Petition Tag - children's rights

1. Support sweat shop workers: A call for Fair Trade Brands in Local Shops

Fast fashion, the rage of providing fashionable clothes for cheap, has become the norm. Unfortunately, it also comes with a cost, a cost which too easily slips our minds:

Our brains are programmed to feel empathy towards suffering that we physically see, so good intentioned people tend to forget about the plight of the sweatshop workers off in Bangladesh or China. But the suffering of sweat shop workers is real, and it is not an anomaly. For us to buy a T-shirt for as cheap as $10.00 to $20.00, people in undeveloped countries, often children, are the ones paying the cost.

Sweat shop workers, often young children, are paid well below a living wage, while forced to endure terrible working conditions. While each situation is unique, all of them have in common that the efficiency and profit of the factory are put before the rights and needs of the workers. It is common for sweat shops workers to be verbally, physically, and/or sexually abused; they often are forced to work 12 hour days, without overtime and without adequate breaks; they receive no sick leave or holidays; furthermore, they often work in dangerous working conditions, without proper lighting or proper safety and/or emergency procedures in place. These conditions are a violation of the human right to safety in the workplace. These people are depending on consumers around the world to wake up and realize that we have the power to help end this injustice.

Many people around the world are taking a stand and looking for alternatives to Fast Fashion. Some choose to only buy locally made items, which is a step in the right direction, but people in developing countries, desperately need to make an income. Buying Fair-Trade ensures that the workers in developing countries are paid at least living wages for their work and are treated ethically.

Unfortunately, choosing to buy Fair Trade is not an easy decision to make. Not only does it cost more, but it is difficult to find shops that offer Fair Trade clothing brands outside of online shopping. The problem with online shopping is that not only are consumers paying more to buy Fair Trade, but they also have to pay for the cost of shipping, without being able to even try on the clothes they are investing in! However, if local independent shops were willing to join in the cause by carrying Fair Trade clothes, consumers could be saved the cost of shipping and could be confident in their purchase, being given the opportunity to try the clothing on, and thus know that the article of clothing is something that they want to invest in.

2. HABIBA MAY NEED OUR HELP: STOP CHILD MARRIAGE ABDUCTIONS IN NIGERIA

Habiba Isa is a 14 years old girl from Warkaza com­munity in Kudun Kan­kara Local Government Area of Katsina State, Nigeria. She was allegedly abducted on 16th, August 2016, and reportedly converted to Islam and may have beem forced into marriage.

THE Katsina State Police Command according to Punch newspaper of October 18th, 2016 asked her to be returned to her parents’ house but there are no reports or pictures of her reunion with them.

3. Proposal to have children's services funding controlled by central rather than local government

Here in Leicester, the city council have just proposed cutting 50% of the funding to their children's services. These proposals will cripple the provision of services that help the most vulnerable children across the board. They propose to slash funding to all kinds of organisations that help and support children in some of the most deprived areas of the city.

Organisations like the 9 adventure playgrounds that provide safe places for children to play and socialise with other children, the children's centres that provide community support and training to families and many other council funded schemes offering help to children and their families.

I understand that money is tight and savings must be made, but why is it that child and elderly services are the hardest hit.

I think that it is time for the level of cuts being proposed by local government in relation to child services be looked at further. It is short sighted to think that slashing the budget for child services is fiscally sound, as the children who need those services will be left waiting longer or being denied the help and support when they need it most. Not being to access the help when they need it, can cause long term damage to the child leading to maladaptive defence mechanisms, which Ieft in place, will cause a higher cost to the child and society as the child matures into adulthood.

It is well accepted across academia, that the longer a child is left in an abusive situation the harder it is for them to recover from the impact it has on their future outcomes. There is not enough provision of support or access to the professionals needed to head off a devastating impact for the children now, let alone when the budgets get trimmed even further.

It is imperative for future generations that a child is given all the support and help they require to become a positive productive adult. To let a child fail because there was not enough to resources, is unforgivable and preventable.

We, adults, have to take a stand for the futures of our children and speak out for them and their right to have a safe and secure environment to live in. If we don't, who will?

4. The Forgotten Children

Child migrants coming from Central America and Mexico have endured countless occasions of abuse, whether that be in human trafficking, sexual slavery, drug dealing, or transporting drugs.

5. We want Regina Osamrumaese and her family to get Icelandic citizenship!

Pregnant Regina Osamrumaese and her family are on the verge of being deported from Iceland where they have come to seek refuge and have already lived here for several years now. Regina and Eugene are parents to two children and Regina is entering her second trimester with her third child.

Both her children were born via C-section and it could be a matter of life and death if she does not get medical assistance in this birth as well, which she may not get if she gets deported.

She has struggled her whole life, from fleeing inhumane circumstances as a child in Nigeria to being homeless in Italy. Now she and her family have a home here in Iceland, they have settled down here, the children go to kindergarten and school and speak Icelandic. This is the life they know. To turn them away and send them out of the country would not only be cruel but a blatant violation of human rights.

They deserve safety. They deserve a home. They deserve to live long happy, healthy lives. They are victims of circumstance but fully equipped to make a life for themselves if only given the chance to.

Let's help them achieve that! All we need is your signature. Such a small thing but yet so powerful.

Let's not stand by and watch their lives ruined once again. Let's help this family because we can and we should.

6. Make our school zone safe

Let's make our school zones safe again.

There have been too many close calls at the crossings, our kids, parents and crossing people are at risk and it is time to make a stand.

Let the police know that we need their presence to help make school crossings safe again.

