UN report finds endemic violence against children
UNITED NATIONS — One in 10 girls worldwide have been forced into a sexual act, and 6 in 10 children aged 2 to 14 are regularly beaten by parents and caregivers, according to a report issued Thursday by the United Nations’ children’s agency, UNICEF.
The report, drawing on data from 190 countries, paints a picture of endemic physical and emotional violence inflicted daily on children, mostly at home and in peacetime rather than on the streets or in war. Homicide is especially common in some of the Latin American countries from which children are fleeing by the tens of thousands into the United States: It is the leading killer of adolescent boys under age 20 in El Salvador, Guatemala and Venezuela. Central and Eastern Europe report the lowest rates of homicide among children.
Overall, war accounts for a small share of violence against children. But during times of conflict and other humanitarian crises, domestic violence against adult women and children rises measurably, according to the authors of the study.
The constant threat to children is violence at home, including, at times, sexual violence by friends, relatives and teachers. About 6 in 10 children, 1 billion worldwide, are subjected to corporal punishment as a form of discipline by their caregivers, including parents, though the report concludes that “the most severe forms of corporal punishment — hitting a child on the head, ears or face or hitting a child hard and repeatedly — are less common overall.”
Among girls aged 15 to 19, almost 1 in 4 said they had been the victims of “some form of physical violence since age 15.” They said they suffered most at the hands of the men to whom they were closest. In countries as varied as India and Zambia, for instance, more than 70 percent of girls named their current or former husbands or partners as the perpetrators of physical violence against them.
Likewise, girls worldwide reported being subjected to sexual violence at the hands of husbands and boyfriends. One in 10 said they had experienced “forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives.”
Boys were found to have experienced sexual violence, too, but to a lesser extent. In the United States, 35 percent of girls aged 14 to 17, and 20 percent of boys, had experienced sexual violence.
—Somini Sengupta, The New York Times
Community service for teenager who climbed trade center
NEW YORK — Six months ago, Justin Casquejo, a 16-year-old from Weehawken, New Jersey, scaled 1 World Trade Center, making observers blanch and leaving officials unsettled.
“The court is impressed by your sincerity, remorsefulness and willingness to accept responsibility for your conduct,” Mennin said.
Around 4 a.m. on March 16, Casquejo slipped through a 12-by-12-inch hole in a security fence surrounding the tower, and then used scaffolding, an elevator, a staircase and a ladder to reach the tower’s antenna. He managed not to rouse an inattentive security guard but was arrested in the lobby about two hours later. The guard was later fired.
The breach stoked fears about the level of security at the site, which is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Photos of Casquejo on his Twitter account, since removed, showed him scaling a crane overlooking the Manhattan skyline and posing on top of a bulldozer.
—Benjamin Mueller, The New York Times