Posts Tagged ‘UNICEF’

Excerpt from the U.N.’s State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples report from Mayan Families

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

This information about the status of indigenous peoples in Guatemala is posted on the Mayan Families website.  Sobering statistics. I find it unbelievable that at the same time UNICEF was reporting a 50% chronic malnutrition rate among indigenous children in Guatemala, it was lobbying hard to shut down international adoptions.  UNICEF has now stepped away from working with Guatemala to improve the proposed system. How does that make sense?

Read excerpts from the Mayan Families website below:

[Earlier this year], the United Nations released its State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples report. Throughout the report, the UN reiterates the fundamental importance of providing greater educational opportunities to indigenous children.

“Indigenous peoples… face huge disparities in terms of access to and quality of education and health. In Guatemala, for example, 53.5 per cent of indigenous young people aged 15-19 have not completed primary education, as compared to 32.2 per cent of non-indigenous youth. Although infant and child mortality has been steadily decreasing throughout Latin America over the last four decades, child mortality is still 70 per cent higher among indigenous children. Furthermore, malnutrition is twice as frequent among indigenous children in the region.”

“Indigenous peoples also suffer from discrimination in terms of employment and income….[I]ndigenous workers in Latin America make on average about half of what non-indigenous workers earn.” Approximately 25-50 per cent of this income gap is “due to discrimination and non-observable characteristics, such as quality of schooling.”

“…[I]n Guatemala, indigenous peoples’ poverty rates are 2.8 times higher than the rest of the population.”

“In Guatemala, only 54 per cent of indigenous girls are in school, compared with 71 per cent of indigenous boys. By age 16, only a quarter of indigenous girls are enrolled, compared with 45 per cent of boys.”

The World Bank has reported that “the rate of stunting [height/age] for Guatemala overall is 44 percent, but for indigenous children the rate is 58 percent, higher than either Yemen or Bangladesh, and almost twice the rate for non-indigenous children.”

Finally, this from UNICEF, “Guatemala has one of the worst nutritional conditions in the region. Nearly 23% of children over three months and under five years of age suffered from general malnutrition, while almost one-half suffered from chronic malnutrition in 2006.”


Why we won’t be trick-or-treating for UNICEF this year

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Like a lot of people, I used to regard UNICEF as an organization founded to protect and advocate for children. Not anymore. Not after everything I’ve learned about UNICEF’s role in shutting down adoptions in countries such as Guatemala. That’s why I’m sharing  this article by attorney Candace O’Brien, posted by friends on Facebook, and encouraging you to do the same.

In this post, I’ve included only the parts specific to Guatemala; to read the entire article, click on the link here

“UNICEF has been waging war against international adoption for many years contrary to popular understanding… UNICEF’s premise that parents in underdeveloped countries should be provided the means to keep their children is not arguable.  Neither is UNICEF’s stance that international adoption should only be a last resort.”…

“Let’s take the example of Guatemala.  After intense pressure from UNICEF, Guatemala finally closed its doors to international adoption on December 31, 200[7].  Prior to that time, foreign nationals adopted approximately 5,000 Guatemalan children per year.   Oscar Avila, ‘Guatemala Seeks Domestic Fix to Troubled Overseas Adoptions,’ Chicago Tribune, October 26, 2008 indicated that ‘Guatemala has launched an ambitious campaign to recruit foster parents and even adoptive parents at home.’  So far, the program is failing miserably.  Avila reports, ‘Only about 45 families in a nation of 13 million currently have taken in foster children since the program began this year.’”

“The approach that Guatemala is taking by attempting to gain domestic attention to the problem is certainly meritorious; however, this approach could and should have been implemented concomitant with an international program which would ensure that thousands of children will find homes rather than waste away in institutions that are often underfunded, understaffed and unable to provide for the needs of these children.”… (more…)