7. Autistic children 5 years and older need continued government paid therapy

Ontario children with Autism age 5 and older need continued government paid Intensive Therapy. Intensive Therapy such as Intensive Behavioral Intervention provides opportunites to learn coping strategies, develop life skills which become the back bone to these children's survival.

Without the support from the government it leaves Parents feeling hopeless, as most families can't avoid Intensive Therapy. It also creates a domino affect leaving Teachers in a panic as they are already desperate for more Teaching Assistances and Educational Assistance being there is an increasing rise on children with Autism in classrooms beyond kindergarten.

The quality of education, support services and life present and future are crucial to these children's transition to adulthood . The withdrawal of funding not only affects individual families it affects cities, communities, countries and the world. These children will become adults and the goal should be to provide as many opportunities for success.

8. End Child Labor in the United States

Do you think child labor in the US only occurred during the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s? Think again!

Today, hundreds of thousands of children (under the age of 18) work in the US in dangerous conditions, mainly in the agriculture industry. Some regularly contract nicotine poisoning on tobacco fields while others accidentally cut themselves with industrial knives while working on onion fields.

You may be thinking, “If this labor is so dangerous for children, why hasn’t the government outlawed it?” Well, although the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) banned child labor in the United States in 1938, a technicality in it allows children to work in the agricultural industry.

The FLSA states:

Youths ages 16 and above may work in any farm job at any time.

Youths ages 14 and 15 may work outside school hours in jobs not declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

Youths 12 and 13 years of age may work outside of school hours in non-hazardous jobs on farms that also employ their parent(s) or with written parental consent.

Youths under 12 years of age may work outside of school hours in non-hazardous jobs with parental consent, but only on farms where none of the employees are subject to the minimum wage requirements of the FLSA.

Even though the FLSA clearly states children under twelve may not work under hazardous conditions, Human Rights Watch has reported a Tobacco Industry practice of having children as young as 7 working on tobacco farms. Work on tobacco farms exposes children to the toxin nicotine and other pesticides, which can cause irreparable harm to young developing bodies and brains due to nicotine poisoning.

The short-term effects of nicotine exposure include nausea and headaches, among others, but long-term consequences of nicotine exposure during childhood and adolescence could prove detrimental to children’s mental health and reproductive health. The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that is susceptible to stimulants and is responsible for making decisions, is not fully developed until after a child reaches the age of twenty-five. If children as young as seven years old are exposed to such stimulants as tobacco, they risk damage to their underdeveloped prefrontal cortexes, which could make them susceptible to other stimulants or even addictions later in life.

Also, working in tobacco farms could result in sterility, or the inability for these kids to have their own children when they get older. Given this evidence, it would be irresponsible for the Department of Labor not to recognize the hazardous nature of tobacco farming; children deserve to be protected from these dangerous and life-threatening conditions brought about by working in the agriculture industry.

9. Stop Academies

Since the introduction of "Academies" into the education system more and more have not only failed Ofsted but also failed children, parents and teaching staff.
Evidence suggest that "Academies" cost councils more than they would otherwise spent on council run school budgets. This puts additional strain on otherwise already cash strapped councils.

Evidence also suggests that "Academies" that are having good results do so at the cost of pupils who do not promise to achieve the required exam results being "off loaded" into either alternative education provisions or other schools. This is common practise and once again the governments slogans of "every child is an individual" or indeed "every child matters" are blatantly and cynically ignored.

Parents have a choice and this choice is taken away.

10. DCA Warriors Cherishing All Children Equally 2016

KOD Lyons act for DCA Warriors in Campaign for Election 2016 for Children with Additional Needs

Following a consultation process involving its 8,000 members leading children’s advocacy group DCA Warriors in partnership with KOD Lyons have launched a policy document for its members for the 2016 General Election campaign. The document can be viewed below, and is an important grassroots response to the need for children’s rights to be a priority.

DCA Warriors – Cherishing All Children Equally 2016.

We ask those looking to be the next leaders of Ireland to honour the words written in the 1916 Proclamation which “declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally” and that “no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity or rapine.”

The DCA Warriors was established in February 2012. We currently have over 8,000 members. The group gives information and support to parents of children with special needs [SN] and/or serious illness [SI] applying for Domiciliary Care Allowance, Carers Allowance, Disability Allowance and Carers Benefit.

We expanded our mission, and are now committed to ensuring all children in Ireland with special needs are given their right to a full education and other rights. Our children deserve to have their dreams realised of a future where they will be a productive member of our society.

Our Election campaign is focussed upon ensuring that the rights of children with special needs and those of their families are fully vindicated.

Our 8,000 plus members are asking election candidates to ensure the following policy commitments are implemented in the next Dáil. In addition individual members will have the facility to include a further two individual policy pledges they are seeking which reflects their own circumstances and concerns.

11. Free Iranian Children's Rights Activist Omid Alishenas, Sentenced To 10 Years

JUNE 19, 2015--Ten months after his arrest, children’s rights activist Omid Alishenas has been sentenced to ten years in prison for “assembly and collusion and propaganda against the state,” and “insulting the Supreme Leader.”

Mr. Alishenas’ mother told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the family is in shock following the sentencing. “This sentence is unfair and cruel. Omid’s activities should not have brought him 10 years in prison,” she said.

Simin Eyvazzadeh told the Campaign that her son’s lawyer has appealed the ruling, “but with this heavy sentence, we are really worried that his sentence would not be reduced too much at appeal.”

“They always told me not to disseminate information and that this would work in Omid’s favor, but it resulted in ten years in prison for my son. I am not going to keep quiet anymore, and I ask everyone for help to change my son’s heavy sentence. I want his release after ten months in detention,” Ms. Eyvazzadeh added.

