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"The week of my tour happened to be what is known as the 'Week of Work,' during which, according to a recent law, all school children, of whatever rank or station, are obliged to devote themselves to manual labour for the benefit of the State, unless forbidden to do so by doctor's orders. During this week the children work in public parks, streets, school buildings, etc., cleaning windows, washing floors, repairing furniture, planting, cleaning ditches and doing other useful work for the community. The enthusiasm with which the children perform these tasks is a proof that the Junior Red Cross ideals will bear good fruit in Bulgaria.

"On my return to Sofia, I found that the committee had drawn up a general outline of the Junior Red Cross statutes, similar to those adopted in other European countries, laying stress on the international aspects of the work. The 'Week of Work' will be embodied in the Junior programme and special emphasis will be laid on the anti-tuberculosis campaign now being planned by the senior Society. It is also intended to publish a magazine, in close relationship with other Junior Red Cross periodicals.

"During my visit in Sofia I had the honour of being received by King Boris, whom I found genuinely interested in the Junior Red Cross movement. His Majesty expressed great confidence in the movement and promised his active support.

The Film Library of the League of Red Cross Societies contains in all eightyeight films. These films deal with the following subjects:

1. The activities of the Red Cross and Junior Red Cross.

2. Child Welfare.

3. Tuberculosis.

4. Venereal Diseases. 5. General Medical.

6. General subjects.

The films are loaned to any society which forwards a request for them through the national Red Cross. On replying to any enquiry, a list of the films and also a brief synopsis of a few of them is enclosed. Although no special attempt of publicity has hitherto been made, films are being widely circulated in Europe. At the present moment, for exemple, films are on loan in Czecho-Slovakia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, France and Spain.

They have also been shown in certain towns in Italy, Serbia, Denmark, Belgium, Greece and England.

Reports are received from Societies when they return the films. While some of these contain merely a brief statement of approximate attendances, others add remarks as to the manner in which the films have been received, and these are without exception exceedingly favourable.

The largest attendances recorded are in connection with the American Red Cross Exhibit, which took place in Lille during the last spring.

Judging from circulation, the following films have proved to be most popular : Child Welfare:

Our Children.

Red Cross:

Care of our Wounded.

America Junior.

Junior Red Cross in Czecho-Slovakia.

Sauvetage.

Winning her Way.

General Medical:

La Mouche.

Soins du Corps.

Tuberculosis:

Dispensaire Léon Bourgeois.

Force de la Vie.

Tuberculose, causes et lésions.

Ne crachez pas par terre.
Lavez-vous les mains.

Jinks.

Typhus:

Bonheur de la Patrie.

Films dealing with Venereal Disease shave been widely shown to select audiences. Certain films have been used by the Swiss Army in Recruiting Schools; at the present moment others are being shown in Berne by the Schweizer Volkskino.

GENERAL NEWS.

CHILDREN'S FEDERAL BUREAU.

Infant mortality is the best ond most valuable indication which we possess for determining the material and moral conditions of a nation."

HESE words from a letter addressed to the President of the United

TH

States by Miss Julia Lathrop, founder and director of the Children's Federal Bureau, in submitting her first report, can serve as text for this summary account of the task accomplished by Miss Lathrop during the last ten years, for these words express the spirit and essence of the admirable work of this institute.

When she was called to Washington in 1912 to organise the Children's Federal Bureau, Miss Lathrop found herself face to face with a chaotic situation, the result of a total lack of co-ordinative legislation on the part of the different States of the Union, each of which possesses its own interior legislation. The task was rendered difficult under these conditions, especially as regards the main object, which was to realise in practice the various resolutions unanimously passed by the conference which met in 1909 at the White House, Washington, D. C., and to which President Roosevelt had invited the various American organisations, both official and voluntary, having as their object the protection of orphans, of necessitous children and child delinquents.

With broad-mindness and courage Miss Lathrop undertook her gigantic task, which at first consisted in laborious compiling of statistics in order to bring all possible light to bear on the situation. In this initial work Miss Lathrop, by well chosen methods of propaganda, succeeded in arousing public interest so successfully that, when in 1918 she sent out a stirring appeal on the occasion of the Children's Year, 17,000,000 American women responded. For several months these women, organised in thousands of committees, devoted all their time and energy to collect the necessary funds for organising temporary children's dispensaries and exhibitions of Child Welfare in 17,000 towns and villages, also paying visits to small groups of inhabitants.1 This campaign was completed by local investigations of the moral and material situation of the various families, in order to ascertain the extent to which the health of children is influenced by their surroundings.

The result of this compilation of data, completed by investigations in seven industrial centres, on which special reports were published, and which should be consulted by those interested in the problem of infant mortality, amounts to a condemnation of social conditions as they existed at that time

1 In this way parents were persuaded to have their children weighed and measured at the local dispensary, with the result that in six months six and a half million children were medically examined (See Children's Year, a brief summary of work done and suggestions for follow up work, published by the U. S. Department of Labor, Publication No. 67, Washington, 1920.)

