Organization for Global Health

Excerpts from Juxtaposition's 2007 Fear & Empowerment Issue

(top: Pierre Holtz/UNICEF; bottom: Anna Kari/
Child Soldiers
UNICEF estimates that there are currently 300,000 child soldiers globally. In developing countries, most children are abducted or coerced into participating in government, paramilitary or rebel forces. International groups have advocated for rehabilitation of child soldiers, since children are often neglected once the conflict is over. Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) intervention programs attempt to bring security and stability to a region after a conflict and to ensure rehabilitation of ex-combatants. However, post-conflict re-integration of former child soldiers is a complex process since many are stigmatized by their own communities, and are themselves likely to resort to violence. Furthermore, the actual implementation of DDR programs lies in the hands of the afflicted country. This poses a challenge in cases where the government denies the use of child soldiers. For instance, in Bangladesh, the government armed forces neglected to implement any DDR programs, despite having recruited 3374 soldiers under the age of 18 in 1999.


(John Isaac/ UN Photo)
Aboriginal Health on the Policy Backburner
A research project launched by the Institute for Research and Public Policy (IRPP) points out that there are signifi cant disparities in well-being between Canada’s Aboriginal populations versus non-Aborigines. High youth suicide rate, substandard housing and sanitary conditions are but a few problems that plague many Aboriginal communities across the country. Many Aboriginal health problems have social, economic and historic roots. To address this discrepancy, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples saw self-government as a key to enable Aboriginal communities to mold their future. Yet, negotiations have been painfully slow, which has created structural barriers. For instance, although the rate of disabilities among Canada’s Aboriginal peoples is 32% and is twice the national average, conflicting jurisdictional issues have prevented many of them from accessing many of the services and benefits they are entitled.

An Ethiopian mother worries about the future. They have no more food and famine is looming. (Anna Kari /www.

A Serbian refugee from Kosovo sleeps in a park in Kraljevo, Serbia. To force the government to re-house them they stayed in the parks. (Anna Kari/

A Cakchiquel family in the hamlet of Patzutzun, Guatemala. (F. Charton / UN Photo)

Red retro-reflective bands worn by students when walking to school in Kampala, Uganda to prevent being hit by cars. Almost 30% of all pediatric emergency room visits in the hospital are due to such trauma injuries. An intervention including such bands reduced injuries by 93% (Alexandra Mihailovic).

Teaching HIV classes in Malawi. (

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