters related to their rights, aspirations and concerns. They gain confidence in themselves when they express themselves about issues that concern them both at family, school and community level. UNICEF values the right to freedom of expression of children and adolescents as a mechanism that empowers and enables them to foster their own development, improving at the same time, family, community and social relations.
May 24, 2009
By Cordelle Lazare
A Regional Symposium for Key Stakeholders of the Study of Perceptions of, Attitudes to, and Opinions on Child Sexual Abuse in the Eastern Caribbean, was held at the United Nations House, Barbados on the 11th and 12th of May, 2009. This study was undertaken by Action for Children, formally known as National Children’s Home (NCH) and the Center for Applied Childhood Studies (University of Huddersfield, UK). The data compiled in the study was taken from six countries: Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Moreover, the study was a programming initiative of UNICEF, UNIFEM and regional stakeholders and supported by UK’s Department of International Development (DFID).
The symposium objectives were as follows: 1. to consider the findings of the study of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), 2. to engage stakeholders in formulating recommendations, 3. to explore the synergy between this study, other related research and regional developments on child protection, 4. to provide a forum for sharing views and professional expertise and 5. to develop alliances for social action to address CSA. This study looked at the sad truths which our children face whenever they are preyed upon by adults or their peers who are of superior knowledge than what they hold. The symposium firstly looked at the following questions:
1. Who is a Child? Under the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC) a person shall hold the status of a child providing that they are under the age of eighteen, no matter the age of consent, which varies in different countries.
2. The study also showed that people classify abuse and use personal discretion to determine what definition fits a particular case. Hence, the issue of Language arose.
3. Gender was a continuing theme of the study, which should that persons where indeed gender biased. However, it was also shown that there is blame which needs to be dished out to both genders.
4. Children and Young People was an emergent theme of the study. It was seen that young people need to be geared to play a role in the development of systems, policies and services to protect themselves.
5. Finally, it was seen that CSA was not on the forefront of our politicians’ agendas.
It was seen that the issue of childhood was very important. In the study many questions dealt with childhood. Many of the questions which were asked in the study received favorable responses, however all participants of the symposium were worried about the people who responded negatively, and those who were undecided, simply because the eventual position of such persons is a toss up. It was also fundamentally noted that the blame game should not be played while the lives of children remain in shambles.
The study clearly cited the fact that a number of cases were just the phenomenon called Cycle of Abuse. This is where the abuser was also abused as a child and because of the psychological impacts; they turn around being abusers in their adult lives. While most of abusers were men, it was even more disturbing that women also sexually abused children. Cultural issues were also seen as a problem. Participants found the how to change minds which are culturally controlled would be a very difficult task.
Regrettably, CSA is committed most of the times by persons who have close relations with the children. This certainly destroys a child’s view of trust. Numbers of cases are committed in the homes by father, step-father or an even more unstable figure in the home, the mother’s boyfriends. Mother’s are often seen in such cases to be contributors to CSA because they protect the abuser to ensure the financial stability of the home. Such actions solely perpetuate the issue of CSA.
What do we now do? Do we incarcerate abusers with no form of rehabilitation? Or do we ensure that they are rehabilitated and not returned to society unless they have received extensive psychotherapy? What are we to do with abused children? We can surely not continue to sweep the issue under the rug and hope it disappears. They too will need psychotherapy. However, nothing we do will neither restore their childhood innocence nor completely restore their faith in trust
May 19, 2009
En una emocionante ceremonia, tres importantes proyectos regionales compartieron el premio a la mejor iniciativa que fomente la relación de los niños, niñas y adolescentes con los medios. La “Red Regional de Adolescentes Comunicadores LACVOX”, compartió honores con “Youth Media Guyana” y con la revista “Escuta Soh! (Oye)”.
LACVOX es una iniciativa de la Oficina Regional de UNICEF para América Latina y el Caribe, que aglutina en un espacio común a las redes de comunicadores infantiles de los países de la región, con el objetivo de promover el derecho a la participación de niñas, niños y adolescentes.
La iniciativa apoyada por UNICEF Guyana “Youth Media Guyana” incentiva a los jóvenes a producir programas de TV dirigidos a una audiencia joven, en donde presentan temas sociales y políticos desde su propia perspectiva. De esta manera crean las plataformas desde donde sus voces son escuchadas.
La revista “Escuta Soh! (¡Oye!), hecha por adolescentes y jóvenes que viven con VIH/SIDA, cuenta con el apoyo de la Oficina de UNICEF Brasil y ha sido creada para impulsar los derechos humanos de las y los adolescentes y jóvenes que viven con VIH/SIDA cuyos objetivos buscan disminuir prejuicios, e integrar a estas personas en la sociedad, incluyendo su participación en temas de política.
Las niñas, niños y adolescentes a través de los medios masivos de comunicación social y medios alternativos, demuestran su capacidad para debatir públicamente sobre asuntos relacionados con sus derechos, aspiraciones e inquietudes. Ellos ganan confianza en sí mismos cuando opinan sobre temas que les conciernen tanto a nivel familiar, escolar, como a nivel comunitario. UNICEF valora el derecho a la libertad de expresión de niños, niñas y adolescentes como un mecanismo que los empodera de sus derechos y les permite ser motores de su propio desarrollo, mejorando sus relaciones familiares, comunitarias y sociales.
Cada año los Premios “Huellas” reconocen los méritos de sus colaboradores quienes con su trabajo contribuyen a desarrollar componentes para impulsar los derechos de los niños, niñas y adolescentes en la región.