Security agents arrested Omid Alishenas, 32, a civil engineer who is a children’s rights and civil activist, at his home in Tehran on September 4, 2014. He was held inside the IRGC’s Ward 2-A for nearly nine months under “temporary detention” orders, before being transferred to Evin Prison’s Ward 8. His trial was held on March 5, 2015 at Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Courts under Judge Moghisseh, and his lawyer was served with the verdict on May 13, 2015.

“Omid is so upset. He did not expect such a verdict at all. When he was first arrested, they kept saying he would be released in a couple of weeks, and then the investigative judge in the case once told Omid himself that his punishment would be a maximum of six months to one year in prison. Now he faces such a heavy sentence after nearly ten months in prison,” Mr. Alishenas’ mother told the Campaign.

“Omid was a children’s rights activist. He taught the kids how to paint and he set up painting exhibitions for them. He had also visited families of several political prisoners or those who had been executed, and he was arrested based on these activities. On the day he was arrested, the agents confiscated his computer hard disk, his CD’s, USB flash drives, and his cell phone, and based on information they extracted from them, they built up the charges against him,” Ms Eyvazzadeh continued.

“For example, because of the jokes they saw on his cell phone, they made up the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader” for him. But these jokes exist on half of all Iranian cell phones! Omid did nothing to cause insult,” said Omid Alishenas’ mother.

Simin Eyvazzadeh told the Campaign that the confiscated items have not been returned yet. “When they were taking Omid’s things, they said that we could have them back three days later. I have tried twice, and Omid’s lawyer wrote a letter once, but they have responded that they would review our request,” she said.

Omid Alishenas and four other young individuals, Atena Daemi, Ali Nouri, Atena Feraghdani, and Aso Rostami, were separately interrogated in the same case. Atena Feraghdani’s case was later reviewed independently, and she was eventually sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison. [Link: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/06/atena-faraghdani-2/] Atena Daemi was sentenced to 14 years in prison. [Link:http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/06/atena-daemi-3/] The Campaign does not have any information about the cases of Ali Nouri and Aso Rostami.
SOURCE: Internatonal Campaign For Human Rights In Iran

12. Stop the over-sexualization of children's clothing!

Children are being exposed and sexualized more and more with every generation. It gets worse as more people become accepting to what scant clothes children wear. I read an article at abc.com/news called "How Soon is too Soon?" and it was about a company in France who now have a line of lingerie that is targeted at girls four and younger. This goes way beyond something that should be acceptable.

Why do women wear lingerie? Mostly to please men and be sexy. Do we honestly think that children are sexy?

It's terrible when someone creates something like lingerie for four years olds without thinking what kind of sickos will be purchasing this attire. Pedophiles must be really excited about this.

This is why I am motivated to petition department stores to voluntarily stop sales of Bikini Style swimsuits for children.

13. Campaign For Royal Commission Into The Family Law Court Of Australia

The Family Law Act requires the court to have regard to "the need to protect the rights of children and promote their welfare in any matter with which it deals under the act".

The best interests of the child is to be the paramount consideration when determining parental custody and access.

The court is required to give greater weight to the consideration of the need to protect children from harm.

THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!

Too many children are being forced to spend time/live with their abusive parent/s. Sexual, Physical and Psychological abuse are being disclosed by our children and these disclosures are far too often being ignored and minimised.

The majority of these children have also been exposed to Domestic Violence perpetrated against their protective parent and this too is being discounted and minimised.

Like the difficulties that are being experienced across all State Services of Australia, Family Law Court Rooms are filled with victims of Domestic Violence attempting to provide proper care and protection for their children, but who are being questioned and judged, both by their perpetrator and by the system.

A thorough inquiry is required to reveal the faulty systems being used to determine children's ongoing safety to ensure their right to freedom from every form of violence is being upheld.

Powerful and legally binding decisions are being made for children without providing any follow up or monitoring of their outcomes and which can have a long-term detrimental impact on their lives.

14. Special Ed Kids Are Human Too

Local school denies special ed kids field trip in January. All kindergarten students will be attending "Frozen on Ice" in January located in chicago. All except kids that attend the special ed class!!

Let's show this school we are a strong community that believes and stands by ALL of our children. If one class goes they all go.

What gives them the right to single out certain students or special classes. The children are ALL human AND deserve equal treatment.

Please sign this so we can show then how wrong they are!

15. Singapore to offer adoption of Palestinian children

I appeal, as a citizen of Singapore to all Singaporeans and to relevant ministries; to help the Palestinian children facing what seems to be, a genocide.

I urge the Singaporean government to offer adoption of Palestinian children to Singaporean families.

I ask the government to help finance the adoption process, I.e travel, adoption and legal costs.

Palestinian children are dying and the world is watching. Are we, as a country ready to watch and NOT take any action? Let's stand together and help these poor innocent children. I urge you to sign the petition and spread the word as much and as far as you can.

16. Expose Forced Adoption And Demand A Public Enquiry

ON AVERAGE IN THE UK, ONE CHILD IS TAKEN INTO CARE EVERY 20 MINUTES!
SOME FACTS ON FORCED CHILD ADOPTION.

1. THE ADOPTION RATE SKYROCKETS BUT YET THE CHILD ABUSE AND DEATH RATE DOES NOT DECLINE!

2. THE UK IS THE ONLY STATE IN THE WORLD THAT "GAGS" PARENTS WHOSE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY SOCIAL SERVICES.

3. THE UK IS THE ONLY STATE IN EUROPE TO REGULARY ENCOURAGE FORCED ADOPTION.

4. THE UK IS THE ONLY STATE IN THE EUROPE TO ENCOURAGE PUNISHMENT WITHOUT CRIME FOR PARENTS WHO HAVE NOT COMMITED ANY CRIMINAL OFFENCE TO THIER CHILD.

