Article: Rocio Foundes, Undersecretary for Children: “We have a mandate to protect and ensure that all children and adolescents can develop in an environment free from violence and fully exercise their rights”

To highlight the importance of the Safeguards and Comprehensive Protection of Child Rights Act, the #RespectChildhoodIsLaw campaign was launched today. We spoke about this new regulation and much more with Rocío Foundes, Undersecretary for Children, who emphasized that this government “firmly believes in promoting these guarantees and we will take this historic opportunity to foster a new relationship between the state of Chile and childhood”.

As part of the Month of the Child, this Monday, the Undersecretariat for Children launched the #RespetarLaNiñezEsLey campaign to highlight the importance of Law on guarantees and comprehensive protection of children’s rights (Law 21,430), which was promulgated on March 15 in Chile and whose purpose is to establish a status of guarantee and comprehensive protection of their rights, with an emphasis on human rights ratified in international treaties.

On the commitment that the government of President Gabriel Borich has with children and adolescents, Undersecretary for Children, Rocio Foundes. The social worker has more than 20 years of experience in areas related to children and young people, gender and diversity, inclusion in higher education, migration policy and participation, from a rights approach.

Deputy Minister, what is this government’s commitment to children and young people?

As President Boric pointed out: “We will never get tired of working for children, we want them to feel safe and protected in their homes, in schools, in the squares, in their neighborhoods.” The priority we have as a country is care and protection of all children and adolescents in our countryworking in the best way to protect, guarantee and promote the rights of children and adolescents, together with the prevention and remedy of violations.

What does the new Law on Guarantees and Comprehensive Protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents guarantee?

Today with the new one Law on guarantees and comprehensive protection of the rights of children and adolescents We have a mandate to protect and ensure that all children and adolescents in Chile can develop in an environment free of violence and fully exercise their rights. This government firmly believes in promoting the mentioned guarantees and we will take advantage of this historic opportunity to foster a new relationship between the State of Chile and children.

What is the purpose of the “Respect for Childhood is Law” campaign launched today?

The aim of the campaign is motivating and involving fathers, mothers and carers so that they know this new law, how it is applied, and that children and adolescents can also participate and give their opinion on the issues that concern them. Moreover, this law finds that children and adolescents are subjects of rightsi.e. every girl, boy or adolescent is entitled to and fully enjoys the rights recognized in the political constitution of the Republic, in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in other international human rights treaties ratified by Chile that are in force and in law .

What are the pillars of this law and how will the state ensure its compliance?

The state of Chile took more than 30 years to create the conditions for a new type of relationship with children and adolescents. After the ratification of Convention on the Rights of the Childit was a long road to get to where we are today: with a set of new institutions (one Undersecretariata advocacynew Services for specialized protection and social reintegration already in force or to come), and above all with a Law on guarantees and comprehensive protection of the rights of the child, which authorizes the same country to work on system code; that is, articulate, efficient, decentralized, universal. Not only to protect those who have experienced violations, but to provide conditions of social protection to every child and adolescent in Chile, allowing them to reach their maximum potential for development and to promote, protect, defend and guarantee their rights.

The state must continuously increase public investment in children and adolescents in order to have an adequate and sufficient supply and furthermore, we must treat children and adolescents as subjects of rights, giving them real spaces for participationnot as a gift, but as a right of our own, which we can only recognize and encourage.

What are local children’s offices and what are their functions?

The Local Children’s Services are local expression of the system of guarantees for children’s rights and which are responsible for promoting the rights, preventing situations of risk and violations and protecting the rights of children and adolescents which takes place at the municipal level. He is also responsible for administrative protection; the coordination of all participants who are related to children and adolescents; and apply accompanying actions to the family environment according to a personalized intervention plan for children and adolescents and their families, in order to comply with the promotion, prevention and protection of the rights of children and adolescents.

For this year we are going we will start the installation of OLN in 90 regions of Chile and so gradually to advance during the next five years in all the districts of the country, which is the maximum period which the law establishes.

What is the role of the community in reporting and/or preventing child abuse?

President Gabriel Borich entrusted us to make the most of our efforts prevention and protection of children’s rights and that is why it is very important that all citizens cooperate in this task.

If you suspect that the rights of a child are being violated in your environment, please contact or contact one of the Offices for the Protection of Rights (OPD) in your municipality, or you can also contact the Carabineros, the PDI or an educational or health institution , to file the appropriate complaint.

Also, We urge the media to be extremely careful when reporting stories of girls or boys where their rights have been violated. It is very important to avoid revealing images and identities. The Safeguards Act protects the right to honor and privacy of all children and adolescents, but especially those who are victims of crime.

▶ Visit the site and learn all about the new guarantees and comprehensive protection of the rights of children and adolescents.

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