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Meeting with Pablo Ceriani: childhood in the context of mobility

January 15, 2020
Communications Colunga Foundation

The Director of the Specialization in Migration and Asylum from a Human Rights perspective of the National University of Lanús of Argentina and consultant of UNICEF on issues of rights of children and adolescents in the context of migration, Pablo Ceriani, participated in a meeting organized by Fundación Colunga, which brought together different representatives of civil society organizations and academia, linked to projects on migrant children.

The meeting convened the Jesuit Migrant Service, the Justice and Society Studies Center of the Catholic University, the Ciudad del Niño Foundation, the World Vision Chile, the Ibero-American Center for the Rights of the Child, the Soccer More, the Childhood Block, to América Solidaria Chile, to UNHCR and Education 2020.

The international expert stressed that, in migratory terms, South America has made progress such as the Mercosur Residency Agreement, the development of the Mercosur guide for children in migration contexts and the introduction of some issues such as the principle of best interest of the ( a) child. However, the processes of implementation and construction of public policy, which were developed in the last 15 years, very late began to incorporate the issue of childhood. This is reflected at the institutional level, where it is necessary to observe to what extent comprehensive protection systems for children and adolescents, which have been developed in the countries of the region, have incorporated the migration issue into their programs, guidelines and regulatory frameworks.

“It is necessary to start assuming a mandate that puts the rights of children in contexts of mobility, which is a priority place,” emphasizes Pablo Ceriani. In that sense, the social articulation It is key to generate strategies, share information and promote protocols so that children's organizations deal more with the issue. “The main problem that immigration policies have is that they are not based on reality but on the discursive. Integrality is what makes it possible to move to a law approach, ”he says.

Taking some principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Trinidad del Río, Director of Education and Interculturality of the Jesuit Migrant Service, explained the main problems facing children in the context of mobility in Chile: 

Nondiscrimination: Barriers to the right to nationality. No access to scholarships and benefits due to lack of permanent parental permanence. Institutional racism focused on parents, but which has a profound effect on children.
Best interest of the child: Expulsions without due process that considers the situation of children and adolescents.
Right to participation: Folklorization in school spaces, preventing the discourse of cultural representation.
Right to life and development: Difficulty of access to rights in transit. Long time out of school. Family separation

We asked other participants of this table about the challenges of migration in Chile, note that we will publish in the coming days.

We will also delve deeper with an interview with Pablo Ceriani. Meanwhile, we leave your vision regarding the Chilean context, which calls to take advantage of the current social mobilization to promote the migrant theme in social demands and in the process of creating a new Constitution, since the articulation is what can create the integral changes . 

“A State that does not look at the irregular immigration status of children violates basic premises of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Regularization is to guarantee rights and prevent risk situations, ”concludes Pablo.

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