Lacking budget and political will, the Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas could prove illusory

© SIPAZ  Protesta de las niñas y niños (septiembre 2014)

© SIPAZ Children’s protest (September 2014)

Civil-society organizations that comprise the National Front for the Rights of Childen and Adolescents expressed their concern regarding the implementation of the Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas (LDNNACH), which was approved on June 2. These organizations write that “Though this Law may signify a great advance against backwardness, we believe it to be basic for it be supported with investment and the political support of the State Executive, the Congress, and the local municipalities, which must develop and construct a normative, institutional, and political state of law that is capable of guaranteeing the effective exercise of the rights of children and adolescents in Chiapas.”

These organizations expressed their worries regarding the limitations of the Law in terms of “inverting the grave situation of rights-violations of the nearly 2 million children and adolescents who live in the state, 84% of whom live in poverty, and 1 in three of whom speak some indigenous language. Chiapas is an entry point for hundreds of Central American children who are fleeing violence in their countries, such that we demand respect for the highest international human-rights standards to promote the active participation of civil society in the processes of legal and institutional regulation.”

The organizations insist on the importance of the point that the Prosecutorial Office for the Protection of the Rights of Children, Adolescents, and the Family be part of a higher institution, and not to lack the necessary elements for the special protection of children in the interests of social welfare.

The communique adds that, “With special concern we see that [the State] omitted to establish the responsibility and obligation of the State to assign resources to guarantee the right to food, housing, health,and education for children and adolescents who have been orphaned, or attended to by Centers for Social Assistance, thus placing the responsibilities for their caretaking on civil-society organizations.”

The organizations also warned that “migrant children and adolescents and refugee minors will continue to go without protection from arbitrary arrest and deportation.”

For these reasons, the organizations called on “the corresponding authorities to respond to their obligations to observe the rights set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and not to legislate under the mandate of the LGDNNA, but instead to guarantee the informed and effective participation of children and adolescents in the decision-making processes which affect their immediate and future surroundings, and to generate broad, transparent, and inclusive mechanisms.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Sin presupuesto ni voluntad política, Ley de Derechos de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes en Chiapas podría quedar en letra muerta, chiapasparalelo, 11 de junio de 2015

En riesgo Ley de derechos de niñas, niños y adolescentes en Chiapas, Regeneracion, 20 de mayo de 2015

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents (1 October 2014)

National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

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