Mexican children face a grim future

There are thousands of children who are experiencing insecurity, sexual abuse or are the victims of human trafficking

Mexican children face a grim future
In Mexico, thousands of children are the victims of human trafficking - Photo: Robin Hammond/EL UNIVERSAL
English 30/04/2019 09:18 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:33

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A large part of Mexican society isn't doing well in the country. There are thousands of children who are experiencing insecurity, sexual abuse or are the victims of human trafficking while entire communities turn a blind eye. Today, Mexico celebrates Children's Day but many of them won't celebrate at school or at home.

According to the Inegi, there are 38.3 million girls, boys, and teenagers in Mexico and although the country joined the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, the rights of children are constantly violated. On Monday and Tuesday, EL UNIVERSAL revealed the inequality that prevails among Mexican children.

For example, in Mexico City, 6-year-old children are forced into collaborating with criminal groups who distribute drugs in the Garibaldi area. Their mission is to report any kind of “unusual” event: if they see someone from another criminal band selling drugs or if they identify someone who could be easily robbed. The messages are sent through teenagers between 14 and 16, who “guide” younger children.

Moreover, sexual abuse against minors has been on the rise for years. In 2015, at least 2,081 cases were registered; in 2018, the number increased to 2,919, 39%; and in 2019, the numbers are expected to worsen because from January to March, 873 cases were registered.

Also, in Guerrero, there are communities where there is a “tradition” that includes selling girls for prices between MXN $4,000 to MXN $150,000. The price is established according to the age (younger girls are more “expensive”), their behavior (if they had a boyfriend, the price decreases), and education levels (the more studies she has, the less she is worth). Human Rights organizations claim that this “tradition” is so deep-rooted that trying to prevent this practice is almost impossible.

Nevertheless, not all children face a sinister future. A lower number of children develop critical thinking and focus on science. Hundreds of children and teenagers have been supported by a program called Adopt a Talent (Pauta), from the UNAM's Nuclear Sciences Institute, in order to develop scientific abilities.

Mexico does not offer the same opportunities to all children. Problems such as insecurity, impunity, and marginality affect children's future. A country that does not offer clear opportunities for children, nor the minimum protection conditions, has fewer chances of having a prosperous future.