Spanking may affect the brain development of a child

Spanking may affect a child’s brain development in similar ways to more severe forms of violence, according to a new study led by Harvard researchers. The group found that children who had been spanked had a greater neural response in multiple regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), including in regions that are part of the salience network. These areas of the brain respond to cues in the environment that tend to be consequential, such as a threat, and may affect decision-making and processing of situations.

corporal punishment has been linked to the development of mental health issues, anxiety, depression, behavioral problems, and substance use disorders. And recent studies show that approximately half of parents in U.S. studies reported spanking their children in the past year and one-third in the past week.

— source Harvard University | Apr 12, 2021

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1.1 Million Children Could Die as Pandemic Interrupts Access to Food & Medical Care

As more than three-quarters of the world’s children live under stay-at-home orders amidst the pandemic, a shocking new report finds the child mortality rate could increase for the first time in more than 60 years. More than a million children under 5 could die over the next six months, according to researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who studied the secondary impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, the disruptions to health services and access to food. More than 60,000 mothers could also die. The report was published in The Lancet Global Health and looked at 118 low- and middle-income countries.

we know from past experience and research that in outbreak situations, people have health issues because of the virus, but also more people have health issues and complications because of the secondary effects of the outbreak. So, in the current pandemic, people are dying because of coronavirus itself. But if the pandemic and the response to the pandemic lead to the disruption of health services, then more people are going to die from other causes, as well.

So, in our study, we looked at the potential for additional deaths among pregnant women and young children. And we modeled three different scenarios, looking forward, of different severity. So, in our least severe scenario, over a period of just six months, we could see around 12,000 maternal deaths — so women dying in childbirth — and around 250,000 child deaths. These are children under the age of 5. That would represent a 39% increase in child mortality above what is currently occurring. But in our worst-case scenario, we saw that

— source democracynow.org | May 21, 2020

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Over 173,000 children infected and 22 killed by COVID-19 in the US last week

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its weekly report on COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths among children across the US. The results are once again horrific, with 173,469 children testing positive for COVID-19 and 22 dying from the virus last week. In total, some 5.9 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 and 520 have died in the US since the start of the pandemic. Since schools began reopening throughout the US in late July, more than 1,772,578 children have officially tested positive and 171 have died from COVID-19, as the highly transmissible Delta variant has spread rapidly in poorly-ventilated, overcrowded classrooms across the country.

Across the US and internationally, opposition is building among parents, educators and students to the homicidal school reopening policies that have infected millions of children and killed thousands worldwide. This was sharply expressed in the October 1 global school strike, with the central hashtag #SchoolStrike2021 trending for hours that day and used over 26,000 times in the week leading up to and including the strike.

— source wsws.org | 5 Oct 2021

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Facebook’s Algorithms Spread Hate & Harmed Children

a massive leak of tens of thousands of internal Facebook documents that show the social media’s own research indicates its algorithm helps boost disinformation, hate speech and political unrest around the world and that Facebook executives knew about it but kept the damning information hidden from the public. The leak also implicates Facebook in issues of child safety and human trafficking, while it prioritized profits over people’s welfare.

The documents were behind a sweeping investigation by The Wall Street Journal and were unveiled by whistleblower and former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen. She secretly copied the pages before leaving her job at the company’s Civic Integrity unit in May. Haugen spoke publicly for the first time Sunday on CBS’s 60 Minutes with reporter Scott Pelley.

When we live in an information environment that is full of angry, hateful, polarizing content, it erodes our civic trust. It erodes our faith in each other. It erodes our ability to want to care for each other. The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 05, 2021

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More than 200,000 children have been infected with COVID-19 in US

Hundreds of thousands of children are being infected with COVID-19 every week in the United States, driven by the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant and the reopening of schools to in-person learning throughout the country. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as of the week ending September 23, 2021, over 5.7 million children in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. The number of pediatric cases exceeded 200,000 for the fifth consecutive week.

