“We urge the commission to reject the kind of policy responses that many, including the U.S., have encouraged—moratoria on international adoption, restrictive regulations that require holding children while searches for in-country homes are conducted and prohibitions on the private intermediaries that often function as the lifeblood of such adoption. These policies simply punish unparented children by denying them adoptive homes. We urge you to embrace policy responses which punish those who violate the laws against kidnapping and baby-buying by enforcing and, where needed, strengthening such laws.”
HLS Professor Elizabeth Bartholet ’65 Faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, testifying before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Nov. 6 regarding the “Human Rights of Unparented Children and International Adoption Policies” in the Americas. Bartholet argued that restrictions on ethical international adoption violate children’s basic human rights by condemning them to damaging institutions or to the streets.
“First, overwhelmingly, most of the ways in which young people use digital technologies are positive. These technologies have become part of the fabric of the life of young people. Most young people, at least in the United States, do not distinguish between their ‘online’ and ‘offline’ lives. As a result, many of the good things that have gone on off-line also happen, in one form or another, online; so, too, do many of the bad things that happen in everyday life play out also online. We should fundamentally be talking about ‘bullying,’ not ‘cyberbullying.’”
HLS Professor John Palfrey ’01 Faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and vice dean for library and information resources at HLS, testifying before the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on Sept. 30 regarding two pieces of legislation designed to address cyberbullying and other online safety issues for children. In 2008 Palfrey headed the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, a group of academics, child safety experts and executives of technology companies that produced a report assessing the risks faced by youth on social networks.
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