Johnson, Pa., Manchester, N. H. Brockton, Mass., Saginaw, Mich., New Bedford, Mass., Montclair, N. J., and Waterbury, Conn. Reports Published by the U. S. Department of Labor, Children's Bureau, Washington.

in the United States1 and as they still, to a large degree, exist in many civilised nations. It is well to look facts in the face and to admit that the problem of Chuld Welfare is, above all, an economic one. It is, in fact, impossible in discussing the problem of Child Welfare, not to take into account the family resources, this being the basis of all work undertaken on behalf of childhood. As Miss Florence Nesbitt observes in "Cost of Living: " "If the father does not earn enough to supply what is necessary for a minimum normal standard of living, or if the mother or young children are forced away from the home by the obligations of industrial labour, this minimum standard will be necessarily lowered with disastrous results as regards food and living conditions, bringing in its train all the tragic consequences of indigence.

In this connection the Children's Bureau wisely warns all who undertake investigations on the economic conditions of the family to avoid the common initial error, which consists in assuming as a basis for the enquiry the total amount of the earnings of the father, of the mother and of the children. The only accurate index of the economic situation of the family is what the father earns, inasmuch as in the majority of cases these earnings constitute, not only the principal basis, but also the most stable element of the family budget the supplementary earnings of the mother and children are, as a rule, of a temporary and fluctuating character. As regards the total resources which are necessary to ensure livelihood, the conclusions arrived at by the investigations of the Children's Bureau are of mathematical exactness and can be summed up in the following phrase: Infant mortality is in inverse ratio to the amount of the earning of the father.*

3

To return to the Children's Year, to which the United States is indebted for a more far-seeing and uniform Public Health legislation as regards Child Welfare, it is necessary to note some other important phases of the programme established. In addition to the investigations on health conditions etc. referred to above, a "Recreation Drive" was started in July 1918 with the intention of developing physical education and making it more general among the poorer classes, thereby stimulating health of body and mind.

A few months after the "Recreation Drive ", there was started a "Backto-School Drive," that is to say, a campaign for a return to the schools, in order that the child might be induced to abandon industrial occupations, which he had been compelled to take up either for patriotic reasons or on account of the high salaries offered.

These two phases of the "Children's Year" received general support. owing to the intensive propaganda which the Children's Bureau had undertaken in order to expose the disastrous results of employing child labour in European war industries during the years 1916-1917, disastrous not only

'These conditions, thanks largely to the Children's Bureau, have now undergone a notable improvement, * Dr. Royal Meeker. The Economics of Child Welfare in Standards of Child Welfare, page 31. Published by the U. S. Department of Labor, Washington, 1919.

3 See Infant Mortality, Results of a Field Study in Manchester, N. H., based on Births in One Year. by the U. S. Children's Bureau, Publication No. 20, Washington, 1917, Page 40.

Published

4 "The greatest public health measure you can introduce is a minimum wage law". See Dr. René Sand's paper on Social Medicine in Standards of Child Welfare, published by the U. S. Department of Labor, Washington, 1919

5 From the beginning of the campaign up to 1920 thirty-one States, not including the Federal District of Columbia, resolutely set to work to reform and modify their superannuated legislation. As regards the other seventeen States. there was not one which failed to respond to the impulse which, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast, was stirring up public conscience, with the result that legislative measures of a more or less general character were instituted, commissions appointed and bureaux organised to study and prepare a programme of social legislation for the protection of children. (See State Commisison for the Study and Revision of Child Welfare Laws. Published by the U. S. Depart ment of Labor, Washington. Publication No. 71.)

from the point of view of the feeble production, but also from that of the bad effects on the health of the children. '

Infant mortality

per thousand births

Annual earnings

of the father (In dollars)

As a winding-up of the Children's Year, it was decided to hold a conference of technical experts with a view to drawing up a series of resolutions represent thinge minimum standard of Child Welfare. At this Conference, which was held at Washington during May and June 1919 under the auspices of the Children's Bureau, certain foreign experts were invited as an act of recognition of the special efforts on behalf of Child Welfare undertaken abroad during the War.

This Conference served to emphasise the importance of the careful preparation and wide discussion, which was the result of the seven years of patient investigation under the direction of Miss Lathrop, to whom it is in a great measure due that the Washington Conference is now considred as marking an epoch in the history of Child Welfare. The volume containing the reports, debates and resolutions submitted by the various commissions 3 doubtless had a far-reaching influence on all health questions, whether social or economic, and has brought about a new scientific and legislative policy, not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

2

As it would be too long to reproduce in extenso the text of the resolutions adopted, we will confine ourselves to quoting the essential points.

Child Labour. In view of the fact that children between the ages of 14 and 18 going in for manual

170

less than 450

160

150

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Towards the end of 1917 most European nations had given up the employment of child labour in war industries. 2 Standards of Child Welfare. Report of the Children's Bureau Conferences, May-June, 1919. Publication of the U. S. Department of Labor, Washington, 1919, Publication No. 60.

* Commission I: Child Labour.

Commission II: a) Protection of Motherhood.

b) Protection of children before the school period.

c) Protection of School children and adolescents.

Commission III: Protection of children needing special care, orphans, delinquents, abandoned and necessitous children.

♦ We refer the reader to the works mentioned, Standards of Child Welfare, etc.

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