5. THE UK IS THE ONLY STATE IN THE EUROPE TO CENSOR CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN. CHILDREN ARE LEFT WONDERING WHAT THEY DID WRONG AND PARENTS ARE FORBIDDEN TO EXPLAIN THE TRUTH.

6. CHILDREN WHO ARE ADOPTED ARE BRAINWASHED INTO THINKING THEY WERE ABUSED OR THIER PARENTS PUT THEM AT RISK.

7. PARENTS ARE NOT GIVEN ENOUGH TIME TO REFORM IN THE DISGUSTING 26 WEEKS PUBLIC FUNDING THEY ARE GIVEN AND PARENTS AND FAMILIES ON BENEFITS ARE EXTREMELY EASY TARGETS AS THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES KNOW YOU DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO TAKE YOUR CASE TO THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE.

PLAY YOUR PART AND DEMAND YOUR RIGHT TO HEAR WHY OUR GOVERNMENT STEAL OUR CHILDREN FROM VULNERABLE PARENTS WHEN IN REALITY, THEY NEED THE SUPPORT THE TAX PAYERS ARE UNDER THE INFLUENCE THIER MONEY PAYS FOR!

THERE IS A PROGRAMME ON ITV AT 10:40PM ON THE 15TH OF JULY (THIS TUESDAY) CALLED EXPOSURE PLEASE DONT TAKE MY BABY!

PLEASE SEARCH "KELLIE COTTAM FORCED ADOPTION" INTO YOUTUBE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHAT THIS PETITION AND THE WEEK LONG DEMONSTRATION ON THE 19TH OF JULY 2014 OUTSIDE DOWNING STREET IN LONDON IS ABOUT. HAVE YOUR SAY SIGHN THE PETITION IT WILL BE PRINTED OFF TO BE PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT ON THE 19TH OF JULY SO TIME IS SHORT BUT ANY LATE VOTES WILL STILL COUNT!! WE NEED TO STOP FORCED ADOPTION AND EXPOSE THE SECRET FAMILY COURTS. DEMAND A PUBLIC ENQURY NOW!

17. Free Iranian Childrens Rights Activist Saeed Shirzad, Held Incommunicado 65+ Days After Arrest

UPDATE: August 9, 2014--Following 2 months since his arrest, Saeed Shirzad, children’s rights and human rights activist was transferred to the quarantine ward of Evin prison.

According to CHRR after being held in Ward 209 of Evin prison during interrogations for 2 months, Saeed Shirzad’s temporary detention was extended for another 2 months and he was subsequently transferred to the quarantine ward of the prison facility.

Saeed Shirzad was detained on June 2nd 2014 at his place of work in a Tabriz refinery. The reason for his arrest was not disclosed and he was transferred to the solitary unit of Evin prison for questioning and interrogations. During this time, Shirzad has not been permitted any visitation with his family despite their efforts.

Branch 16 of the Revolutionary Court is handling his case and even though no formal charges have been filed, Saeed Shirzad has been accused of allegedly partaking in human rights activities and collaborating with Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran.

Saeed Shirzad had a prior arrest on August 21, 2012 after the Azerbaijan earthquake when security agents raided his volunteer campsite in the earthquake-stricken Ahar area in East Azerbaijan province. Shirzad was detained along with a few others as they were administering aid to victims and their families. The others were later released but Shirzad was held in Ahar prison where he embarked on a hunger strike in protest of his illegal arrest. He was released on bail pending his trial after 19 days of detention.

On January 9, 2013, Saeed Shirzad was sentenced to a one-year suspended term and 5 years probation. Judge Pir Abassi presiding over Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court handed down the sentence stemming from the charges of “propaganda against the regime” and “activities in opposition groups.”
http://chrr.biz/spip.php?article21714

UPDATE: August 5, 2014-- After 64 days in detention, the temporary detention order has been extended for another 20 days for Iranian children's rights activist Saeed Shirzad. He is being held in Tehran's infamous Evin Prison. He continues to be held incommunicado and his family have no idea as to his current condition.

July 7, 2014-- 37 Days after he was arrested in Tabriz, there is no information about the whereabouts and condition Saeed Shirzad, an Iranian children’s rights activist.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Saeed Shirzad was arrested at his workplace, in a Tabriz refinery on June 2nd.

“Two weeks ago the security forces informed his family that he had been transferred to Tehran. But Saeed did not have any contact with his family yet and we do not know anything about his status, ” reported a close source to him

He also added, “We do not know about the probable charges against him or the allegations upon which they are based.”

Saeed Shirzad was arrested previously on August 22, 2013, when he went to Ahar for the purpose of providing aid to residents there in the aftermath of a disastrous earthquake. He was released after 19 days on bail.

He was sentenced to one year in prison which was suspended by branch number 26 of the revolutionary court.

18. Motion For Change: Return Us To Our Brantford (ONTARIO) Home

We all have everything there; we have lived there happily for years. When our father left us, it was our Mom that took care of us. We need her and want her in our life.

We have asked the Provincial Advocate for Youth to help with our return to our home in Brantford. We are proud of our life there and miss everything about our life there.

Nobody ever asked us how we would feel about this. They just court ordered us to live in Guelph. One minute we were happy at home, the next we were pushed into a police car and brought to the person that left us years ago. We want to go back to our home right away. We never wanted to be taken away. Nobody gave us a reason for this.

We have been away from our Brantford home since August 2013 and wish to go back, we have waited a long time. This has been too long for us and has harmed everything in our life. This has not been the best for us. We know our Brantford home is the best.

