Showing posts from July, 2019

Alongsiders in Cambodia - Modern slavery exposure tour part 2

I had the privilege of travelling to Cambodia and Thailand this year to see modern slavery for myself. It was challenging but it was also full of hope as I got to see what good looks like.

Power and poverty

Modern slavery is fundamentally about an abuse of power. It takes many forms, on a continuum with other forms of exploitation. It is an affront to basic human rights and human dignity, which Christians regard as inherent in all who have been created in God’s image. In every case of modern slavery people are denied opportunity and personal freedom.

What struck me travelling to Cambodia was how poverty, poor governance, internal conflict and corruption create the perfect cocktail for modern slavery to thrive in, with women and children being the worst impacted (the US State Department estimates that 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year, 80 per cent of them women and about half children).

Gender imbalance

Cambodia, which many Australians have visited or a…

Victoria should make the ACT schools think again about rush into screens

The Victorian Government ought to be congratulated. From next year it will ban the use of smartphones during school in all state schools.

Schools are where we expect our children to be safe, to develop co-operative and pro-social skills, and to grow their capacity to focus and become critical thinkers. Smartphones blunt those skills. They are (in the main) a tool for distraction and a weapon for online-bullying. Social media is fueling anxiety.

Victoria should make the ACT think about its headlong rush into screens in schools and a mental health crisis.

If adults are distracted and harassed by technology in the workplace, then you can be sure that children and young people are too, except that it’s worse for them because they have less wherewithal to withstand it. The part of the brain that controls decision making and considering consequences is less developed.

Limiting access to smartphones in schools won’t stop bullying. It’s an old-age problem that starts offline and more likel…