Social Action Now!

An objective view to worldwide social issues

World Day Against Child Labour

Last Sunday 12th June, one of those international days that try to attract wide world interest on essential facts was celebrated. It was especially remarkable, as it was International Day Against Child Labour, a day to remember article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which establishes that it is the state’s responsibility to protect children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

The promulgation of this convention as a Law in 1990 ended the efforts of progressive awareness started in the Renaissance to protect childhood from hard jobs and promote their education and health, especially needed with theemergence of the Industrial Revolution and the use of children as cheap labour. Since 20th century, western world adopted the idea of childhood as a social good that must be protected and respected to get its optimal development, health and education to promote progress. But nowadays in a changing social and economic situation, we are surprised to know that many commonly used products are manufactured by child labour in other places.

Sin título

Regarding this commemoration, we should think at least about two different aspects. One is about the validity of the last indicators (from 2012) released by the International Labour Organization, indicating that 168 millions of children work (11% of global child population), more than half on dangerous jobs, as the extraction and handling of hazardous substances, as cobalt for mobile batteries, collection of tea and coffee, gold mining, clothes and shoes manufacturing, sorting through garbage, etc.… and the lack of interest shown by the poor update of the figures.

The other issue to think about is that the world changes and faces migration crisis, people escaping from war, violence or poverty, and this may break the idea that child labour is a phenomenon of distant countries in Asia, Pacific or Sub-Saharan Africa, and it may reach the outskirts of Europe, affecting not only to minorities traditionally unconnected to the education system, but also to refugees.

This is a dull crisis, in an exceptional situation that lead some European borders to be closed, in countries that used to accept refugees with the same rights as any western citizen. And it is even worse as many of them are redirected to countries like Turkey, where the right to child education is more relaxed. There are many testimonies of employment of 11 to 13 years old migrant children to help sustain their families; children like Ahmad Suleiman, who was reported by the New York Times to be one of the thousands minor refugees working for poor salaries in bad conditions, not attending school, situation close to a kind of extortion or slavery, but understood by others as a help to families with no other resources that the work of their own people.

Fragility of the childhood, which is the reservoir for a full adult life, and needs plenty of links, education and health. What is the future of these lives and these societies growing lost generations?









Bullying , studies and, solutions?

Bullying is defined as violence, both physical and verbal or mental, conducted among students for a continuous period of time, it can come from a single individual or group. It is increasingly common that this bullying comes through social networks. From numerous government entities, such as the ombudsman, there have been a lot of studies showing that, for example, in 2008 nearly a 25% of students aged between 11 and 15 years had suffered bullying. Although that percentage has been reduced to almost half, thanks, among others, the study of Thormod Idsoe or detailed study of Araceli Oñate and Inaki Piñuel. There is a fact that must be emphasized, is that nearly 80% of minors who commit suicide are a result of bullying, a truly alarming fact. Read more of this post

Irish migration to the US

Interactive map charts changes in Irish migration to and around the US from 1850-present

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Freedom of religion in America

The first Amendment to the United States states Freedom of religion what means freedom to hold an opinion or belief, but not to take action in violation of social duties or subversive to good order. The statute’s opening lines reflect the American founder’s mastery of language and clarity of thought. The new is that this weekend some Americans have been remembering what really religious liberty means. January 16th is the Religious Freedom Day because it is the anniversary of the day when Thomas Jefferson reached one of his most important and greatest achievements, ranking with the Declaration of Independence: “the approval of a state” in his State, Virginia. religious-symbols Read more of this post

Current streaming greatest TV

If you do not have broadcasting rights for a successful film, create yours. That was the decision of Netflix, the largest TV streaming in the world, who recently announced that from now on will be available in 131 new countries. In practice, that means everyone, with the major exception of China because they will have to wait at least until the end of this year, will be able to enjoy, if payed, its successful productions such as Narcos or Downtown Abbey. This was announced by Reed Hastings, executive director of Netflix, a company based in Los Gatos (California), in the CES, which is the biggest fair of consumer technology in the world located in Las Vegas. Read more of this post

The beginning of a generation with less expectations

In this current economic uncertainty horizon, expectations for citizens seem increasingly small and the forecast for future generations points to be dark. Years of economic crisis and globalization have left winners and losers. Among the beneficiaries are old acquaintances: the economic elite. For example, Branko Milanovic and Thomas Piketty, both economists, have been responsible for alerting about the injustice effects caused. Even though few have informed with the frankness of billionaire Warren Buffett, who in 2011 wrote in The New York Times: “While the middle and lower classes fight for us in Afghanistan, while Americans fight for a living, we, over wealthy people, continue to have extraordinary tax breaks.” Read more of this post

End of Ebola in Africa?

At 14 January of 2016 the WHO (World Health Organization) declared the end of the Ebola virus disease that punched Africa, taking with it millions of African lives. But, is this the end of the Ebola virus in Africa? The WHO insists in the fact that there is no chain of transmission now, at least in West-Africa, but they also warn about the possibility of the appearance of new flare-ups. Many countries were declared free of having the virus, for example Liberia, but this country has had two more outbreaks. Anyway, today there is no infected patient in the most likely countries to have the virus but Dr Alex Gasasira (2016); a WHO representative in Liberia says that “The rapid cessation of the flare-up is a concrete demonstration of the government’s strengthened capacity to manage disease outbreaks. WHO will continue to support Liberia in its effort to prevent, detect and respond to suspected cases.” Read more of this post

Languages: should learn or not?

Learning languages means also to have a close relationship with translation, as it helps connecting different cultures. The importance of languages is becoming more and more outstanding due to the opening of doors that it supposes to get to know an unknown cultural and linguistic environment (Anna Bernacka, 2012). As Bernacka says translation is a way of communication between different cultures, and this leads to a better understanding of social issues and also different cultural ideas. This is why it is very important to get a well use of languages, because they are the key element for the connection between cultures.

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Religion and War: a never-ending relationship?

It is normally considered to be an atheistic statement to say that with less religions there would be less wars but it is also very superficial to affirm this because we would have to analyze all the wars that broke out throughout the history and tell wether they had been caused by economic-political reasons or religious conflicts. I was driven to talk about this topic after the terrorist attack in Paris where 5 armed men, muslims, who had been fighting in Syria with the Islamic State, assaulted the French theatre, Bataclan: it would not be probably wrong to say that this atrocious act could have been avoided if Islam did not exist but it would also be a very reductionist approach to reality. The aim of this post is to discuss whether or not religions have endangered the world, especially in these last decades where extreme religious groups have been doing terrible terrorist attacks.

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