Please help us be returned to our Family in Brantford. We need to be with our Mom. She is the one that cares about us.

19. For women, economic justice is a civil rights issue

I am doing this for a project. It is to promote women to get more jobs and equal pay.

We should do this because women are essential to each household, business and the economy at large.

20. Let children Stand up for Jesus!

Let's do something... an 8 yr old in North Carolina answered "Jesus Christ" on her paper from the question WHO IMPACTED HER LIFE. She got an "F" on her paper and the teacher wrote 'Remove Jesus Please'.

Please sign this petition in support for this little girl.

21. The law won't protect our children, change the law

I want to make the public aware the Australian law will not protect my child.

22. Protect Cardiff children's right to play

Cardiff has been providing a range of high quality services supporting children from the most disadvantaged areas to access play opportunities.

Drastic cut backs are proposed which will eliminate the core budget leaving, costing many jobs and depriving children of opportunities to play in safe and welcoming environments.

Please sign the petition and help Cardiff Children to play.

23. SAY NO TO 10 HOUR SCHOOL DAYS FOR CHILDREN

I think we should make a stand as parents as to the unfairness of sending children as young as 2 to school for 10 hour days this is beyond children's rights.

24. Protect the Foster Children

As of 2007, almost fourteen thousand children from ages two to sixteen are placed in foster care each year, and the foster parents of these children are paid from $444 to $572 each month, in order to cover the costs of food, clothing, and basic school supplies.

In many cases, the homes these children are put in are abusive, either economically, physically, emotionally, or sexually, in regards to the foster parents stealing the children's funds, giving bodily harm to the children, maltreatment mentally, or abusing vulnerability.

25. Stop my child being made homeless

Hi, my name is Sharon and I need everyone's support. My daughter and I are being faced with homelessness because the civil court process does not take heed of Human Rights legislation, nor does it seek to protect a Child's welfare as determined by The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 where it states that a child's welfare is paramount.

I have been ordered by the court that my house must go on the market for sale because my ex husband wants to profit. I have been fighting this for 4 years now because although he remains a joint mortgagee, my ex has not paid anything towards the mortgage or upkeep in more than 4 years. Our marriage ended in 2009 because he had stopped paying the mortgage and hid that fact from me until the house was to be repossessed. His parting words as he left were that he would sign the house over to me and walk away if I could stop the repossession. I duly did so. Now, he is looking to profit and is claiming legal aid to do so. I have been denied a legal right of appeal at every stage, have not had my views heard nor the facts taken into consideration. I've even contacted the Government to bring it to their attention.

Every child has the right to safe and secure housing and the opportunity to develop a secure sense of belonging. Because of this action, my daughter's welfare is being compromised, and she is being forced into a life of uncertainty and being placed at significant risk of harm because of this. The stress I am under is affecting her because she is now becoming very distressed and experiencing severe separation anxiety when apart from me even while I'm in the same room. I can't even prepare my daughter's bedroom as there's no point getting her settled in her own room when we are being forced out. I have battled for many years with depression. A condition being made worse by the actions of a system allegedly designed to promote justice.

Please support my fight, share it with your friends. My aim is to force this issue into the public domain even if just to raise awareness. The Human Rights Act states that the Government or a Public body cannot interfere or take possession of your property unless it is in the public interest to do so. My question is How is making an 8 month old child homeless and putting her at risk in the public interest?

26. Allow prayers in schools

It has come to my attention that schools are not allowing the world "God" in the pledge of allegiance in the morning.

It is every child's right to be able to choose to pray to God during school hours.

27. Take the focus off of standardized tests in schools, and replace it with real world education

Don't you think it's unfair that our graduating from High School depends on one stupid test? Ask any teacher at your school or the teachers union, and they will agree.

Did you know that President Obama is attempting to change our education system and add even more required and mandatory tests to graduate school? Out of 28 developing countries, American students rank 20th in graduation rates. We as students, and the future leaders of this country need a change in our education system. I have written a petition on the White House website asking the Obama administration and White House staff to review our current education system.

I believe that we the students shouldn't be taught based on our standardized tests, but on how to succeed in the adult world, and know how to be prepared for our futures after school. We need to teach our children while growing up, the important things in life that they will need to know. The key to solving the rest of America's problems, lies in our education. This petition needs 25,000 signatures to be reviewed by White House staff if it reaches 25,000 by February 9th 2013.

Thank you for your time, and spreading the word about this petition would be very much appreciated!

Here is the link to the petition on the White House Petition site:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/take-focus-standardized-tests-schools-and-replace-it-real-world-education/XN6z0yvK

The videos below state many of the problems and flaws in our education system in America.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl7evSLeABA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M4tdMsg3ts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWDUixwo9eU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jZHNjc4Xk0

(A description of how the petition site works can be found in the "How and Why" section in the Introduction.)

28. Free Iranian Labor Activist and Children's Rights Defender Behnam Ebrahimzadeh Sentenced to 9.5 Years In Prison!

URGENT UPDATE: JANUARY 6, 2015: Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, an imprisoned children’s and labor rights activist and father to a son battling cancer, has been sentenced by the Iranian Judiciary to 9.5 more years in prison. The latest sentencing comes at a time when Mr. Ebrahimzadeh was months shy of finishing his prison sentence of five years.

According to reports, the 9.5 years sentence is related to the brutally violent events that took place in Evin Prison’s Ward 350 in April 2014. Following the events in April Iranian authorities reportedly transferred Mr. Ebrahimzadeh to solitary confinement a total of three times, raided his home, threatened and interrogated his son and wife, and opened a new case file against him.

