The Role Of International And Local Non Governmental (NGOs) In Promoting The Right And Welfare Of Children[Name Of Student][Name Of Institution]THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL NON GOVERNMENTAL (NGOS) IN PROMOTING THE RIGHT AND WELFARE OF CHILDRENINTRODUCTION"A global perspective on child welfare is overdue. The actualities of child welfare around the world — never adequate — are worsening" (McFadden, 1991). A decade and a new millennium later, in the year 2001, that statement still holds true, despite worldwide changes that are stunning in their enormity and impact. In the last ten years, "ethnic cleansing" has become a familiar term as we learned of atrocities in Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, and other nations torn asunder by fierce ancient ethnic and tribal feuds.
The number of children conscripted as soldiers in armed conflicts has dramatically increased. Over two million youths died in armed conflict between 1989 and 1998 and UNICEF estimates that more than 300,000 children under the age of 18 are currently part of armies around the world. As Bishop Desmond Tutu has said, "It is immoral that adults should want children to fight their wars for them.
There is no excuse, no acceptable argument for arming children" (Csete, 1998). Untold numbers of children continue to die as bystanders in war, civil unrest, and terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere. More than six million children have been permanently disabled or seriously injured from these armed conflicts. The late Princess Diana helped bring to public awareness the impact of land mines on the lives and deaths of innocent children. Over 100 million land mines lie unexploded in 75 countries, a deadly threat waiting to be triggered by the mere touch of the small foot of an unsuspecting helpless child. BACKGROUNDIn the last decade we have — belatedly — become aware of the ravages of AIDS in Africa and other countries.
Seventeen million children and adults have already died from AIDS, with 25 million more deaths anticipated in the near future. On the beautiful continent of Africa, the scientifically acknowledged birthplace of humanity and ancestral home to countless individuals, it is hard to comprehend the image of school-age AIDS orphans fighting for survival while caring for younger siblings in African villages left deserted and desolate by the effects of this disease. The last decade brought us glasnost and, with it, the discovery of more than a million Central and Eastern European children in orphanages.
Despite heroic efforts by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work with local governments to develop in-country family foster care and adoption programs, or to find adoptive families in other countries for these children, more than a million youngsters still languish in organizations in this part of the world. The new era of ever-increasing globalization that the past decade has seen has brought nations far greater economic interdependence.
Despite the passage of child labor laws in many countries, children remain an integral part of the labor force, as evidenced by the astonishing estimate that one of five items purchased in Western countries is produced by a child laboring in a sweatshop. In developing countries, one of every four school-age children is employed as a child laborer; most work at least six days a week in bonded labor and to help support their families.