Costa Rica takes part in a reflexion on Children’s rights

In celebration of the 29th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Defensa de Niños y Niñas International (DNI) Costa Rica organized a roundtable where different aspects of the situation of children and adolescents in the country were analyzed.

Recognizing that 2018 has not been an easy year for children and adolescents, especially in regard to their right to education. Given the situation of strike in the education sector, Mrs. Shirley Duarte, a member of the Board of Directors of DNI Costa Rica, indicated that this sector of population is not a priority for the government.

Ludwig Guendel, an expert in childhood and the responsible for opening the discussion, indicated that the CRC has been a revolutionary instrument which, along with the CEDAW, shed light on the rights of specific populations (children, adolescents and women, respectively), recognizing not only their rights but also their individual freedoms.

For its part, the investment in economic policy, at the discretion of Leiner Vargas, an economist and researcher in social investment in childhood and adolescence, is an empty box and has also been very focussed on adults, lacking efforts to provide and measure the intangibles, such as happiness.

Ana Teresa León, psychologist and researcher at the National University, after reviewing some of the realities of children in the country, one of the most cruel being the indices of poverty and extreme poverty, said that the main problem is not the income of those families, but the separation of children from them, the reason why they were calling to strengthen these families instead of the institutionalization of children.

Finally, Abelardo Morales, sociologist and researcher in migrations, mentioned the reality of migrant’s children’s and adolescents, highlighting Central America as one of the world’s most violent societies without being at war, where corruption and impunity are provoking a social disenchantment and the flee of thousands of people in search of better opportunities.

According to Morales, Central America is living an unreported humanitarian crisis, which is leading people to leap into the abyss, and the children and adolescents, accompanied or not, do not escape this reality.

After the various presentations, it was mentioned that equity remains as an unattended subject, which is why it is necessary to come back to the issues related to children and adolescents, more specifically ethics, morality, innovative capacity, recognition and dialog. 

Text by Sylvia Chaves, project manager-Costa Rica