During the third time in solitary confinement Mr. Ebrahimzadeh reportedly launched a hunger strike in protest, Iranian authorities reacted by transferring him out of Evin to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. Currently Mr. Ebrahimzadeh is still being held in Rajai Shahr – he is locked up in a ward not meant for political prisoners, but reserved for dangerous criminals.

The 9.5 years prison sentence was issued to Mr. Ebrahimzadeh on December 29th by Judge Salavati, who is notorious for his corrupt rulings. Mr. Ebrahimzadeh was charged with Gathering and Colluding…, Having relations with the PMOI (a controversial Iranian opposition group) from inside prison, Propagating against the regime through connections with Ahmed Shaheed (the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran) and possessing satellite dish equipment (for viewing television) at his home. Mr. Ebrahmizadeh’s family and close friends have denied accusations by Iranian authorities that the labor activist is linked to the PMOI in any way.

Mr. Ebrahimzadeh was arrested by Iranian security agents on June 12, 2010 and was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court before the Appeals Court changed his sentence to five years in prison.

Behnam has been on a hunger strike since December 3, 2014 in Rajai-Shahr prison in order to protest his transfer to Ward 1—a section where violent and dangerous prisoners are housed. He has stated that he will end his hunger strike as soon as he is returned to the Ward 12; the political prisoners ward. On December 19, 2014, Mr. Ibrahimzadeh commenced a dry hunger strike. Two days later on December 21st he fell unconscious and was thus transferred to the hospital infirmary. However, the prisoner would not consent to intravenous treatment until the authorities promised to look into his transfer. After he agreed to treatment he stated that he would continue his hunger strike until he is removed from the violent prisoners Ward and returned to Ward 12. On December 27th he was transferred to Ward 2 in Rajai Shahr prison which is yet another ward where dangerous criminals are housed. He therefore continued his hunger strike and as a result suffered from intestinal bleeding. He is demanding immediate attention to the legality of his case as Mr. Ibrahimzadeh has served 4 years of his 5 year sentence but the prison authorities are trying to extend his sentence by creating new charges for him. This has become common practice for the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding political prisoners: the prisoners are technically not sentenced to death but silently and slowly killed in prison by various methods such as injuries acquired by extended torture or by being housed alongside very violent offenders; thus lowering the execution rate in the country and avoiding international criticism.
http://persian2english.com/?p=25147

HERE IS BEHNAM EBRAHIMZADEH'S LETTER FROM PRISON LAUNCHING HIS HUNGER STRIKE: I, Behnam Ebrahim Zadeh – political prisoner and labour and children’s’ rights activist – am writing to people about the conditions of Rajai-Shahr prison. I am writing from Karaj prison where I am in shackles and chains, a prison where all sorts of drugs are easily purchased and sold, a prison where the political inmates are subjected to the most barbaric tortures and denied of their most basic needs.

I was arrested on June 12, 2010, my long-term solitary confinements, and the nature of my interrogations, unjust trial and heavy sentence. You may also be aware of the inspection day and the attack on ward 350 Evin Prison when prisoners were brutally attacked and I was transferred to a solitary confinement. In order to torture me further, the prison authority has made a new allegation against me. My family was under pressure and I was deprived of medical attention.

I am in prison while my son has been fighting leukaemia and is hospitalized every month to undergo chemotherapy. I also have to mention that any kind of emotional pressure and stress is harmful and dangerous for him and every father’s wish is to be with his sick child and do his best for his recovery. I have not committed theft, nor pillaged or stolen anyone’s property. I was incarcerated merely for demanding freedom and justice. I was charged mainly because I revealed injustices and defended the rights of children and workers. The prison officials have not hesitated to impose all kinds of harassment, persecution and threats on my family and I. How can a prisoner and his family – with a sick child – endure all these hardships?

When they informed me on Monday, December 1st to report to court, I refused to go. However, the dispatch section agents, Mostafa Ghiasvand and Alireza Noroozi accompanied by a few other agents resorted to force in front of two political prisoners, named: Farshid Fathi and Arash Moghaddam Aslan-pour and a few other regular prisoners. A few guards attacked me and while they were beating and insulting me, they handcuffed me from behind, forced me into the car and drove me to the court…..

In court, I was charged with “having connections with Ahmed Shaheed” by judge Ahmad-Zadeh. After I returned to prison, they did not allow me to go back to ward 12 to take my personal belongings and medication, and without any explanation, transferred me to ward 1 where all murderers, criminals and drug addicts are held. All of this happened despite the prison doctor’s emphatic instructions regarding my health care and imminent surgery.

Currently, I am in ward 1 of Hosseinieh among dangerous inmates, sleeping on a cold floor. Within the last few days, a 23 year old inmate named Mehdi Amiri lost his life due to lack of proper medical care. Also, several inmates were injured in a group fight and prison guards didn’t do anything to stop the dispute. This is only one example of the violent behaviour in this prison…… Nutrition and hygiene conditions are very bad and the prison is infested with cockroaches and lice…. Prison officials refuse to provide the minimum needs of the prisoners as stipulated and emphasized in prison regulations. This is the dreadful condition that 7000 inmates, serving long prison sentences or on death row, are kept.

I ask all human rights organizations and concerned individuals to be my voice as well as the voice of all political prisoners.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Rajai-Shahr Prison- Iran, December 2014
PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE BOTH THIS PETITION AS WELL AS THE PETITION AT THE BELOW LINK:
https://www.change.org/p/catherine-ashton-to-urge-the-authorities-in-iran-to-release-labour-activist-behnam-ebrahimzadeh-immediately-and-unconditionally?utm_campaign=responsive_friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&recruiter=39535530

URGENT UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 5, 2014--According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, political prisoner in Rajai Shahr prison has gone go on dry hunger strike since September 1, 2014 to protest against his illegal transfer from ward 209, Evin prison, to the horrible conditions of Rajai Shahr prison.

