» Archive for: November, 2012

posted by Roy Huijsmans

Following a decade of ‘anti-trafficking’ programming the international organisation Terre des Hommes (TdH) makes a remarkable move. Its newly launched international campaign ‘Destination Unknown‘ shifts the programmatic focus away from anti-trafficking and towards the ‘protection of children on the move’.

The launch of the new campaign is accompanied by an interesting publication, entitled ‘Beyond a Snapshot: Learning lessons from the Terre de Hommes International Campaing against child trafficking (2001-2011)‘.

Here an excerpt from p.13:

At the beginning of the campaign, the issue of child trafficking appeared relatively straightforward. Crimes were being committed against children, which were going largely unnoticed, so governments needed lobbying to persuade them to take action. As the years went by, however, the complexity of the issue became more obvious, along with the risk that certain messages linked to the campaign could have unexpected or even counter-productive effects for children. It also became clearer that trafficking cases represented an extreme along a continuum involving children who moved from one place to another…so, measures to prevent trafficking needed to be supplemented by a range of other measures to protect unaccompanied children and other children who had left home, whether they remained in their country or went abroad.


Febri with a shirt signed by the entire Manchester City football team, donated to an FMCH Indonesia fundraiser by Etihad Airways.

It’s time for the next installment of the ‘Where are they now??’, this time featuring…

Nur Febriani Wardi (Febri) – CYS, 2011, Indonesia

In February 2012, two months after graduating from ISS, Febri was appointed as the Manager of the Foundation for Mother and Child Health Indonesia, locally known as Yayasan Balita Sehat. The foundation works mostly in the area of health and education with low-income communities in Jakarta and West Timor. Programs include feeding for malnourished children, farming for nutrition, pre-schools, scholarships for primary school students, income-generating skills for mothers, etc.

Febri is responsible for managing public relations, donor relations, programs, and staff. She is also the country point person in relation to counterparts in India and the UK.

For more information on the Foundation for Mother and Child Health Indonesia, please see www.fmch-indonesia.org.

On a different note, Febri is writing a book based on her travel experience from Saudi Arabia to Europe for the biggest publisher in Indonesia! In the book, Febri, who traveled throughout Europe while at ISS, details the perspective of a Muslim woman traveller in mostly non-Muslim countries. It will be a light, fun book, launched (hopefully) by the end of this year. Unfortunately it is in the Indonesian language, but who knows? Maybe someday it will be translated to English!

To get an idea of her forthcoming book, visit Febri’s blog www.haramkelilingdunia.wordpress.com.



Category: policy| youth

21 Nov 2012

posted by Roy Huijsmans

Youthpolicy.org is a web-portal with excellent information on youth policies from across the world, and from across the policy cycle. It describes itself as a:

Global community and knowledge base on youth policy, understood as policies pertaining to young people’s rights and realities. Home of a series of public youth policy audits.

The portal includes a range of themes, including ‘youth and health‘, ‘youth internet and governance‘, ‘youth and development‘, and ‘youth policy reviews‘. Curiously, however, other important and relevant themes like ‘youth and sexuality’ and ‘youth and work’ appear absent.

For the ‘youth policy reviews’ it currently seeks ‘young youth researchers‘ (application deadline 14 December 2012).


Budget cuts as opportunity?

Category: aid| education

19 Nov 2012

posted by Roy Huijsmans

The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) posted on its website an interesting interview with Corien Sips, a representative of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the INEE working group on Education and Fragility).

Sips explains that the former Dutch cabinet that came to power in October 2010 had decided that:

basic education is no longer a priority in itself, but should be positioned as an instrument for four new priorities, including security and rule of law. In practice, this meant the cabinet decided for budget cuts in the field of basic education, and focused the remaining part of the aid budget more towards the new priorities.

In order to understand the significance of the above it is important to know that in 2002 the Dutch had decided to increase the share of aid to basic education to 15% of the total offical Dutch development cooperation budget by 2007. Consequently, Dutch aid money to basic education went up from about €200 million in 2004 to about €700 million in 2007.

Hence, budget cuts and the de-prioritisation of basic education will no doubt have had major implications on receiving countries. However, rather than reflecting on this Sips states that:

In my opinion this policy shift provided new opportunities


posted by Roy Huijsmans

Sverre Molland’s The Perfect Business? Anti-trafficking and the sex trade along the Mekong is a highly accessible, ethnographically rich and theoretically stimulating account of trafficking and anti-trafficking.

Juxtaposing trafficking and anti-trafficking, the author raises a number of relevant questions. For example, whilst noting the ‘continuous problem’ that ‘officially identified Lao trafficked victims’ are being held in shelters in Thailand for ‘very long periods, in some cases more than one year’ , he observes that:

I cannot recall many trafficking cases from Laos where a trafficker confined an individual for so long. It is therefore not unreasonable to speculate on the possiblity that actions of govenments and organisations to “help” sex workers have done more damage to, and violation of, their human rights than the misdeeds of traffickers(p 27).

