Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let The Children's Laughter Ring This Christmas

May the true spirit of Christmas reign in everyone's  heart as it is the only way every child in the world could have his laughter heard.

Merry Christmas

Picture courtesy of the Crystal Cathedral

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Training Manual to Fight Trafficking in Children

ILO, UNICEF and the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) came up with a ‘Training manual to fight trafficking in children for labour, sexual and other forms of exploitation'. It is one of few manuals on trafficking that specifically focuses on children, includes a focus on labour issues, and is geared towards training. It is comprised of textbooks for self study and an exercise book with a menu of assignment options that trainers can choose from for tailor-made training courses. It also includes a facilitators’ guide for use by those facilitating training. The manual ddresses the needs of governments; workers’ and employers’ organizations; and NGOs and international agencies working at the policy and outreach level. Given the dynamic and evolving nature of child trafficking (and its responses), the manual would be updated regularly. Please send your suggestions to or write to the Child Protection Section, Programme Division, UNICEF.

Trafficking is a violation of fundamental rights.

Trafficking in children is a global problem affecting large numbers of children. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year. There is a demand for trafficked children as cheap labour or for sexual exploitation. Children and their families are often unaware of the dangers of trafficking, believing that better employment and lives lie in other countries.

Child trafficking is lucrative and linked with criminal activity and corruption. It is often hidden and hard to address. Trafficking always violates the child’s right to grow up in a family environment. In addition, children who have been trafficked face a range of dangers, including violence and sexual abuse. Trafficked children are even arrested and detained as illegal aliens.

Some facts:

* UNICEF estimates that 1,000 to 1,500 Guatemalan babies and children are trafficked each year for adoption by couples in North America and Europe.
* Girls as young as 13 (mainly from Asia and Eastern Europe) are trafficked as “mail-order brides.” In most cases these girls and women are powerless and isolated and at great risk of violence.
* Large numbers of children are being trafficked in West and Central Africa, mainly for domestic work but also for sexual exploitation and to work in shops or on farms. Nearly 90 per cent of these trafficked domestic workers are girls.
* Children from Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana are trafficked to Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Gabon. Children are trafficked both in and out of Benin and Nigeria. Some children are sent as far away as the Middle East.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Programs and Activities

  • Community Organizing - setting up of community-managed structures and mechanisms that would enable people’s organizations to deliver the needed services to children in their own communities

  • Action Programs - Strategic actions designed to effectively respond to the needs and problems of children in difficult circumstance
  • Research and Documentation - Study of child-related issues in communities and the appropriate interventions.
  • Children’s Center - Provision of an institution-based service for children victims of sexual abuse and other children in difficult circumstance
  • Networking - building solidarity relationships with other groups working on children’s concerns both at the local and international level.
  • Campaign/Advocacy - Generate public support and action on children’s issues and concerns.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


  • Facilitate the enabling of people’s organization to establish their own community managed structures, mechanisms and programs that are designed to effectively respond to the needs and problems of children in their communities.
  • Encourage, support, facilitate and implement community-initiated campaigns, advocacy, and participatory action research programs meant to respond to the issues of child labor, children in prostitution, street children, children victims of sexual abuse, children with disability and children victims of armed conflicts.
  • Facilitate the access of children in difficult circumstances to basic health, nutrition, education and other welfare and social services.
  • Encourage, support and facilitate people’s actions promoting children’s right to ecological security and sustainable future.
  • In partnership with the indigenous peoples, develop and implement programs that are designed to promote and protect the interests of indigenous children.
  • Set up a center that would provide the necessary institution-based assistance and service to children victims of sexual violence and other children in difficult circumstances.
  • Facilitate and strengthen networking and solidarity among and between groups advocating for children’s rights and welfare both in the local and international level towards the achievement of a child-friendly world society.
  • Contribute to the over-all struggle of protecting and defending children’s basic human rights.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


It is the mission of the Children First International to work with children and for children towards building for themselves a secured future worthy of their human dignity.


The Children First International envisions a world society where children's basic human rights are protected and their human dignity upheld.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Highlights of the Convention

  • Every child has the inherent right to life, and States shall ensure to the maximum child survival and development.
  • Every child has the right to a name and nationality from birth.
  • Children shall not be separated from their parents, except by competent authorities for their well-being.
  • States shall facilitate reunification of families by permitting travel into, or out of, their territories.
  • Parents have the primary responsibility for a child's upbringing, but States shall provide them with appropriate assistance and develop child-care institutions.
  • States shall protect children from physical or mental harm and neglect, including sexual abuse or exploitation.
  • States shall provide parentless children with suitable alternative care. The adoption process shall be carefully regulated and international agreements should be sought to provide safeguards and assure legal validity if and when adoptive parents intend to move a child from his or her country of birth.
  • Disabled children shall have the right to special treatment, education and care.
  • Children are entitled to the highest attainable standard of health. States shall ensure that health care is provided to all children, placing emphasis on preventive measures, health education and reduction of infant mortality.
  • Primary education shall be free and compulsory. Discipline in schools shall respect the child's dignity. Education should prepare the child for life in a spirit of understanding, peace and tolerance.
  • Children shall have time to rest and play and equal opportunities for cultural and artistic activities.
  • States shall protect children from economic exploitation and from work that may interfere with their education or be harmful to their health or well-being.
  • States shall protect children from the illegal use of drugs and involvement in drug production or trafficking.
  • All efforts shall be made to eliminate the abduction and trafficking of children.
  • Capital punishment or life imprisonment shall not be imposed for crimes committed before the age of 18.
  • Children in detention shall be separated from adults; they must not be tortured or suffer cruel or degrading treatment.
  • No child under 15 shall take any part in hostilities; children exposed to armed conflict shall receive special protection.
  • Children of minority and indigenous populations shall freely enjoy their own culture, religion and language.
  • Children who have suffered mistreatment, neglect or exploitation shall receive appropriate treatment or training for recovery and rehabilitation.
  • Children involved in infringements of the penal law shall be treated in a way that promotes their sense of dignity and worth and aims at reintegrating them into society.
  • States shall make the rights set out in the Convention widely known to both adults and children.