National: Entry into law of bill on the rights of children and adolescents

December 29, 2014

(@elconstituyente.com)

On 3 December, President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) signed into law the new bill on the rights of minors that was shortly thereafter published in the Official Diary of the Federation (DOF).  Peña Nieto affirmed that it would represent “a legal instrument for progress to create the appropriate conditions for the comprehensive development of minors.”

In a press-bulletin, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Mexico stressed “the creation at the highest level of the National System for the Comprehensive Protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, of the Federal Prosecutorial Office for Protection, and of the National System for Information on Infancy, as well as the obligation of assigning an adequate budget to observe the implementation of the law, among other things.”

UNICEF considered the consolidation of a legal mark that would provide greater protection to the 40 million children and adolescents who live in Mexico a great opportunity.  Nonetheless, it stressed the following challenges faced by minors in the country:

“• Slightly more than half of children and adolescents in Mexico (21 million) lived in poverty in 2012; of these, 5 million suffered extreme poverty.

• There are still 6.1 million children between 3 and 17 years of age who do not attend school, despite the fact that attendance in basic and middle-school education has increased.  Child mortality (defined as applying to those under 5 years of age, per 1,000 children born) is still high in states like Guerrero (19.4), Chiapas (19.5), Puebla (19.7), and Oaxaca (20), despite the fact that the national rate has declined considerably (from 41 in 1990 to 16 in 2012).

• Six of each 10 children and adolescents have directly experienced some form of violence in their homes or schools.

• In 2013 15,561 unaccompanied children and adolescents were deported from the United States to Mexico.  These migrants have been exposed to all types of dangers and human-rights violations.

• 2.5 million children and adolescents work, despite efforts in recent years to reduce the rate of child labor.”

UNICEF stresses that “This law will be transcendental for the future and present of children in the country, and for this reason for development in Mexico with regard to social and economic questions, as well as matters related to justice, such that the next step will consist in assuring the adequate implementation of the law and guaranteeing that new mechanisms and institutions stipulated by this law will have the means to operate in an efficient manner.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El presidente Peña promulga la nueva ley sobre derechos de los menores(CNN México, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Promulga EPN Ley de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes, fundamental para progreso y paz social (Radio Fórmula, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Promulga Peña la ley de niños y adolescentes (El Universal, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

Más de 40 millones de niños podrán contar con un mejor marco legal(Boletín de prensa, UNICEF, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

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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Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents

October 1, 2014

Manifestación #x1leydealtura en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

Protest #x1heightlaw in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

On 24 September, the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico (#REDIM) and civil organizaitons carried out a symbolic protest in 11 cities of Mexico and in Geneva, Switzerland, “toward the end of calling on the Senate to be careful in the reforms it is implementing with regard to the bill presented by the president’s office, so that [senators] consider changes to be relevant and to guarantee the rights of the nearly 40 million children and adolescents who live in Mexico.”

The organizations stressed that “in this new General Law initiative, it is very important to guarantee an adequate and transparent budget for implementation; that the participation of civil society be contemplated via voice and vote; and that truly participatory mechanisms be established so that children and adolescents can opine regarding the decisions which affect them, such that these opinions be taken into account in terms of the construction of public policies having to do with children.”

Symbolic protests were carried out in Guadalajara, Jalisco; Morelia, Michoacán; Tehuacán, Puebla; Comitán, Tapachula , and San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas; La Paz, Baja California; Poza Rica and Xalapa, Veracruz, and in Mexico City.  Protestors carried black umbrellas to symbolize the protection that is sought with this new law.

For more information (in Spanish):

REDIM Y OSC REALIZAN ACTO SIMBÓLICO Y LLAMAN A SENADORESA CUIDAR LOS DETALLES PARA GARANTIZAR UNA LEY DE ALTURA (Melel Xojobal, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

REDIM presentará informe sobre los derechos de la niñez en México ante la ONU (Cencos, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Organizaciones llaman a senadores para analizar ley infantil (Reporte Ciudadano, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Hoy, debate final en el Senado de ley para proteger a niños (La Jornada, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Para solidarizarse: http://chn.ge/1wwb3mg

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day

May 16, 2014

@Agencia Cuartoscuro

@Agencia Cuartoscuro

Since 1924, 30 April has been celebrated as International Children’s Day.  In theory, the day was established to promote the rights of children.  However, the date has now become a “political festival of balloons and clowns,” as the daily newspaper El Universal charged, while Chiapas Paralelo indicated the “proselytism” of politicians who take advantage of the organized events to take pictures with children.  El Universal also mentioned the absurdity of inverting in toys and spectacles “more than in solutions to protect those who are being celebrated.”

