Editor's note

Yesterday marked World Children’s Day, and the United Nations called for governments, civic organisations and ordinary people globally to “put children back on the agenda”. There are several ways this could be done. For instance, Julia Sloth-Nielsen argues, children’s access across African countries to functional justice systems that are sensitive to their needs could be dramatically improved. And Katharine Hall unpacks how South Africa’s history has left the majority of children living without both parents - and why thoughtful policies are needed to take different forms of “family” into account.

Also, what parent hasn’t felt exasperated and exhausted while trying to get a tired baby to sleep, especially when travelling and visiting other people’s homes? While infant health is always important, the holidays are a critical time to review the rules about safe sleep for babies, and Richard Gunderman does just that. Rule number one, he says: babies should always sleep alone.

Finally, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently reaffirmed historic ties with President Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba. Cuba and North Korea are supposed to share values as socialist republics but their brands of socialism are worlds apart. One profound difference is how they treat their children, write Robert Huish and Peter Steele.

Julius Maina

Regional Editor East Africa

Top Stories

Children in Africa struggle to get justice. Here’s how to improve their access

Julia Sloth-Nielsen, University of the Western Cape

When children are drawn into their countries' informal justice systems, their human rights are often threatened.

Policies in South Africa must stop ignoring families’ daily realities

Katharine Hall, University of Cape Town

The diversity of families is one of the important underlying themes of the South African Child Gauge 2018.

Preventing infant deaths: The ABCs of safe baby sleep

Richard Gunderman, Indiana University

Hundreds – perhaps thousands – of infant deaths every year are preventable if parents make sure babies sleep in their own cribs, on their backs.

What about the kids? The worrisome Cuba-North Korea friendship

Robert Huish, Dalhousie University; Peter Steele, Dalhousie University

The new friendship between North Korea and Cuba is puzzling. The two countries should share values as socialist republics, but their brands of socialism are worlds apart when it comes to children.

Politics + Society

Bainimarama wins again in Fiji, helped by muzzling the media, unions and the church

Dominic O'Sullivan, Charles Sturt University

The re-election of a former coup leader as Fiji's prime minister comes as Australia pays more heed to the south-west Pacific.

Migrant caravan: branding migrants ‘human shields’ has a deadly motive

Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London; Nicola Perugini, University of Edinburgh

Migrants are being portrayed as a enemy that can legitimately be targeted – and even killed – by the military.

Health + Medicine

Science + Technology