Proposals for the integration of migrant children

October 25, 2018
Communications Colunga Foundation

From social policies and the implementation of cultural customs in dealing with the children of countries such as Venezuela, Haiti, Peru, among others, were some of the measures discussed in the V Seminar "Integration of migrant children: a country challenge", organized by the City of the Child Foundation.

In the National Congress of Valparaiso and with the presence of almost 500 attendees, the "V Seminar on the Integration of Migrant Children: A Country Challenge" was held, a meeting in which organizations such as the Office of the Ombudsman and Undersecretary for Children, the Ministry of the Interior, UNICEF, among others, presented proposals to facilitate the inclusion of migrant children in the different aspects of society.

The case of the Central Station commune was presented at the meeting, where programs and initiatives related to education, health and recreation have been developed specifically for children of the more than 15 nationalities that inhabit this sector. "We had to incorporate new sports, such as baseball for Venezuelan children who asked us a lot and also ask them to join more traditional Chilean sports. When a child has different partners from different latitudes, the challenge is to move from the multicultural room to the intercultural room, "said the mayor of this commune, Rodrigo Delgado.

"Our moral duty is to make an authentic refuge in an effective way, integrating into Chilean society migrant children and their families reestablishing their dignity, giving them shelter and work opportunities, without assistance. In the context of an open and non-discriminatory society, "he said. José Pedro Silva, President of the Ciudad del Niño Foundation, organizing entity of this meeting.

Changes for migrant children

According to the last census, in 2017 almost 750 thousand migrants lived in Chile. The Ministry of the Interior confirmed that this figure amounted to 1,119,267 at the beginning of 2018, of this number 10.4% are children between 0 to 14 years.

"You have to identify the children at risk and avoid having invisible children today. Some do not have RUT, so you have to give them the protection they deserve, being each response appropriate to their cultural models and their way of being, "he said. Blanquita Honorato, Chief of the Division of Promotion and Prevention of the Undersecretary of Children.

For its part, the Defender of Children, Patricia Muñoz, added that "the situation of these children is exposed to a double vulnerability, because in addition to being children they are migrants, so a particular emphasis must be made as a State to support them through public policies."

"Chile has an opportunity to be an example in the region, with regard to the protection of those children who have come with their families in search of a good life situation. We want to make available to technically accompany the profound changes that are required so that all these children who live in the country and who have migrated from other lands can count on mechanisms and strategies that allow their integral protection and full development in an environment positive and good treatment ", concluded the representative of UNICEF in the country, Paolo Mefalopulos.

The president of the Senate, Carlos Montes, also participated in the meeting; the deputy Gabriel Silber; the representative of the Center of Studies of Conflict and Social Cohesion (COES), Roberto González; the academic of the University of the Development, David Sirlopú; along with representatives of the foundations Education 2020, Interpreta and Ciudad del Niño.

The Ciudad del Niño Foundation seeks to connect migrant and refugee children with the host society through digital technology. Today they are working with the project Kelmy with the commune of Recoleta thanks to the Strengthening Fund of the Colunga Foundation.

Source: City of the Child Foundation 

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