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Stolen Childhood 2006: End of the Year Round-up

Pooja Pooja,Shimla, INDIA
Jan 4 2007, 5:41 am GMT

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This space, dedicated to the issues related to the children of the world and the problems they are encountering, has been keeping tab of the pulse of our future harbingers, trying to do justice by giving voice to their cries. We highlighted major issues of the year 2006, however, able to understand that it’s just a beginning.

With the dawn of 2007, it’s time to take a look back and see how far we all can make our new beginning more effective.

A brief time line of all the major events of the year 2006

January

1. More than 800 million children are exploited, said the Vatican report
2. 15-Year-Old combatant in Afghanistan faced Guantanamo Trial after three years
3. Rebels in Uganda have kidnapped more than 20,000 children for use as soldiers, sex slaves and porters while the government is keeping hundreds of thousands of others in squalid camps where disease and violence are rampant.
4. Israel’s shooting of young girl highlights international hypocrisy, said Palestinians
5. According to UN 42, armed groups in 11 nations were guilty of recruiting or using children in war

February

1. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the appointment of Radhika Coomaraswamy of Sri Lanka as his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.
2. The United Nations Children’s Fund has renewed appeals to Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka to stop recruiting child soldiers
3. 365 children’s caught up in anonymous blinding disease in Amazon
4. 22,000 babies have been born to HIV-positive women and they are abandoning many into the care of the state
5. At least 434 children have been killed in Nepal and over 8,000 orphaned in the long running Maoist insurgency

March

1. UN condemns violence in Iraq
2. More than 200 Palestinian children arrested in 2 months
3. Children’s forum takes on trafficking and other concerns in the impoverished town of Makeni in northern Sierra Leone, Makeni
4. Rwanda schools still struggling to recover from 1994 genocide
5. Pupils learn a terrible lesson as war invades classroom in Iraq
6. UNICEF holds birth certificate must to fight child abuse
7. 9 million African children lose their parents because of AIDS
8. 9000 Malawi child labors saved

April

1. Ethiopian children in grave danger because of drought
2. Sri Lanka a home to 100,000 child sex workers
3. At least seven children have been killed and 34 injured after a rocket hit their school in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar.
4. In an attempt to cut the wave of demonstrators, the Nepali police have brutally beaten and shot children.
5. In Southern Sudan, 250 demobilized child soldiers trade weapons for textbooks
6. Displacement and land mines are everyday challenges for children in Colombia

May

1. Sex ratio drops in India
2. Young girls in refugee camps in Liberia are routinely being sexually exploited by humanitarian workers, peace keepers and local businessmen.
3. Romanian babies under trafficking threat
4. Children forced into Darfur death squads
5. Schoolboys risking their lives in the fields around Gaza to salvage unexploded Israeli shells

June

1. More than 40,000 child labors in Uganda tea estates
2. Child refugees in America have no security
3. 211 children released from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, in Southern Kordofan
4. Children facing attacks, abduction and rape in Democratic Republic of Congo, often at the hands of government forces
5. UNICEF condemns abduction and recruitment of Sri Lankan children by the Karuna group
6. Child trafficking rampant in Iraq

July

1. Tigers slam UNICEF over child soldier claims
2. African delegates commit to curbing child labor
3. Underage sex trade booming in Southeast Asia
4. Children traumatized by attacks in Lebanon
5. More than 250,000 child soldiers are still participating in armed conflicts around the world and tens of thousands of girls are being sexually exploited by combatants
6. Israel killed 31 children in Gaza during the past month
7. Child soldiers recruitment flourishing in Democratic Republic of Congo

August

1. According to UNICEF, one third of the 3,225 injured, and about 45 per cent of the nearly one million Lebanese refugees are under the age of 18.
2. 75 million children worldwide are exposed to domestic violence says, UNICEF
3. Children are victims of the conflict in Sri Lanka
4. US witnesses mounting number of teen robbers
5. International Child Rights Organizations appeal India to ban child labor up to 18

September

1. On the eve of the UN General Assembly debate on International Migration Save the Children demands that more be done to protect children who migrate alone who are extremely vulnerable to physical, sexual and labor exploitation.
2. Myanmar continues to recruit child soldiers
3. International donors are neglecting the education of children in war-torn areas, leaving 43 million youngsters without the chance to go to school
4. 10 million children die every year on this planet
5. A UN human rights envoy in Nepal has expressed concern over the presence of children at Maoist rallies
6. More than 1.5m children under five die each year because they lack access to safe water and proper sanitation

October

1. Communist guerillas in Southern Luzon are forcibly recruiting minors, some as young as six years old.
2. Palestinian child deaths in conflict with Israel already nearly double that of 2005
3. Eleven thousand children in the Democratic Republic of Congo are in the hands of armed groups

November

1. Throughout Pakistan, thousands of children are locked inside police cells or overcrowded jails
2. Israeli shelling killed 10 Civilians in Gaza Strip
3. Children are vulnerable to AIDS and victimized by their elders in South Africa
4. Parents sending their wards to orphanages for a better life in Indonesia
5. Rising child abuse charges against UN troops

December

1. The United Nations has said it will hold a conference in New York to address the issue of the sexual abuse of children by UN peace keepers
2. The Russian Federation has the third-largest prison population in the world, at around 760,000. About 13,300 of those incarcerated are children between the ages of 14 and 18, who are undergoing purging via juvenile justice

3. Innocent Afghan children bear the brunt of ignorance and opium boom.
4. Members of the youth committee in Tajikistan reach out to children by telling them they do not have to work and live on the streets, and that going back to school is the key to a better future.
5. Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka have admitted kidnapping at least 21 students in the east of the country.
6. The Indian government is proposing a complete ban on employing children below the age of 11.
7. Children are at a risk of sexual abuse in the Pacific Islands, says UN
8. Pope made an appeal for children this Christmas


Looking forward to a bright 2007:

The areas which require specific contribution are, improving early childhood development and further reduction of child mortality, prevention of school dropouts and absenteeism, prevention of risky behavior related to HIV/AIDS and development of life-skills in children and young people. In addition, investments in prevention continue to be pitifully inadequate which has to be meted out with efficiency.

Image: United Children of the World

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