The pandemic, budget cuts, and the absence of public policies exposed the critical situation experienced by around 2 million girls, boys, and adolescents, considered the Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents
TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, CHIAPAS.- The covid-19 pandemic, budget cuts, and the absence of public policies exposed the critical situation experienced by around 2 million girls, boys, and adolescents in the entity, and it is urgent to act to avoid a crisis without precedents with irreversible impacts.
The foregoing stems from a report released this Friday by the Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (Redias) in Chiapas, made up of various civic organizations, such as the Alliance for Health, Food and Nutrition (ASAN) AC, Aldeas Infantiles SOS Chiapas, Educational Development Sueniños AC, Melel Xojobal AC, Vientos Culturales AC, and World Vision Chiapas.
As the 31st anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – international treaty ratified by Mexico in 1990, which establishes the rights that States must guarantee for the good life of all girls, boys, and adolescents – to be fulfilled this Friday, Redias He mentioned that there is an increase in inequality and gaps in access to the rights of girls, boys and adolescents in Chiapas.
This year, he explained, progress in this area has been seriously threatened by the budget cuts established by the federation, as well as the absence of state policies that contribute to guaranteeing the well-being of the child population, coupled with the covid-19 pandemic. 19 that aggravated the pre-existing conditions of inequality and poverty in which girls, boys, and adolescents live.
He specified that, according to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval), one of the effects of the pandemic has been and will be the general drop of 5% in people’s income, which can generate growth of income poverty between 7.2% and 7.9%.
In Chiapas, for example, 85.4% of the child and adolescent population is income poor, which could increase to 92.6% and up to 93.3%.
“This alarming fact in itself means in concrete terms that nine out of 10 girls, boys and adolescents in the state will live their childhood and adolescence in poverty or extreme poverty, with a negative effect on their life projects,” said Redias in his report.
According to the document, the suspension of face-to-face classes and the educational strategy “Learn at Home” has meant that hundreds of girls, boys, and adolescents were left without school due to lack of access to the internet, computer or television, with the serious risk of dropping out. This entails, particularly for adolescent girls and women who are traditionally assigned care duties and perform double or triple working hours.
Chiapas, he added, is the entity with the greatest educational backwardness at the national level.
And in this pandemic, working girls, boys, and adolescents have been left without employment or have stopped helping their families to generate money, which represents important restrictions on access to food or education, mainly.
For working children, poverty, job insecurity, and lower levels of schooling increase their chances of being exposed to exploitation, human trafficking, and forced labor, according to the Redias report.
The different expressions of violence against children have not stopped, but rather have been on the rise, he stressed.
This year, Chiapas has registered a record number of disappearances of girls, boys, and adolescents, which represents almost double that of the previous year. As of this month, 316 children and adolescents have been reported as missing and only 47% have been located; 85% of disappearances are concentrated in adolescent girls and women.
According to Redias, in its most serious expressions, sexist violence has claimed the lives of eight girls and adolescents who are victims of femicide. The youngest was one year old.
All of the above, he pointed out, has had a serious impact on the emotional health of children. Proof of this is the more than double increase in the number of adolescent suicides compared to 2019. And until August 2020, 24 adolescents between 13 and 17 years old died from this cause, in 2019 the figure was 14.
Unresolved armed conflicts prevail in the entity, with the complicity of the State, as well as practices of territorial dispossession of indigenous peoples to impose megaprojects – mines, superhighways, hydroelectric plants, and plantations – which has represented the forced displacement of more of 4 thousand girls, boys and adolescents from 2006 to date.
“Now more than ever, we require that the State System for the Comprehensive Protection of Children and Adolescents assume a serious commitment to guarantee and protect the rights of children. This mechanism still does not have its own structure or budget to operate and the Preliminary Draft of the State Program for the Protection of Girls, Boys, and Adolescents presented since the beginning of this administration remains unpublished, ”the document reads.
“If we do not act today, we will have an unprecedented crisis with irreversible impacts on the present and future of the more than 2 million girls, boys and adolescents who live and travel through this territory.”
Given this, Redias called on the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial at all levels, “to prioritize the best interests of children in their decisions and to fully comply with the SIPINNA / EXT / 01/2020 Agreement by which they approve Essential actions for the care and protection of girls, boys and adolescents during the health emergency caused by force majeure due to the epidemic of disease generated by the SARS-CoV2 virus (COVID-19) ”.