Mr. Ebrahimzadeh has been on hunger strike since August 8, and is in very poor physical condition. His family has also gone on hunger strike to support him.


UPDATE: MAY 21, 2014: HRANA News Agency- Behnam Ebrahimzadeh’s family were prevented from visiting him in Evin prison by the prison’s authorities.

According to the report of Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Behnam Ebrahimzadeh was taken to the Moghadas court based in Evin prison and then was transferred to a solitary confinement cell in ward 209, on the 3rd of April of this year.

The family of this imprisoned labor activist went to Evin prison in order to visit him on April 9, but they did not succeed in meeting with him.

One of his close relatives, who wanted to remain anonymous, told to the reporter of HRANA that “Behnam’s family was informed that he is still in solitary confinement and it is not possible to visit with him”.

He added “Behnam Ebrahimzadeh was interrogated in Moghadas court at branch 2 last week and he will be put on trial again.”

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, is a labor activist and children's rights defender whois now serving a five-year sentence on politically motoviated "security" charges of gathering and collusion by the Revolutionary court. He is spending the fourth year of his sentence. He was arrested by (intelligence) security agents on 12th June 2010 and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by Revolutionary court which was reduced to 5 years in the court of appeals.
https://hra-news.org/en/prison-visit-behnam-ebrahimzadeh

His son, Nima, who suffers from Leukemia, wrote the following about what is like to undergo cancer treatment at his age while his father remains in prison for defending the rights of workers:

My name is Nima Ebrahimzadeh, the son of Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, and I have a question for you.

Yes, I have a question for you: where do I have to go to find refuge? Where do I have to go to cry out about my suffering, and ask for which crime it is that I am made to suffer so much?

You tell me what I am guilty of.

Hey, you! You human beings, you with the clear conscience, you who have created organizations and claim to defend the rights of children, you who claim to be institutions that support children who are suffering from cancer, you who defend mankind and you philanthropists, you who are workers like my father: I need your help today. Tomorrow may be far too late.

In these difficult days, I turn to you to ask only one thing and nothing else: demand my father’s release!

In these difficult days of chemotherapy, I need my father by my side. I want my father to be next to me as I fight this cancer. Is that too much to ask? You tell me!

I am Nima Ebrahimzadeh. I live in Tehran. About four months ago, the doctors diagnosed me with leukemia. The doctors at Mahak Hospital have already told me a lot about its symptoms and treatment. My treatment will be extremely difficult. This is cancer; it's not as if I have the flu. This isn't a joke. There are times when all these pills and medicines make me anemic. I just feel exhausted, but again, my father, my mother, and my good friends all encourage me to keep going and tell me that I can make a full recovery. They keep recommending that I stay calm, patient, and strong!

Tell me: how could I, in these circumstances, remain calm, patient, and strong?

I don’t know whether I should be describing my own pains or my father's! Is there any difference?

Perhaps you mature and experienced adults might have a better grasp of how difficult these times are for me, and how painful each moment has become. I feel like there is no end to this pain, that there will never be an end to the suffering and hardship imposed on me.

I am constantly on the Web, studying whatever I can find about my disease. It has been determined that shock and nervous stress are one of the main causes of the emergence and spread of cancer. Although researchers cannot be sure about how much excessive stress comes into play in this disease, they know that extreme stress makes recovery longer and riskier.

Let me say this in a straightforward manner: I want to survive. I want to live. Is that asking too much?

I know that life in this world is hard, and even more so for kids like me, but the thought of leaving this damned world like this and breaking my parents' hearts is even harder for me to bear.

I don’t want the grief of losing me to further darken their days and nights. To tell you the truth, there are times when I bury my head under the pillow and sob. I weep for them. I cry because I know how much more difficult losing me will make their days and their lives.

Living through these past few months, dealing with the cancer and bearing the absence of my dear father, has made me grow up much faster and given me more experience. My father has always taught me that no one’s rights should be trampled. He has always taught me about humanity. My father speaks of the pain and suffering of the workers and the poor. He tells me about the children who have bridges for roofs and pieces of cardboard for beds. My dad has always spoken of respecting human beings.

Now I'd like to know why these logical words and this compassion should send him to prison and away from my side. I need my father. I really need my father. Whenever I'm feeling down, he starts kidding around with me, wrestling and playing with me. No matter what it takes, he wants me to be happy. Is jail the right place for a father like this?

I know that we have found many friends during this time, and they have supported us in every which way. I thank them all, because it was this kind of support that made them give my father leave from time to time and let him be by my side, so that I could feel his presence in my bones and in my being.

Every second, I hope the phone will ring and someone will tell me that my father is going to be with me forever as a free man. As if the jailers would leave us alone. Each phone call makes all three of us tremble. Today was one of those days. I don’t know whether I should feel distraught for myself or my father, who sighed into the phone, shouting: “I will return to prison, but not today! I promised my son that I would take him to the doctor!” I feel sorry for my mother, for her tears and for her cursing everything on earth.

I am asking every one of you who hears my voice and reads my words to help me and my family.

Is it asking too much to want your father free and by your side? You tell me.