Certainly, little can be celebrated, as these media and others have stressed: Mexico is one of the 30 countries in which children suffer conditions of slavery.  Beyond this, more than half of all children (20 million) live in poverty, with 10% of them residing in Chiapas.  The statistics regarding children in this state are equally alarming in terms of education, access to health services, and nutrition, among other things.  Melel Xojobal A.C. noted for its part that “the country has very little to celebrate when more than a half of its children and adolescents live in conditions of poverty, exclusion, and violence.”  The group observed for example that in Chiapas more than 21,000 minors live in the streets, that the state has the lowest percentage of school attendance in the country, that it has a rate of child labor higher than the national average, and that more than half of the children of the Highlands region suffer from malnutrition.

For more information (in Spanish):

Proselitismo con juguetes y despensas, en el marco del Día del Niño y la Niña (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Más de dos millones de niños, niñas y adolescentes en pobreza y exclusión en Chiapas: Melel Xojobal (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Día del Niño… o de los políticos? (El Universal, 30 de abril de 2014)

Día del niño con mucho que trabajar (Cuarto Poder, 30 de abril de 2014)

Día del niño, detrás de una sonrisa inocente está la pobreza y la desigualdad (Crónica de los Altos, 30 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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


Chiapas : Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico”

March 15, 2014

foro-infancia

On 1 March, Melel Xojobal A.C., REDIM (Network of the Rights of the Child in Mexico), and REDIAS (Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas) organized the first regional forum of NGOS on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico.”  The forum intended to create space for analysis and dialogue toward the end of joining together the work of civil organizations which labor in favor of the rights of children, so that there be greater efficiency and cooperation in this struggle.

Despite representing 35% of the national population (more than 40 million persons), children control only 6% of the country’s budget, with only a small portion of this going toward their protection. Juan Martín Pérez García, director of Redim, recalled that the rights of the child “are human rights and not small rights,” adding that adolescents comprise a full 50% of all femicides committed in the country.  The doctor denounced that Mexico “is not implementing conditions to observe the rights of children.”  It should be noted that, among the 176 recommendations made to Mexico by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), just 7 refer to children and adolescents.

Children make up a third of Mexico’s population and 40% of the population of Chiapas.  Lamentably, the situation of children in the latter context is very difficult: Chiapas is one of the places with the fewest legal tools enshrined into public policy, and the statistics for children in the state are among the worst in the country, always below the national average.  Chiapas has the least percentage of school attendance in Mexico and the lowest average number of years spent in formal education, but the majority of the population aged 12-17 is economically active.  Chiapas occupied third place in the number of adolescent pregnancies (15-19 years), and it is retrograde in terms of health-care access (42% of children lack such access, vs. 32% nationally); infant mortality reaches 19.5/1000 in the state, with 14.2/1000 being the national ratio.

In November, for the first time, Mexico will attend the VI Global Congress for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, which will coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Mexico in 1990.  This may be an opportunity to make visible the rights of youth, and to make them a reality….

For more information (in Spanish):

Llaman a trabajar por derechos de los niños (La Jornada, 2 de marzo de 2014)

Foro regional en atención a los derechos de niños y niñas (Cuarto Poder, 1 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: denunciation of acts of “social cleansing” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: Justice is demanded in the case of the feminicide of the youth Itzel Yanet Méndez Pérez (16 May 2012)

Chiapas: XV Aniversario de Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of the Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of rights of children and adolescents

February 7, 2011

In observation of its fourteenth anniversary the social organization Melel Xojobal A.C. organized the forum “Violence against children and adolescents in Mexico: Education, society, and media.”

During the event held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Nashieli Ramírez from the program Infancy in Movement presented a panorama of violence from infancy to adolescence in Mexico.  She presented alarming statistics regarding the so-called “war on organized crime” and the violence that as a consequence has gripped the country.  “The impact that this has had on infancy and adolescence has resulted in 40000 orphaned children, more than 30000 children kidnapped by organized crime, and finally 34 million Mexican children and adolescents who every day watch the news and participated in games that naturalize violence.”

For her part, Lourdes Almada from the Network of the Rights of Infancy in Ciudad Juárez spoke to the impact that the “war on organized crime” has had on infancy and adolescence in that city.  Almada observed that between 2008 and 2010 were killed close to 7000 people, of which more than 400 were minors of age; it is estimated that 13000 children have been made orphans.

In the third intervention, Patricia Carmona from Mexican Agency of News for the Rights of Infancy (AMNDI) presented data from her editorial analysis of media published in the country regarding the rights of children and adolescents that was published in alliance with the program Infancy and Movement.

The types of violence most reported in the state daily newspapers were domestic violence in the first place; violence in the community and school in second and third place; violence perpetrated by organized crime in fourth place; and sexual violence and commercial sexual exploitation in last place.

To close the event Rosa Poiré Castañeda, from the organization Save the Children Mexico, spoke on the challenges of building spaces free of violence with children and adolescents.

For more information (in Spanish):

Violence against children and adolescents in Mexico (Cencos, 3 February 2011)

Melel Xojobal A.C

Infancia in Movement
Mexican Agency of News for the Rights of Infancy
(AMNDI)

Save the Children México

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Melel Xojobal debuts the book “Infancy Matters in Mexico 2007” (5 February 2008)