Archive for the ‘children’ Category

Pure cynicism in human form

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The sexual abuse of children, including by their parents and other “guardians” is unfortunately a fact of life, has always been and will always be. I believe that most parents want the best for their children and will go through fire for them.

Most will, but then there are the others.

This Australian documentary tells the story of Peter Truong and Mark Newton and how they bought a boy in Russia for $ 8000 to abuse him sexually, under the pretence of adoption. They wanted, as they boldly stated on the radio in Australia, to be “gay dads”. Not only that, but they also made the child available for abuse by friends of them in their “boylover” network all over the world. Normal looking men, men with families, jobs and hobbies – just like the ones that live where you and I live.

The documentary runs 45 minutes, but I strongly recommend that you spend that time to see the full story. There is a positive aspect here, the “dads” and several others got arrested after an investigation that crossed continents and time zones – and they are now serving decades of prison time in the US.

Kudos to the cops that made this possible 🙂

In the disclaimer of the program, they state: “This program contain content that may disturb some viewers”. Bloody hell, this program contains content that should disturb ALL viewers!

People helping people

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

I have some friends that are doing a very commendable thing this Christmas. Rather than eating and drinking too much, in sync with the traditional Norwegian Christmas celebration, they have chosen to spend both money and time on something better. One of the members of the household worked as a voluntary worker at an orphanage in the village of Darmang, north of the capital Accra in Ghana earlier in 2011.  You will not find the village on any maps, not even Google has passed it by with their street view, as its tiny and largely goes unnoticed.

I does have an orphanage and a “school” – and this is where young people from various countries come to work for free to help out. I write school in brackets, as there are no trained teachers there and the aid workers do most of the teaching, but it is better than nothing. Unfortunately, the children have very little school material like books, pens, paper and the like.

When the son of my friends went there, he and the other young people collected money from their respective families and dug a new well for the orphanage, saving them hours of walking to get good water every day, they built sanitary toilets for both boys and girls and by doing so reduced the probability of disease, bought new cribs for the babies, mattresses for the older children, pens, crayons and paper for the children to use at school etc. Even on a very slim budget they were able to do a lot, as money go far in Africa. Have a look at the below pictures and you can see some of the things that were built. To the left are the original “toilet” and the two other images show the exterior and interior of the new ones. Quite an improvement, I would say.

 

Anyway, back to Christmas 2011. This family has decided to travel down to Ghana and bring clothes, toys and other things that children need that they have collected from friends, family and neighbors. The children at the orphanage has nothing or very little of everything, so anything children between birth and 12 years old would need is being collected. In addition they are accepting donations for the purchase of school supplies, mosquito nets, medicine, band aids, shoes or other things they are lacking. All the money collected will go to the children. The family is paying their own trip, room and board out of their own pocket and there are no administrative fees of any kind.

They have a plan to try to support one of the children at the orphanage on a long-term basis too – hopefully more than one, but it depends. There is a 1-year-old girl at the orphanage, as seen on the picture to the right, that has Sickle-cell anemia, a disease that is not that uncommon among Africans, and demands constant follow-up from medical personnel. At the moment this girl is not receiving any real treatment, something that will result in a much shorter life span and chronic pain and discomfort. Their plan is to try to transfer money regularly to see to that she is taken care of. If they are not able to establish some system where several persons pay a small amount on a monthly basis, they will cover this themselves – but that will reduce their ability to help all the other children. You can read more about Sickle-cell anemia here and here.

They will be leaving Norway for Ghana on the 19th of December 2011, celebrating Christmas at the orphanage and will make sure that the children have a great Christmas meal – just like most of us are used to.

If you have money to spare and/or want to contribute – please go to their homepage for more information. This page is in Norwegian only, unfortunately – but it does give you the possibility to practice your Norwegian 🙂 You can also read it through google translate here.

If you are a Facebook user, and quite frankly – who isn’t, you can enter the event they have set up or go to the Facebook page they have set up – in English. It’s open for all, so feel free to invite your friends in on this project. There is information on how to pay from outside Norway into the project’s Norwegian account available on all the before mentioned pages.

