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Childhood trauma and its consequences
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:04 pm 
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On the Institute for Psychohistory website (http://www.psychohistory.com) I was surprised to find....

* No mention of the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of children.

* No mention of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

* No mention of the 2002 Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children.

* No mention of the 2006 UN Secretary-General's Study on Violence Against Children.

* No mention of the Council of Europe's project, started in 2006, to eliminate all corporal punishment of children throughout Europe.

Right at the start of 1979 Poland's delegation to the United Nations formally proposed a draft text for a legally-binding Convention on the Rights of the Child (Alice Miller's first book was published a little later in 1979). The final version of the treaty was adopted by the UN General Assembly in November 1989. During the 1990s it was ratified by 190 member states.... and 3 more since.

In 2002, around 70 Heads of State and/or Government - presidents, prime ministers or their deputies - together with other government delegations went to New York to take part in a Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children. The outcome was a plan of action published under the title "Building a World Fit for Children" - http://www.unicef.org/specialsession/ - or you can watch videos (Real Player is required - does anyone still use that these days?) or read transcripts of the speeches on the UN site: http://www.un.org/ga/children/

In 2003, the UN Secretary-General's Study on Violence Against Children commenced, and the findings were published in 2006. You can read about the follow-up actions here: http://www.crin.org/resources/infodetail.asp?ID=22668

Every year UNICEF issues an annual publication called "State of the World's Children", including an account of progress towards eliminating violence against children.

By the beginning of 2009 there were 21 Council of Europe member states that had passed laws prohibiting corporal punishment by parents. For information about the Council of Europe's campaign, see: http://www.coe.int/children/

In January 2010, 34 Islamic scholars in West Africa signed a fatwa (i.e. a religious decree) banning the practice of female genital mutilation. Fifteen African nations have passed laws against female FGM/C, plus the regional government of Southern Sudan and the state of South Kordofan in Federal Sudan.

Does the Institute for Psychohistory have any idea that all this is going on? Why don't they mention it? And has the Institute taken any action to actually combat harmful child-rearing practices apart from publishing a journal? Or are they content to leave it all up to an organization that they mention only on rare occasions in footnotes.... UNICEF. It seems to me they are a bunch of academically-minded bookworms who like to play a game Eric Berne called "Ain't It Awful". Maybe they are content to confine themselves to historical study without any regard to what's been happening in the past two decades. Someone please tell them. The Walls are breaking down!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:11 am 
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Good to see that we're on the right way, finally. On the long run, the facts are hard to deny and it looks like more than ever there's a political agreement on this. Of course the next step is the practical implementation of these laws. But just to have a government saying that child abuse won't be tolerated has a huge impact on the general views of a population.

I also noticed the first time a professor, Sven Å Christianson, in a large Swedish newspaper, admitted that his research in serial killers, showed a common factor: they all had experienced a severe emotional abandonment when growing up and were victims of severe child abuse. It's the first time I wasn't reading anything about possible brain damage. The journalist even asked him why certain abused children hadn't evolved into sadistic killers. He answered that these people had managed earlier in life thanks to a close relationship with an aunt, a neighbor, a friend. (Swedish article here)

I don't know much about the Institute for Psychohistory. All I know is that the institute publishes a journal that has one editor, Lloyd deMause. After 37 years it seems it never really evolved. Even their website is still stuck in the 1990s. What I do know is that intellectuals are never satisfied with psychological insights and need a constant, never-ending stream of the next insight. It's also easier to focus on abstract world-events than one's own family.

Dennis

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:42 am 
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I used http://translate.google.com/ to read that Swedish article about the deep loneliness of serial killers. Professor Christianson said "Many of those I interviewed have had several contacts with social services, psychiatrists and police at a young age. But there seems to be a blind spot of those who work with young people." Yes, it confirms what Alice Miller has said all along.

Dennis wrote:
Good to see that we're on the right way, finally. On the long run, the facts are hard to deny and it looks like more than ever there's a political agreement on this. Of course the next step is the practical implementation of these laws. But just to have a government saying that child abuse won't be tolerated has a huge impact on the general views of a population.

