Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Howard's End: Killing Children In Godzone

If Steve Maharey is right that there have been an average of 7 child homicides a year over the last 30 years, then that makes New Zealand bigger killers of children than the UK and the whole of Europe over the same period. John Howard writes.

The number of British children who die in suspicious circumstances or are killed by abusive parents is still twice the European average despite numerous inquiries into child fatalities in the past two decades, according to a report published late last week by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. (NSPCC)

I was astounded to learn that in the 21st Century an organisation with such a name was even needed. It appears that nothing has really changed in society since those appalling child-abuse times of Charles Dickens.

The NSPCC report entitled "Out of Sight" calls for urgent action to cut the high rate of child homicides in Britain. It says that despite the large number of high-profile cases and endless inquiries too few changes have been made.

The report gives harrowing accounts of 100 children who have died at the hands of parents or caregivers, starting with the case of Maria Colwell whose death in 1973 became the first big child abuse scandal.

Using Steve Maharey's figure of 7 New Zealand child homicides each year over the last 30 years, New Zealanders would have killed 210 children since 1973. That is outrageous because we have allowed it, and talked about it.

Worse, New Zealand government's of all political persuasions have essentially done nothing. And what do we do now? - yet another report. Golly, we're even looking at setting up a national register of children in an effort to cut child abuse.

Former Principal Youth Court Judge Mick Brown has recommended that in a report into the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services.

Judge Brown says " In Britain, concerned doctors and other health professionals involved in a child's welfare could check with a central child protection register managed by each local authority."

Well, it hasn't worked because at this very moment, Lord Laming is presently heading an official inquiry into the murder of Anna Climbie, the eight-year-old who died after years of abuse went unnoticed.

Indeed, the NSPCC report cites lack of information about the causes and circumstances of many child deaths also meant the full extent of the problem remained hidden.

Sorry Mick, despite your very best of intentions, it hasn't worked in Britain and neither will it work here.

What might work, instead of all the talking, reports and inquiries, is bringing back government-supported home visits of Plunket Nurses for families.

It won't be the perfect solution but at least it will provide a measure of weekly/monthly help to parents who are clearly struggling. It will also provide a measure of oversight to those who might have evil intentions towards their children.

Under the natural law of cause and effect, it's the parents who need help, perhaps as simple as a Plunket Nurse home visit or even a job with dignity.

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. They must, they have no other models.

OK politicians, enough reports already, get to it.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news