As I understand it, any amount is welcome!

Those of us that are fortunate enough to be born in the rich part of the world, and have quite pathetic problems like obesity and laziness among youth, should take a step back from time to time, and look at the big picture. In the great scheme of things, many of our problems are minute compared to not having parents, not having food, not getting any schooling, living in a country with little or no security, having no hope for the future. Even though we can not save the world by helping a few kids in a country we have never been or even heard of, you can help a few children improve THEIR world, making them better equipped to save themselves and their own people and country. In my view, all the little things amount to all the big things – and when you change the little things – you are helping in making the really big changes.

Please consider setting aside an amount for something other than yet another unnecessary Christmas gift this year, give it to someone who really need it instead.

 

Protecting child victims of sexual abuse

Friday, February 18th, 2011

The CIRCAMP web page

Its a strange world that we are living in. People can communicate across borders, across ethnisity, across color and sometimes across language on the Internet – we can share thoughts, opinions, pictures and other files. Thats all well and good and probably the best thing that has ever happened to humanity, but as with all good things, it can also be used for really horrible things.

I just read a blog entry informing me that a system that has been in place in a number of countries for years is to be voted upon by the European Parliament, namely having Internet Access blocking against child abuse material (child pornography) in place or not. The post is written by the crimes against children team at Interpol – so one should think that they know what they are talking about. Its not a case of censoring the Internet or blocking illegal material in general, the EU are going to vote whether countries “must” or “may” block access to images of children being raped.

“Must” or “May”? If there ever was a no-brainer, this would be it!

Are there any countries that will choose not to prevent the distribution of images of children that are sexually abused? Are there any arguments against having such a system? Does any country want their population to have access to this, willingly or unwillingly?

Any sensible person would probably answer those questions with a thundering “Hell, no!” – but there are..

While some countries in Europe and the rest of the world have chosen to remove access to raped children, many or most have not. The countries that have such blocking have not crumbled, their Internet is not broken or reduced in speed and availability, their police or politicians have not chosen to block political sites, they are not on a slippery slope towards eternal damnation – they are actually rising above those that bend over backwards to civil liberties groups that demand that the Internet be free from any policing.

Civil liberties my ass, and for who? For you, you who surf the Internet from your nice house somewhere or civil liberties for the victims of the abuse? Those that choose their own right to access to all information, even if being criminal to produce, distribute and possess, over the basic rights of others and in particular the victims – are, imho, morally depraved.

Shame on anyone that is willing to protect the people that crave and produce these images – as they are all equally responsible for its existence and availability. Free speech advocates thinking that access to images of child victims is free speech are just plain stupid and should go back and read up on rights in general. Free speech is stating that you disagree with your government and why without the fear of being arrested, free speech is not protecting the rights of criminals spewing out pictures of sexually abused children.

I live in a country where we accept a level of policing, both in society and on the Internet. We accept that there has to be rules, regulations and some basic structure to how we can behave and treat each other. Personally I have never, ever accidentally come across images of child sexual abuse nor have I ever seen my country’s warning page. I use the Internet a lot, but I obviously use different parts of it than the ones that object to having such blocking because of its limiting effect on their “freedom”.

The Internet is now such an integrated part of our existence that not having rules that apply for our benefit seems dated and unrealistic. Would you accept that your bookstore on occasion displayed such images in its windows or that the mailman from time to time put it in your mailbox? Probably not. Would you accept that a house on your street had such images plastered all over its inside and outside and let people travel from near and far to access it free or for a small fee? Probably not. Still, this is basically what is happening on the Web today. You can choose to view a funny video on youtube.com or choose to view a rape of a baby – its equally accessible, as its using the same technology and the same information highway to your screen.

I think this is unacceptable and anyone that willingly let this continue should be held accountable.

Safe water for everyone!

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Water.org Working Toward Global Access to Safe Water.

Every 15 seconds, a child in the developing world dies from water-related disease.

It’s a human right to get clean water.