You know, we’ve been here very recently. Just last year, many quarters raised serious concerns about the treatment of children and young people by the criminal justice system. People asked questions about the potential emotional and psychological impact of arrest, investigation and charge; about the lack of attention given to the mental health of young people in contact with the criminal justice system; about the cavalier approach of the authorities towards the state’s obligations under the Convention of the Rights of the Child; about our collective readiness to demonise young people with the silencing hand of authoritarianism.
I refer, of course, to the disagreeable unfortunate named Amos Yee.
Imagine a world where those questions had been taken seriously. Where the state and society had looked honestly and searchingly at how best to implement CRC, and to ensure mechanisms that would genuinely centre and prioritise children’s and young people’s well-being in all interactions with state bodies, even when they are cast as potential wrong-doers. A world where we had listened, and cared, and started the hard work required for a cultural shift.
In that world, how might Benjamin Lim’s experience with the police have been different?
Sign the petition.
This is a bit late I know, but I’m speaking at this important event at Hong Lim Park later today. Please join us and make a stand for democracy, children’s rights and free expression. And basic human decency, really.
Here I was speechifying at Pink Dot last Saturday:
This Sunday, Cyril Wong and I will be doing a joint author event at the Singapore Book Publishers Association‘s book fair. Join us at 3pm at Isetan Orchard Basement 1 to chat about our works!
Never dreamed I would be posting a Mandopop video on my website, but this is what MDA has done to me.
I’m on holiday, meaning: spring air, wild garlic, gin chocolate, Eurogames, rock walls, hours in talk and text. I’ll be at the London Book Fair for a bit though, likely tomorrow morning. Say hi.
Or you can enjoy some birds instead.
There is a faintly discernible past in which I was a university student who spent approximately 90% of her (awake, sober) time consuming random Internet rubbish. Here is a brief throwback: a break, for me, from weeping into a to-do list which is exploding everywhere like some kind of fungal alien menace.
But first, look. This video is really, really annoying. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I think my favourite thing about it is how the dude’s face gets progressively more pissed off.