I wrote before that most parents who use corporal punishment haven't read Miller's books, but Article 42 of the Convention says "States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the Convention widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike." What surprised me is how many African countries have taken the next step because many African governments that want to promote children's rights are hampered by economic difficulties which restrict the funds available for enforcing child protection laws. Ghana, by the way, was the first country to ratify the treaty and it set up a Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs. The website describes the measures they've taken and what they have achieved for both women and children. It is one of the countries which passed a law against female genital mutilation. The current priority is a child labor elimination process. The phasing-out has to be done gradually because cocoa exports from the plantations where children are employed are crucial to Ghana's economy, and poor families would suffer without the extra income.

And now for some truly shocking news....

Human Rights Watch interviewed children under the age of 18 who had worked as farmworkers in various parts of the United States of America. It published a report in May, 2010, which showed that child farmworkers risked their safety, health, and education on commercial farms across the United States. It called on the US Congress to amend the law governing child labor on farms. Even the currently weak laws are poorly enforced. Here is the article: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/05/04/u ... rous-lives

HRW wrote:
Child farmworkers as young as 12 years old often work for hire for 10 or more hours a day, five to seven days a week, Human Rights Watch found. Some start working part-time at age 6 or 7. Children, like many adult farmworkers, typically earn far less than minimum wage, and their pay is often further cut because employers under-report hours and force them to spend their own money on tools, gloves, and drinking water that their employers should provide by law.

Agriculture is the most dangerous work open to children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Children risk pesticide poisoning, serious injury, and heat illness. They suffer fatalities at more than four times the rate of children working in other jobs. Some work without even the most basic protective gear, including shoes or gloves. Many told Human Rights Watch that their employers did not provide drinking water, hand-washing facilities, or toilets. Girls and women in these jobs are exceptionally vulnerable to sexual abuse.

Just a quick reminder.... Somalia and the United States of America are the only two countries in the UN which have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the USA, it appears, children are the new blacks.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:23 pm 
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In 2009, the Law Center at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. held a symposium on behalf of The Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The symposium program, in the form of webcasts, is available online: The Convention on the Rights of the Child: Why It is Time to Ratify.

Also, George Mason University and the University of Missouri received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a Children and Youth in History project. The project uses contributions from academics at other universities. Ill-informed Lloyd deMause fans probably think there's very little being done by universities to investigate, on their own initiative, the history of child abuse. That was probably true when Lloyd's Institute for Psychohistory started out several decades ago, but it's an outdated picture. The Psychohistory site asserts, vaguely, that *most* college courses in psychohistory use Lloyd's works. But how many? Which ones? Community colleges or proper universities? The Wikipedia article on Psychohistory doesn't provide a list.

The Emotional Life of Nations by Lloyd deMause was published in 2002. It's free to read on the Psychohistory website. There's no mention of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or the Children's Rights movement, which traces its roots to the founding of the Save the Children organization in 1919. Years before Lloyd's book was published the Convention on the Rights of the Child had gone down in history as both the most widely ratified human rights treaty, and the most rapidly adopted.

By ignoring all that, it's as if a historian wrote about slavery and the American Civil War (1861–1865) while ignoring the fact that the transatlantic slave trade had been outlawed during the previous quarter century and that European colonial powers had progressed a long way towards total abolition. In this case, during the previous quarter century, children's rights had progressed to the point where every nation in the U.N. had ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child - except Somalia and the USA - and eleven countries had passed laws banning corporal punishment by parents....

1. Sweden (1979)
2. Finland (1983)
3. Norway (1987)
4. Austria (1989)
5. Cyprus (1994)
6. Denmark (1997)
7. Latvia (1998)
8. Croatia (1999)
9. Germany (2000)
10. Israel (2000)
11. Bulgaria (2000)

If the Institute for Psychohistory wanted to make a difference beyond the pages of its Journal, the website could have encouraged visitors to support the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In fact anyone who comes to the Walls of Silence Forum from the USA can participate in the campaign. There's an Advocacy Toolkit which you can download....

http://childrightscampaign.org/documents/Toolkit.pdf

Alternatively, anyone can make a financial contribution on the Donation Page.

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