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Canadian Children's Rights Council - Conseil canadien des droits des enfants

Child Rights - Virtual Library, Resource Centre, Archives and Advocacy
Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles - 1997 & Earlier

CNN

More Circumcision study halted due to trauma

CNN, U.S.A., December 23, 1997

ATLANTA (CNN) -- A new study found circumcision so traumatic that doctors ended the study early rather than subject any more babies to the operation without anesthesia.

The researchers discovered that for those circumcised without anesthesia there was not only severe pain, but also an increased risk of choking and difficulty breathing.

The necessity of circumcision is the subject of increasing debate , but the traditional reasons for the operations have always been prevention. More ..


The sexual abuse by women of children and teenagers

BBC, UK TV Programme - Panorama - BBC1 - 10 pm Monday, 6th October 1997

The sexual abuse of children by women was once thought to be so rare it could be ignored.

In this programme the victims tell a different story.

This was a vivid and horrific programme in which the victims of sexual abuse by women told disturbing stories of emotional and physical damage:

  • Rape and attempted murder of a 12 year old boy by a 19 year old girl
  • Rape and abuse of a 12 year old boy over a two year period by a 28 year old mother of four
  • Rape and abuse of boys by their mother
  • Rape and abuse of girls by their mother
  • Women taking a lead role in pornographic violence and abuse
  • Children abused by nuns
  • Children abused at playgroup
  • Boy abused by lesbians

It was acknowledged that the scale and nature of these attacks had been severely underestimated and there were examples of women using excessive force with implements such as chair legs and cutlery. More ..


What about girls? Are they really not aggressive?

Nina S. Mounts, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Human Development and Family Life Bulletin
A Review of Research and Practice
Volume 3, Issue 2, Summer 1997  More ..


Boston Globe

The War Against Boys

The Boston Globe, by Christina Hoff Sommers, is a philosopher and well-known writer on feminism, October 24, 1996

Johnathan Prevette, the 6-year-old punished for kissing a classmate, is not alone. When a Worcester mother picked up her son from school recently, the teacher told her that he had been made to sit in the "time-out chair." He had violated the behavior code by hugging other students. "He's a toucher," the teacher said. "We are not going to put up with it."

The mother was startled, not by her son, who is loving and likes to hug, but by the school for punishing him. Her son is 3. More ..


Toronto Sun

They're Courting Disaster

The Toronto Sun, by Heather Bird, April 23, 1996

In a free society, shouldn't adults have the right to make fools of themselves in open court? After all there are no legal protections against embarrassment. Court can be closed and publication bans ordered when there is a basis in law. It cannot happen as a safeguard against hurt feelings.

And, in an open court proceedings, hurt feelings and embarrassment occur on a regular basis. Part of it is intentional, as in the shame associated with a public dressing-down. Social shunning still has the power to alter behaviour. More..


Toronto Sun

Dad gets 6 months

Abducted son to Mexico and U.S. in custody battle
The Toronto Sun, Gretchen Drummie, February 24, 1995.

A Scarboro dad abducted his son and took him out of the country for 3 1/2 years has been jailed for six months. More ..


Time magazine

Infidelity--It may be in our genes. Our Cheating Hearts

Devotion and betrayal, marriage and divorce: how evolution shaped human love
Time Magazine, 1995, By Robert Wright, August 15, 1994.  More ..


Canadian Press

Help Me Get My Children Back From Vienna, dad asks Ottawa

The Canadian Press, appeared in numerous major Canadian newspapers including The Gazette in Montreal, September 14, 1981

TORONTO (CP) - A Toronto father has appealed to the federal government in an effort to have his children returned to him in accordance with a court order.

One night over a year ago Thomas Sedmina returned home from work and found a note from his wife saying she was taking their children, Jeanette, 11, and Thomas Jr, 7, to Vienna where her parents live.  He has seen the children only once, after a private investigator traced then to their Viennese school.

The Ontario Supreme Court family division has issued a court order awarding him custody of the children and a Canada-wide warrant has been issued for his wife for allegedly abducting them.

Sedmina has been to Vienna three times but the courts there tell him they have no power to enforce the Ontario order.

He says he needs External Affairs Minister Mark MacGuigan to intervene with his opposite number in the Austrian Government.

Diplomatic requests for their return made by the Canadian embassy in the Austrian capital have borne no fruit.

"My kids are Canadian," Sedmina said. "Their home is in Canada and that's where they should be. "The children should have been back home last September after the first ruling by the Supreme Court of Ontario giving me custody. My wife won't give me visiting rights. I can't phone my kids. I have gotten only two letters from them in over a year. Nothing on birthdays or Christmas."

After Mr. Justice Coulter Osborne ordered last December that Sedmina be given custody of the children he made the first three visits to Vienna. More..

Pediatricians turn away from circumcision

The United States is the only country that routinely circumcises baby boys for non-religious reasons

CNN, U.S.A.
March 1, 1999

ATLANTA (CNN) -- American pediatricians are turning away from the practice of routine circumcision, concluding that doctors have no good medical reason to perform the procedure.

The United States is the only country in the world that routinely removes the foreskins of infant boys. Critics of circumcision got additional ammunition Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a leading medical organization.

The academy concluded the benefits "are not compelling enough" for circumcision to be routinely administered.

baby screaming in pain

A newborn winces in pain after a circumcision

Monday's statement, published in the March edition of the journal Pediatrics, was the academy's first in 10 years on the practice. But in recent years, medical societies in Canada, Britain and Australia have come out in opposition to routine circumcision.

Critics have long contended that removing the foreskin from the penis is traumatic, medically unnecessary and may reduce sexual pleasure later in life. As one critic, Dr. George Denniston, put it: "Who are we to question mother nature?"

Canadian researchers, whose study was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, studied the heart rates and crying patterns of babies during different stages of circumcision.

In fact, in the study they found the babies suffered so much trauma that they stopped the study part way through.

The results were so compelling that they took the unusual step of stopping the study before it was scheduled to end rather than subjecting any more babies to circumcision.

One baby stopped breathing for 25 seconds from the trauma of having part of his foreskin severed.  More..