Tomorrow is WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY and Canada has a crisis.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadian youth aged 15 to 34. Only motor vehicle accidents claim more young lives.
A 2016 Kids Help Phone Canada-wide survey revealed that suicide is on the minds of more Canadian teens than we might imagine, and many are not seeking help because they don’t know who to turn to.
Continue reading “World Suicide Prevention Day: Canada has a crisis”
In September 2015, the world’s nations adopted a set of “sustainable development goals” to end poverty, protect the planet, and promote the well-being of everyone. Goal 4 is to provide quality education and promote lifelong learning, and governments are called on to “ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education…” Uganda’s Early Childhood Development Policy of 2007 states, “learning begins at birth and that whatever experiences a child goes through during these formative years will impact on a child’s learning in later years positively or negatively.” 
Early childhood education is important for many reasons, including its impact on children’s ability to learn. The human brain develops rapidly in the first few years of a child’s life, but the pace of development slows as a child ages. That early brain development lays the foundation for future learning. UNICEF’s The State of the World’s Children 2016 report states: Continue reading “Transforming Children’s Chances through Pre-Primary Education”
In 2011, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated 53 percent of the world’s then 215 million child labourers performed hazardous work. Work in the mining and quarrying sector is the most hazardous labour children perform. Continue reading “10 Facts About Child Labour in Mining and Quarrying”
“It’s going to be hell,” she declared. It was the first day of classes of the winter semester of 2012, and her foreboding statement expressed her expectations of the three months ahead. She was a St. Thomas University student, probably barely recovered from the demands of exams and multiple paper deadlines all coinciding in one or two horrific weeks prior to Christmas break. She was definitely not looking forward to re-living it. I could relate.
My university education was gruelling. It took a toll on me physically as way too many hours hunched in front of a computer screen aggravated my osteoarthritis and caused my neck to burn with pain. The hunching has also led to a weakening of my pectoral muscles and consequent overcompensation by the muscle attached to my shoulder blade, cramping it and necessitating frequent dates with microwaveable hot packs. I developed stress-induced eczema which caused rashes for the five years of my undergraduate and graduate degrees. (I was a sight to behold, at times!) Then there was the extinction of my social life, family time, and even miniscule moments of relaxation. It was enough to have made me declare in the final year of my undergraduate degree, “University is inhumane.”
I never expected to feel that way.
Continue reading “Post-Secondary Education: Punishment or Prize?”
One million of the world’s 168 million child labourers work in mining and quarrying. The table below outlines some of the tasks, hazards, and potential consequences faced by children who work in this sector–the most hazardous sector for children. (Click on table to enlarge.)
For more information on child labour in the mining and quarrying sector, see my post: “Buried childhoods.”
Tulane University released a new study on the West African cocoa industry today. While the number of children working in cocoa who attended school increased in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana from the 2008/2009 season, the percentage of children in hazardous work also increased by 13 percent. Read the press release.