Nima Ebrahimzadeh, Tuesday, June 4th, 2013, Tehran, Iran.
https://tavaana.org/en/content/story-pain-open-letter-nima-ebrahimzadeh-son-behnam-ebrahimzadeh-iranian-dissident-and-0

UPDATE APRIL 22, 2013: BEHNAM EBRAHIMZADEH, HAD ONLY A SHORT PRISON FURLOUGH TO VISIT HIS SON NIMA, WHO HAS CANCER. ON BEING FORCED TO RETURN TO PRISON AT SUCH A CRITICAL TIME, HE HAS ISSUED THE FOLLOWING APPEAL: "HOW CAN I GO BACK TO PRISON KNOWING THAT MY CHILD IS VERY ILL--AND THAT THIS INHUMANE INATTENTION TO A VERY SICK CHILD MAY EVEN SHORTEN HIS LIFE?!"

UPDATE: JANUARY 14, 2013 BEHNAM EBRAHIMZADEH, SITTING IN PRISON, HAS JUST FOUND OUT THAT HIS 13-YEAR-OLD SON, HIS BELOVED NIMA, IS IN A HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER. HE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF PRISON NOW! PLEASE SEE HIS APPEAL BELOW:

I don’t know when it was, maybe eight to nine days ago, when I heard that my only child, my 13-year old Nima, already overcome by the pain of separation from his father and all kinds of deprivation, has been admitted to Mahak Hospital, a hospital for children with cancer; a bitter experience and a shocking moment, which have pierced deep into my soul.

I don’t know about the condition of my darling child. My wife doesn’t clearly tell me, but she hopes that I would soon be given leave to come and see them. I have therefore asked for leave, which if granted would certainly have a great impact on me and my sick child. This is the only moment in the life of a father, which he doesn’t want to lose under any circumstances. So, thanks to my friends, I have come up with a property surety, and like in the past when I have asked for things, I have been given a favourable answer. But maybe this time too it will turn out to be just words.

Under these circumstances, with thousands of thoughts in my mind about my son Nima, remembering the empty promises of those in charge has turned my suffering into an excruciating pain. I have to be at the side of my sick child. This is my right. I am a political prisoner, whose anguish over his son’s illness has made everything look dark. There are several courses of action open to me, one of which is to go on a dry hunger strike. Maybe I’ll get an answer that way.

I want to choose patience and endurance, while resisting and putting pressure; however, anything can happen. First, deprivation from food, leave, proper visits, telephone, medical care, etc., and now deprivation from the right to be at the side of my sick child is what is going to break me down.

I insist on my demand for leave to visit my child; at the same time, I appeal to everyone to support the rights of my child and to help his recovery. Who would have thought that someone who for years has fought for children’s and workers’ rights, would one day be in prison for his beliefs and defence of children, and then hear that groups of compassionate people, friends and comrades are visiting his sick child, but he himself isn’t able to stroke the feverish head of his child?

I will defy and resist, as I have done up to now, but who is answerable for all this injustice and suffering? Who is responsible for the condition that my child Nima is in?

I have hope in the strong and kind hands of the doctors and nurses, hope in the support of friends, comrades, colleagues and the good and caring people of the country. I am most grateful to all those who over these past days have been asking about my child and who have visited my family and son.

I thank all the doctors and nurses of Mahak Hospital and all those who have been helping to aid the recovery of my son. In the hope of a speedy recovery for my son Nima Ebrahimzadeh and all sick children.

Behnam (As’ad) Ebrahimzadeh
Political Prisoner
Ward 35, Evin Prison
January 2013

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a worker at a polyethylene pipe-manufacturing factory in the outskirts of Tehran, is a member of the Follow Up Committee to Set Up Free Trade Associations and a children’s rights defender.

He reportedly suffered two broken ribs as a result of beatings during his arrest in June 2010, and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh was initially sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in December 2010 on national security charges.

This was overturned by the Supreme Court, and after a retrial he was sentenced to five years in prison after conviction of “gathering and colluding with intent to harm state security”, apparently in connection with his trade unionist activities on behalf of the Follow Up Committee to Set up Free Trade Associations. This sentence was upheld on appeal in October 2011.

29. Stop labeling special needs children at school in order to prevent bullying

Currently children who are in special education are still presented to the student body and public in a separate category labeled "Special areas" or the like.

A child who is at a certain grade level but needs one on one instruction and is included in the special education program will be referred to as "special" in many awards programs and sometimes even yearbooks. This way of categorizing children is a very outdated notion, for we as a society are trying to stop the bullying and teach our children acceptance of the differences of their peers. This is teaching all the children that there is something different and perhaps less about the children in special education.

This makes these children more of a target for bullying and stereotypes and also will attach a social stigma to that person that will last throughout their lives. Mostly the schools have done a good job with inclusion as far as academics and socially, but there is still some work to do. As a parent of 2 children with autism and a former student at the schools they attend, I have been on both sides of the situation.

I remember how cruel children would be to other children only because they were labeled as special needs and they wouldn't be socially included. To this day when I see these people out and about the first thing I remember about them is the fact that they were in special education and how they were categorized. Also, it could have undesirable effects on the self esteem of the children in special education, as they could feel ostracized.

This is really unnecessary and can easily be altered to preserve the dignity of our children who will be productive adults in our community one day. Thank you for your time.

30. PROTECT THE VICTIMS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN SRI LANKA

At the request made by the mother of a child sexual victim, the Judge at the High Court in Sri Lanka (Case No 39/2004), made a recommendation to the Attorney General to withdraw the indictment.

After considering all the facts involved and in view of the sheer severity of the damage that could cause to the victim in this particular case, the AG agreed to withdraw the charges. Unfortunately the news papers published the details of the case including false information violating the child's right to privacy and confidentiality, totally destroying the intentions of the courts and causing immense damage to the victim and her family.

This secondary victimization has severely damaged the victim without giving her the opportunity to rebuild her life.