— source wsws.org | 28 Sep 2021

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More than half of young people think ‘humanity is doomed’

Now kids are also facing the prospect of living with rising temperatures, ferocious floods, and an unstable climate for the rest of their lives. The largest study of its kind shows that the environmental crisis is causing widespread psychological distress for young people across the globe. In a paper released Tuesday, researchers from the United States, United Kingdom, and Finland found that 45 percent of teens and young adults say climate anxiety is affecting their daily lives and ability to function. It’s the first study to suggest that young people’s emotional distress is strongly linked to their governments’ failure to respond. The study, under peer review in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, surveyed 10,000 people between the ages of 16 to 25 in February and March this year.

— source grist.org | Sep 14, 2021

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America’s Child Soldiers

Congress surely meant to do the right thing when, in the fall of 2008, it passed the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA). The law was designed to protect kids worldwide from being forced to fight the wars of Big Men. From then on, any country that coerced children into becoming soldiers was supposed to lose all U.S. military aid.

It turned out, however, that Congress — in its rare moment of concern for the next generation — had it all wrong. In its greater wisdom, the White House found countries like Chad and Yemen so vital to the national interest of the United States that it preferred to overlook what happened to the children in their midst.

As required by CSPA, this year the State Department once again listed 10 countries that use child soldiers: Burma (Myanmar), the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Seven of them were scheduled to receive millions of dollars in U.S. military aid as well as what’s called “U.S. Foreign Military Financing.” That’s a shell game aimed at supporting the Pentagon and American weapons makers by handing millions of taxpayer dollars over to such dodgy “allies,” who must then turn around and buy “services” from the Pentagon or “materiel” from the usual merchants of death. You know the crowd: Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Northrop Grumman, and so on.

— source tomdispatch.com | Ann Jones | Aug 8, 2021

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COVID-19 Crisis Will Push Millions of Vulnerable Children Into Child Labour

The differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on society needs to be acknowledged. While some of us are practising social distancing and exploring work from home options aggressively in the hope of a better tomorrow, there is a possibility that a substantial number of children would emerge as victims of such apparently positive measures. One impact would be an increase in the number of child workers.

Along with the health crisis, and the economic and labour market shock that the pandemic has generated, the vulnerability of millions to child labour is another issue that merits serious attention.

Already, there are 152 million child labourers worldwide. Despite the prohibition of engagement of children below the age of 14 in all occupations, India alone is home to 10.1 million child labourers in the age group 5-14 years (Census 2011). If the state governments do not take immediate and accelerated efforts to address this issue, we are going to lose the battle of eliminating all forms of child labour by 2025, a commitment under the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Consequences of imperfect labour market

All over the world, the quantity and quality of employment is deteriorating rapidly because of COVID-19. The subsequent economic shock will increase both unemployment and

— source thewire.in | Protiva Kundu | 21/Apr/2020

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Sanctions on Iraq kill 200 children every day

Last August, the defence minister John Spellar described the no-fly zones over Iraq as “international zones, designed by the international community”. This is false.

Imposed and enforced only by the United States and Britain, these zones have never been ratified by the United Nations and have no basis in international law. The official reason for them is the protection of the Kurds in the north and Shi’a in the south from Saddam Hussein’s military. This, too, is false.

During the Gulf war, far from protecting Kurds and Shi’a, the American-led coalition slaughtered them. Most of Saddam’s conscript army were Shi’a and Kurds. Reporting from the carnage of the American “turkey shoot” on the Basra Road, Kate Adie noted that “those who fought and died for Iraq here turned out to be from the north of the country, from minority communities, persecuted by Saddam Hussein [such as] the Kurds”.

Two weeks later, in February 1991, the Shi’a in the south responded to George Bush’s call that they should rise up against Saddam Hussein. The rebels soon controlled most of the

— source johnpilger.com | john pilger | 6 Mar 2000

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