UN confession due this week

November 21st, 2007
Categories: The UN

Anyone thinking that the United Nations is an upright, honest and honorable organization that can be trusted across the board probably should have been paying a bit more attention when the oil-for-food scandal broke a couple of years back. If the corruption involved in that mess didn't get people taking a second look toward that big building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, perhaps this confession of years of fabrication and dispensing of false information on the global AIDS situation might raise an eyebrow or three. Seems that after more than a decade of slapping back accusations that the UN has been making up numbers as they go along, their AIDS 'experts' will be stepping up this week and admitting that they have "long overestimated both… [more]

Anti-trafficking Day: UNICEF and not about International Adoption

October 21st, 2007
Categories: The UN

Thursday of last week, the 18th of October, saw the first European Union Anti-Trafficking Day. There seems to have been very little prep for this 'event' ... the press release coming out only three days before ... and it looks like much of the to do was centered around a Kevin Kline movie called "Trade" and "an experts meeting will be held in Brussels". Whatever ... One thing that at least appears to have coincided with the day was the presentation in Bern of a study titled "Switzerland and Child Trafficking" from the Swiss section of UNICEF that deserves a good, long look. Any time I see UNICEF and trafficking in the same neighborhood I'm guessing international adoption can't be too far off… [more]

UNICEF/You

October 3rd, 2007
Categories: The UN

Continued from the previous post where we were looking at some faulty thinking ... Can we point out how downright silly many of UNICEF's arguments against international adoption are? The hierarchal system insisted upon, for example, that can so quickly be checked and discounted: bio parents, then other nationals, then foreigners living in country, then as a last, last resort, parents in gasp! a whole other country. Biological parents die, and those that don't still have a right to chose a different life for their children. Being poor is not the same as being stupid, and to insist that these parents don't know what they're doing when they decide to relinquish a child for adoption is insulting to all of them. And anyone who thinks that children… [more]

Families Without Borders/UNICEF/You

October 3rd, 2007
Categories: The UN

Continued from the previous post where we were starting to look at a UNICEF contribution called "State of the World's Children 2007". The "Women and Children: The Double Dividend of Gender Equality" title does have a lovely ring to it, but it's hollow, folks. UNICEF director Ann Veneman says in a press release, “If we care about the health and well-being of children today and into the future, we must work now to ensure that women and girls have equal opportunities to be educated, to participate in government, to achieve economic self-sufficiency and to be protected from violence and discrimination." Anyone want to join me in a "Duh!"? How about in a hint that her "we must work now" ruse doesn't fly when it so… [more]

Child mortality drop?

September 16th, 2007
Categories: The UN

UNICEF released figures last week showing that fewer of the world's children under the age of five-years died last year than usual ... less than 10 million of them ... a turn of events the organization is calling "solid progress on child survival". "This is an historic moment," said UNICEF executive director Ann Veneman. "More children are surviving today than ever before. Now we must build on this public health success to push for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)." The MDG commitment was to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 1215. Seeing as how we now see a 25% improvement out of the desired 66% with only 6 years for the leftover 41% to happen, I'm guessing we'll be… [more]

Ban Ki-moon is shocked by Sudan. How scary is THAT?

September 7th, 2007
Categories: The UN

I am so hoping I wasn't in the minority of news watchers coming close to ralfing my waffles over the brand-new,shiny and spiffy UN Secretary General's visit to Sudan. Hearing that Ban Ki-moon is "shocked" by the state of the country is about as terrifying ... and shocking ... as it gets in this mess of a world, and when the phrase, "Time is of the essence" popped out of his mouth, I snarfed hot tea up my nose and spent the next ten minutes choking. Who IS this guy? And, more importantly, why does he have this job? Okay, the job is the job, and it's all about nice suits and flying around the world in plush accommodation ... did anyone else catch a glimpse of… [more]

J.K. Rowling: International adoption overlap, Part 2

July 16th, 2007

Continued from here. Potterwand/wiki I'm not saying Jo Rowling is intentionally bankrolling clapping with one hand and sacrificing children on the alter of 'Gee, the numbers look good', but the CHLG does make me very nervous, and she is a founder ... along with Emma Nicholson, and given her history she really breaks me out in hives of anxiety and has me worrying about the kids who just might end up in her path. From their website: ... CHLG works closely with governments and officials on wider policy issues such as de-institutionalisation and child welfare. It also works proactively to promote the positive changes in child welfare that are now taking place. In Romania we are already seeing improvements. Around 22,000 Romanian children have been… [more]

J.K. Rowling: International adoption overlap

July 16th, 2007

JKRowling/wiki Unless you've been living under a rock, you have to be hyper-aware that July is Harry Potter month. (I live on a rock and have heard all about it, so I'm assuming the information is very widely spread.) The latest film opened last week, the last book comes out at the end of this one, and the ensuing frenzy cannot be missed. Here's a a bit of a connection that adds to my Potter-ific thinking ... yes, I am a fan: I share a birthday with Harry, and his creator, J.K. Rowling -- the 31st of July. Since Harry's birthdays often coincide with the beginnings of the stories, I'm always well placed in time right along with him. (I won't go into how knowing… [more]

Africa adoption: Following rules and other messes

July 14th, 2007

Any look at Africa adoptions can be complicated, as this story from Nigeria proves. With international Africa adoptions all being country-specific, a lack of understanding of just how things work can cause a world of problems. In all aspects of adoption, educating yourself is the first and most important step, and trying to do adopt without going through every single on of the steps can lead to heartache. A Nigerian-born, Canadian citizen adopted a Nigerian child, and is now not able to obtain a Canadian visa for her new daughter. She and her son were stuck in the country for months, and have had to leave the girl behind and return to Calgary. Apparently, she thought she had complied with rules and… [more]

Iceland looks to African adoptions & Human Rights in Haiti

June 14th, 2007

I'm happy to report that even though the movement to put a halt to the option of international adoption continues to tick over in the US, other parts of the world are catching on to how right it is to present the option of families to children in other countries. In Iceland, for instance, the Iceland Adoption Society is investigating adoption by Icelandic families of children from African nations. “We are looking to other countries, including African countries like South Africa and Ethiopia,” the managing director of the Iceland Adoption Society Gudrún Sverrisdóttir told Bladid. Adoptions from China have been an option for a few years, but China's new regulations and increased wait times have encouraged officials in Iceland to begin looking at… [more]