Representatives of civil society, parliament and academy meet in Colunga to address issues of street children

October 18, 2019
Communications Colunga Foundation

 

On October 14, the platform Vigilantes for Children, formed by Smart Citizenship, Foundation for Trust and the Community of Solidarity OrganizationsWith the collaboration of Fundación Colunga, they convened a panel of experts to address the situation of children and adolescents -NNA- in a street situation, one of the most critical areas and with less progress within the commitments acquired by the Agreement National for Children, promoted 16 months ago by the current Government.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Gabriel Boric, a member of the National Agreement for Children; the Social Director of the Hogar de Cristo, Paulo Egenau; the Head of the Area of Incidence in Public Policies of the Hogar de Cristo, Mónica Contreras; the academic of the University of Chile and expert in child psychology, Camilo Morales; and the Executive Director of the Chilean Association Pro United Nations (ACHNU), Francis Valverde.

Arturo Celedón, Executive Director of Colunga, highlighted the importance of this meeting: “The National Agreement for Children was tremendous news, a space for dialogue that we had lost and that it is important to recover. But once these spaces occur, they have to be kept alive and that depends on the citizenship, how we organize ourselves and how we keep accompanying and demanding from the authorities ”.  

According to figures given by Child Watchers, there was a 49% progress in measures that directly impact children in street situations. However, the grade in quality is 1, because there is no progress towards a National Policy that will completely eradicate the situation.

In this regard, Francis Valverde pointed to the need to question “how the development model of our country generates this segregation. Because children are not in the street just because of family problems, it is also a product of what generates poverty. ”

From the academic reflection, Camilo Morales called to consider new aspects to face the challenge: “Any form of intervention has to understand the ways of making links that children have in the street (…) and generate meeting spaces that allow us to address, in an innovative way, these issues, with other perspectives and other questions ”.

Among the main conclusions of the table, the need to create the necessary conditions to prevent children from living in the street, increasing the budget allocation based on concrete measures and generating instances that restore the confidence of children In the institutions. All this, through an effort of intersectoral articulation that includes the academic, social and political world, considering the diversity of factors involved in this complex reality.  

At the end of the meeting, Gabriel Boric emphasized the importance of sustaining the work that is being done: “It is essential that Child Watchers survive this government and this parliament. It has to continue permanently. ”

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