In this light Molland further argues that:

in the context of Laos and Thailand, any researcher worth his or her grant money would know that unconditionally committing oneself to reporting, say, the presence of underage girls in a brothel to the police would most likely result in entrenchment of exploitation (“rehabilitation,” deportation, imprisonment, abuse, confiscation of earnings, and so on) of the girls themselves and not many consequences for those who operate such establishments’ (p27)

We’ll occasionally post some updates on recent alumni. If you have some news you want to share with CYS, please let us know!

Today, we highlight two 2011 alumni: Nancy Refki and Nalubega Fatuma

Nancy Refki (CYS, 2011, Egypt) has been appointed Program Manager for Middle East and North Africa for Aflatoun, Child Savings International based in Amsterdam. Aflatoun is an educational programme of balanced social & financial education for children. Learning about social responsibilities and financial literacy is brought into the sphere of formal and non-formal education. Child Social & Financial Education (CSFE) involves developing two key trajectories of learning: 1) an understanding of rights and responsibilities that enables individuals to develop their communities in a conscientious manner; 2) financial knowledge and skills that enable individuals to make the best use of available resources.

Fatuma Nalubega (CYS, 2011, Uganda) has recently been appointed Coordinator for Soroti District Justice for Children Project in Uganda. The key stake holders are all the Justice, Law and Order sectors, i.e. the judiciary, police, remand homes, and Directorate of Public Prosecutions, among others.

As a coordinator, Fatuma will be expected to conduct a rapid assessment of the situation of justice for children in Soroti District; mobilise and build the capacity of stakeholders to review the previous plan and demonstrate progress; develop case management systems to promote diversion, backlog clearance, fast track children’s cases and application of child friendly procedures across the system; provide targeted support to key stakeholders, and document results and lessons learned to inform future programming.

Congratulations Nancy and Fatuma!

Got an update? Send it to us and we’ll post it!


posted by Roy Huijsmans

Despite all the concern about youth unemployment in the Netherlands, a probable mass lay-off of young part-time workers by a major Dutch retailer is met with silence.

Part-time employment during term-time is widespread among Dutch school-going teenagers. A NIBUD report found that 42% of the Dutch school-going teenagers in the age group 12-18 worked during term-time. However, this figure has come down from 48% in 2008, which NIBUD suggests is due to the Global financial and economic crisis which seems to be affecting employment opportunities for teenagers too.

Working in a supermarket is the third most common job, 7% of the Dutch school-going youth aged 12-18 is involved in this work (after baby-sitting (10%) and newspaper rounds (13%)). However, supermarkets typically only employ teenagers of at least 15 years of age (although employment is technically permitted under certain conditions from age 14 onwards), which means that the overall ranking of supermarket employment among Dutch teenagers is kept down due to child labour regulations. This is illustrated by looking at age-disaggregated figures. Among the 15 and 16 year olds, 14% is working in supermarkets, and among 17 and 18 years olds this is 23%.

One of the largest retailers, Albert Heijn, has a market share of about 30% in the Netherlands and is a major employer of Dutch teenagers. The majority of these teenagers work on a part-time basis as shelf-stockers and it is their jobs that are at risk following the announcement of Albert Heijn to introduce ‘shelf ready packaging‘ as a measure to cut costs and increase revenue.

Interestingly, the discussion about these plans have hardly addressed the labour dimension and Dutch labour unions, who are usually quick to jump on cases of mass redundancy, have met this case with massive silence. How shall this be understood? As a missed opportunity on part of the unions to demonstrate their lasting relevance to a new generation of workers? Or, as a confirmation that Dutch unions appear far more concerned with keeping youngsters from working than protecting their employment?

posted by Roy Huijsmans

Volume 12 of the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia is a themed issue on ‘The living and the dead‘. The volume contains five articles and five review essays on the topic including an article by Abdur Rozaki entitled ‘Suicide among Indonesian Children/Teenagers’ (freely downloadable in Bahasa Indonesia, English, Japanes and Thai).

The article starts with the worrying claim that ‘suicide among Indonesian children/teenagers is apparently increasing every year’. Although an important issue it is unclear whether this trend can be substantiated empirically as the author notes that ‘there is no specific national data regarding number of suicides’.

The main thrust of the article is trying to explain why Indonesian teenagers (which appears a more appropriate term than ‘children/teenagers’ used by the author) commit suicide, and why the prevalence appears higher in the Gunung Kidul regency (Yogyakarta) than elsewhere in Indonesia.

The conclusions leave one, however, with more questions than answers. The author concludes that ‘children [teenagers] are forced to face a complex reality beyond their emotion control and capacity to overcome certain life problems and when cornerned, they decide to choose “short cuts” to find solutions’, something, it is stressed, has increased because of the socio-political changes since 1998. This supposed relation between broad based socio-political changes and the particular condition of adolescence (based on an assumed limited capacity for ’emotion control’) is hardly specific and questionable. Not in the least since it would apply to all Indonesian teenagers, thus still leaving readers with the question why the incidence of teenage suicide appears higher in certain parts of Indonesia than in others.


International Institute of Social Studies

ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment.