We MUST End Child Labour

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       “The World is presently not a total disaster because few good people refuse to keep silent.”…. Lotenna Olisa
     That is a quote by me and it was inspired by the work of the joint winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi who have both struggling to promote the rights of children around the globe.
      In most countries, particularly African, Asian and Carribean countries, young children are subjected to various forms of child labour and in most cases, this robs them of getting an education. Child labour I’m talking about here includes street hawking, apprenticeship, prostitution and even fighting as soldiers. These young children are usually forced or have no choice. They are either trying to complement what their very poor parents earn or are simply being used. That is why it is very necessary for us to take it upon ourselves to speak for them, to fight for them, just like the Nobel Peace Prize winners for this year are doing.
      There are about 168 million children around the world subjected to various form of child labour, some of them constituting child abuse. Most are involved in work so hazardous – such as in mines, as child soldiers, or involving dangerous chemicals or drugs that directly endangers their health, safety, and development The rest are toiling in places such as farms, other families’ homes, or factories. The most painful of all, to me, is the innocent children subject to the mental torture and traumatic experiences that serving as child soldiers bring. Imaging little children, some under the age of twelve, forced to carry guns, take up weapons and engage in deadly combat which most of them don’t survive. The one that do are most likely scarred for life. Is this not the height of inhumanity?!
       Another disheartening statistics: 121 million children around the world are out of school. Some factors that contribute to this are child labour, discriminatory policies against the female child, early marriage which is the culture of some groups, especially in Africa, attacks on schools by militant groups, as seen in Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan and the Philippines, sexual harrasment in schools, amongst others.  The very sad reality is that these children are deprived of education and this limits their opportunities and they end up not contributing effectively to the society as they should if they have been educated. Most of them end up poor.
      Child labor may look like a short-term solution to economic hardship, but it’s actually a cause of poverty. People who start work as children end up with less education and lower earnings as adults. They are then more likely to send their own children to work, perpetuating the cycle of poverty from generation to generation.
     An internationally agreed-upon timetable to end the worst forms of child labor by 2016 is lagging. We should make it a priority. No child deserves to suffer or be deprived of a good future. Governments must take the fight against child labour and other forms of child abuse very seriously. Children are supposed to be the hope of any nation but imagine a situation where the children themselves are hopeless.
     God bless activists and campaigners around the world who have refused to keep silent and are fighting tirelessly to end child labour and child abuse around the world. We all have a part to play. If we all speak out, we have a greater chance of being heard. #EndChildLabourToday
      
     

Is the U.S ready to deal with Ebola on its soil?

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   The United States, as any other country fell into panic when the first case of Ebola was reported on its soil. The Patient Zero, as we know, was a Liberian American, Thomas Eric Duncan who flew into the country from Liberia. There was a little anger about the handling of the ‘patient zero’ with many condemning the health system for failing to take the patient’s travel record into account while initially treating him. This development prompted the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) into action, to ensure that an outbreak was prevented. The C.D.C even sent a group of experts to Nigeria to learn how the country was able to contain the virus, since the World Health Organization had earlier declared Nigeria Ebola free.
    Now, a Dallas health worker, a nurse to be precise has been infected with the virus after been involved with treating Thomas Duncan. This has again sparked more anger and speculations that the United States is not ready or well prepared to deal with Ebola on its soil. The Director of CDC, Dr Thomas Friedman came under serious fire and was heavily criticized for blaming the nurse. He said in a press release that a ‘breach i protocol’ on the path of the nurse resulted in her contracting the disease. But critics, whom I agree with, were fast to point out that he was ‘scape-goating’ the nurse instead of dealing with his agency’s failure to introduce a rigorous set of procedures for hospitals across the country.
     Bonnie Castillo, a registered nurse and a disaster relief expert at National Nurses United said, ‘when there’s an outbreak, you don’t scape goat anyone! We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct.’
Dr. Macgregor-Skinner, who helped the Nigerian government train healthcare workers when the Liberian man, Patrick Sawyer brought Ebola to the country said;
‘Blaming the nurse is just wrong. We haven’t provided them with a national training program. We haven’t provided them with the necessary experts that have actually worked in hospitals with Ebola,’
    It is obvious, however, that there have been institutional failures in handling the Ebola crisis in America. This, to me, might be a little forgivable giving that the U.S has never witnessed any Ebola case and their health workers are not well trained and equipped to handle Ebola victims. However, for a country which has spent millions of dollars in aiding Ebola hit countries in West Africa like Liberia and Sierra Leone, better prevention and preparation for any outbreak should have been done. For instance, How come the health workers didn’t take into account Thomas Duncan’s travel history? Why didn’t they test him for Ebola when he showed similar symptoms, having told them he came in from Liberia, one of the worst hit Ebola countries? Instead, they just treated him normally and discharged him. The answer is obvious! They were not at alert. They possibly felt that Ebola wasn’t a direct threat to them or would come knocking on their door steps. They obviously know better.
       America, however cannot afford anymore institutional failures as it may prove disastrous. A second person is already being kept under close monitoring after having close contact with the infected nurse and 48 other health workers might have also been exposed to the deadly virus. The CDC director also said that more cases of Ebola could be seen in coming days. So, Ebola in the US is no child’s play and everything should be done to kick it out, as Nigeria successfully did.

Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize: A well deserved recognition

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         I’m so thrilled that my ‘role model’, the brilliant and courageous Malala Yousufzai won the Nobel Peace Prize 2014. A million congratulations to her. I’m very moved and inspired by her fearless fight to defend girls’ rights to education around the world. I remember that Malala has once been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize before which she didn’t win. I’m glad that she won it this time. She really deserved it.
      Malala and the Indian children’s rights activist,  Kailash Satyarthi were jointly awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” Malala wining the award is tremendously remarkable because she is the youngest person ever to be awarded a Nobel Prize, at the age of 17. To think that she’s my age mate though. I hope I get the opportunity to defend human rights fearlessly on an international level like she’s doing.  Well, I’m contributing my little bit with this blog.

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      I remember when Malala visited Nigeria over the kidnapped Chibok girls. I was very inspired by her genuine care for these girls. She referred to them as ‘my sisters’ and promised their parents she would speak to the President on their behalf, which she did.

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      I respect Malala’s incredible work and struggle for the girl child education around the world. This Nobel Peace Prize is indeed a well deserved recognition.

What you need to know about the ISIS

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    The deadliest and most brutal terrorist organization in the world. They are known as ISIS, ISIL or as they are now called, Islamic State, operating mainly in Iraq and Syria. I’ve been concerned about the terrible crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Islamic State and I have written a number of posts about them, most popular being “Pictures of Brutal Killings by ISIS in Iraq“, explaining what they do and why people should be concerned. The Islamic State is so brutal that even Al Qaeda denounced them.
     A concerned blog reader, Erin Gentry, who found me via Twitter sent me an email hoping I’ll share. He shared a very educating and informative infographic that explains what we need to know about the ISIS (Islamic State). I recommend it an you all can view it here Islamic State: What you need to know infographic   If that might be too much stress, you can click on the image below and learn important things about the ISIS, their rise to power and why they are a huge threat to the world.

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What You need to know about the Islamic State

     Recently, I also learnt about how the ISIS brutally raped and beat hundreds of Yazidi girls when they attacked dozens of Yazidi villages last month. Please click on the link to read the whole story. It is very terrible and sickening. The radical Islamist raped these girls brutally and forced them to watch as they beheaded or shot dead men from their villages. This is a horribly grave violation of human rights. It is a war crime, a crime against humanity! The world cannot afford to sit back and watch the Islamic State achieve their devilish goals.

Syria: Why would anyone attack innocent Children?

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           It’s always very depressing to read headlines like “10 Children Killed in double blasts in Syria“.  Innocent children were killed when double bomb blasts hit an area very close to their Primary School in Homs, Syria. Among the 19 people that lost their lives, 10 where children. This is tremendously sad. In my opinion, no matter what you are or what cause you are fighting for, you must respect the fact that Children are Children! They are vulnerable and must be protected. Why would anyone want to attack innocent children? What’s the gain? What’s the sense in it? This was the exact reason why I lashed out at Israel when so many children were being killed by Israeli airstrikes during the Israel-Gaza conflict.
   I’ve always maintained that its the children who suffer the most during crises and conflict. Its painful and annoying to me that nothing much is being done to protect our children. I expressed by anger and grief in one of my blog posts, “No to Killing of Children during Conflicts“.