Child well-being

Contraceptives

Canada to make contraception for women free

The government will pay for the most widely used methods to avoid pregnancy, such as IUDs, contraceptive pills, hormonal implants or the day after pill, for the nine million Canadian women of reproductive age, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said at a press conference. “Women should be free to choose the contraceptives they need without cost getting in the way. So, we’re making contraceptives free,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

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Nagoya, Japan City Skyline

Aichi becomes Japan’s first prefecture to consider same-sex couples with children as family

Aichi – which is home to Japan’s fourth largest city Nagoya – will become the country’s first prefecture to recognize non-heterosexual and common-law couples and their children as families under a “family ship” oath system that will come into effect on April 1. Those who take the oath will have the right to public housing provided by the prefecture and will have the right to give consent when a loved one needs surgery at a hospital managed by the prefecture.

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African girl sleeping on mother's shoulder

‘Historic milestone’ as global child mortality hits record low of 4.9 million in 2022

Figures newly released by the U.N. Interagency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) reveal the global under-five mortality rate has declined by 51% since 2000 reaching an all-time low. Some countries such as Cambodia, Malawi, Mongolia, and Rwanda reduced under-five mortality rate by over 75% over the time period. UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell praised the dedicated efforts of midwives, health workers and community health workers, whose commitment has contributed to the remarkable decline.

‘Historic milestone’ as global child mortality hits record low of 4.9 million in 2022 More

Laughing Baby

Japan expands free day care centers to all children

The Japanese government announced that it will now offer free daycare to all children aged 6 months to 2 years old, regardless of parents’ employment status. The “Childcare Access for All” program, set to begin in April 2024 with a trial run in 150 municipalities, will see nationwide implementation by 2026. All children within the age range will be eligible, with initial access capped at 10 hours per month, though an increase is planned for 2026.

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A large french flag fluttering under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.

France becomes world’s first country to enshrine abortion rights in constitution

France has become the world’s first country to enshrine abortion rights Lawmakers from both houses of the French Parliament voted 780 to 72 in favor of the measure, easily clearing the three-fifths majority needed to amend the French constitution. The French Senate and National Assembly each overwhelmingly approved the amendment earlier this year. The amendment states that there is a “guaranteed freedom” to abortion in France. Following the vote, the Eiffel Tower was lit up with the words “my body my choice.”

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African School Girl

Zambia passes landmark law amendment ending child marriage

Child marriage is now illegal in Zambia, thanks to the new Marriage (Amendment) Act. The landmark amendment defines a child as a “person who has attained, or is below, the age of eighteen years”. It also states that any marriage between persons where either is a child is now void. Although the practice has become less common in recent years, the UNFPA and UNICEF reported that in 2018, 29% of all young women in Zambia aged 20–24 married before 18 years old, and 5% before turning 15.

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Back of a school bus

Miami commits to putting 100 electric school buses on the road

Miami-Dade county is set to receive nearly $20 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to help cover the costs of 50 new electric school buses and 16 DC fast chargers, bringing the public school district’s total to 100 electric buses. Miami-Dade county is one of four school districts selected to receive a total of $33,175,000 through the EPA’s first Clean School Bus Program’s Grants Competition.

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Close up on the eye of a Black child

California creates nation’s first ‘Ebony Alert’ to find missing Black children

Senate Bill 673 will create the “Ebony Alert” system for missing Black children and young women. When activated, the proposed system – similar to Amber or Silver alerts — would inform people of missing Black children and young women between the ages of 12 to 25.

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