La Nación / Boys and girls in street situations, an emergency that no longer has to wait

More than a hundred outbreaks of children and adolescents in vulnerable situations are scattered in the metropolitan area, according to statistics derived from the reports of the relevant intervening institutions. This terrible condition is a problem with historically delayed solutions if we are talking about projects that really attack evil.

In Paraguay, we continue to grieve for boys and girls, adolescents living on the streets, exposed and subjected to various types of violations of their rights and inviolability. What is more painful is that the terrible situation has spread, it is no longer a scourge only in Asuncion or the metropolitan area, but throughout the country with a significant increase, mainly in border towns such as Pedro Juan Caballero, according to what the press has reported in recent years .. Complaints that reach the Ministry of Children and Adolescents, through the Immediate Response Unit-DRI Calle, which includes tasks with the Codeni of Asuncion and the National Police, usually reveal alarming figures about the conditions of minors on the street, mainly in reports after Saturday and Sunday.

Reports indicate that in the second week of this September, 258 children and adolescents in a socially vulnerable situation were served in the metropolitan area. The official figures are not at all encouraging, especially since every day we witness how these families live on traffic lights and other poles; absolute poverty, which has unfortunately become a daily occurrence.

The National Institute of Statistics (INE) in its recent report indicates that 37.9%, which equates to 935,775 children and adolescents, live in absolute poverty, where 31.6% correspond to the poor who are not extremely poor, but 6 .3% of those in extreme poverty. Almost a million minors in a reality of poverty; yet we remain cold to strategies and results whose impact is not visible.

Clearly, more aggressive programs and policies are needed against this situation of vulnerability of our minors on the streets. Illegal and inhumane cannot continue to be seen by all, we must bet on a strong fight against this misfortune until we eliminate this evil from which a large part of our country suffers according to statistics. In addition to the vulnerable state in which this segment of our population lives due to the lack of government coverage, the complaints that affect them relate to a host of other risks and abuses that they suffer. For this reason, it is intolerable that we continue to postpone real and thorough solutions to what concerns this problem.

A serious and responsible country must follow a road map that points, whether in the short, medium or long term, to feasible solutions. There is no family, no person to deny their rights to personhood, what exists and unfortunately abounds are justifications from the authorities who often drop the ball on the causes of this evil that we must cure, sooner or later.

It is more than certain that Paraguayans no longer want to see boys and girls, adolescents in vulnerable conditions; this implies a root solution. It is known that on the street, in addition to homelessness, submission to inappropriate work such as cleaning windows, etc. They expose them and are victims of drug addiction, abuse, prostitution, gambling and various other acts of integrity violence.

The next government, and certainly the others in succession, will have to step up all efforts, because this debt for a solution that we bear in relation to street minors cannot wait any longer, it is an urgency whose answers are increasingly rarely postponed. Political actors, education, control and security agencies, public law, as well as containment and emergency institutions must be ready. Of course, a sensitive and empathetic government that steps on the ground will be essential to move these structures that focus mainly on this reality that urgently needs to be improved.

To this end, it is also evident that more realistic budgets have been allocated for the needs to be met. Providing funds to fund tasks to empower our vulnerable children and youth is one of the best investments a state can make as an initiative.

Not sparing the budget and articulating government organizations to take care of this sector that has been forgotten for years, with the aim of gradually reducing the critical statistics. As citizens, we need to put pressure in these election times so that the next government makes and delivers on the commitment to work and address this very sensitive issue of social vulnerability that our children and young people find themselves in.

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