Four children are murdered every day in Mexico

In the 2019 edition of the Save the Children report, Mexico fell three places in the world ranking

Four children are murdered every day in Mexico
Save the Children's annual report evaluated 176 countries using international indicators on child mortality, education access, and nutrition - Photo: Julio César Aguilar/EL UNIVERSAL
English 04/06/2019 16:03 Newsroom Mexico City Actualizada 17:30

According to a new global report issued by the Save the Children Fund, children and adolescents are now more likely to grow up healthy, receive a decent education, and be protected. However, in Latin America and the Caribbean, violence remains one of the main causes of death among children.

The results of the report, published in the framework of the organization’s 100th anniversary, show that at least 280 million children are now more likely to grow up healthy, receive an education, and enjoy protection than at any other time in the last two decades.

The annual report evaluated 176 countries using international indicators on child mortality, education access, and nutrition, as well as protection from harmful practices such as child labor, child marriage, homicide, and forced displacement.

Nancy Ramírez, advocacy coordinator in Save the Children, assured that substantial progress had been made for the protection of children and adolescents in the last 20 years. However, she warned that violence is still the main cause of human rights violations against children.

“Since the year 2000, homicides of children (both boys and girls) have shown an 8% increase in the region, including Mexico,” Ramírez stated.

In the 2019 edition of the Save the Children report, Mexico fell three places in the ranking, occupying the 96th position below Latin American countries such as Cuba, Chile, Argentina, and Peru. “The drop in the ranking is not accidental. For three years in a row, our country has seen high rates of teenage pregnancies and an increase in child homicides,” Ramírez claimed.

Regarding teen pregnancy, the organization deemed the phenomenon a clear violation of human rights of adolescents and a serious public health issue that should be addressed with an effective implementation of public policies. “For four years, Save the Children has called on the Mexican government to strengthen preventive strategies and medical attention for early pregnancies, however, more than 300,000 adolescents give birth every year in Mexico. Pregnancy among girls under the age of 15 is particularly disturbing, with nearly 10,000 cases detected in 2017 that were most likely caused by sexual abuse,” Nancy Ramírez stressed.

The escalation of violence in Mexico has seriously affected the safety of children and adolescents. It is now estimated that an average of four children and/or adolescents are murdered every day in the country. “These numbers reveal that the likelihood of a child being murdered in Mexico is far higher than in countries experiencing armed conflicts such as Palestine or Syria. This is why we consider that a government peace-building plan should take the voices of boys and girls into account and establish specific strategies that address their situation,” Ramírez emphasized.

The organization acknowledged that Mexico had seen a reduction in child mortality, malnutrition, school drop-outs, child labor, and child marriages. However, Save the Children pointed out that these problems still affect children living in indigenous communities and rural areas. “Government efforts should be doubled in historically marginalized and excluded communities,” she stated.

In this sense, the organization called on the Mexican government to focus on policies that address the problems of children and adolescents, implementing state policies that guarantee the protection and healthy development of children.
 

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