The Index of Children's Rights in Mexico 2022

Mexican children and adolescents' rights are not being met, according to the findings of the Index of Children's Rights 2022.

The Index of Children's Rights in Mexico 2022
Ensuring the rights of children and adolescents in Mexico is a priority. Image by simple_tunchi0 from Pixabay

Mario Luis Fuentes Alcalá and Saúl Arellano Almanza, researchers at the University Program of Development Studies (PUED) of the UNAM, emphasized that it is necessary to put children and adolescents at the center of attention since a dignified childhood has not been guaranteed and a development strategy has not been achieved; furthermore, minors are not taken into account because an "adult-centric" perspective prevails in the country.

In presenting at the Law School of the UNAM the diagnostic document called "Index of Children's Rights 2022", five years of non-fulfillment of rights, Fuentes Alcalá explained that in homes and dwellings there is a fracture of origin, limited by poverty, while schools have been eroded and transmit stereotypes and abuses.

He expressed his hope that the document would generate more action "because it is a way of outraging ourselves to show our inadequacies." UNAM should organize more seminars, discussions, and theses on this highly relevant topic.

Arellano Almanza, who was also a co-author of the study, thought it was unacceptable that the quality of life for boys and girls in different parts of the country was different. The worst conditions for children were found in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Puebla, which are the states with the most significant historical lags.

According to the study data, the conditions of Mexican children have not changed in five years, which is a symptom that something is very wrong. Based on statistics and official data, the authors of the index concluded that Mexico is not a good place for children and teens because their inalienable rights are not respected in many places.

The violations, according to both authors in the text, include the rights to life and survival, to health, to being protected from violence to food, to education, and to the right to live in well-being. All these areas are increasingly violated.

Even though the study looks at the years 2016–2020 (before the pandemic), the results show that at least since 2008 (when PUED did the first multidimensional measurement of poverty) and up until 2020, 50 percent or more of the country's population under 18 years old has been poor.

It also shows that, on a scale from 0 to 1, the consequences of not following the constitutional mandate to protect the best interests of the child were, on average, 0.558 from 2016 to 2020.

During the presentation of the diagnosis, held in the Benito Juarez auditorium of the Law School (FD) of the National University, the director of this academic entity, Raul Contreras Bustamante, acknowledged that even though children and adolescents are the future of Mexico, they face problems in different areas. Minors play a big part in 40% of family trials and 30% of civil trials.

"After the pandemic, the already very serious lags in the education sector will be more negative at the primary and secondary levels, where children took classes on television in precarious conditions or shared the device with their siblings." "But in the expenditure budget, there are no additional resources for this item," he pointed out.

For the director of the Institute for Legal Research, Monica Gonzalez Contró, it is a valuable document that has a rights-based approach and is based on Articles One and Four of the Constitution. It shows that there is a constant violation of the guarantees of infants and adolescents, a group of the population that "does not have the same legal capacity to activate their rights and is vulnerable to

Elena Azaola Garrido, a researcher at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS), congratulated the authors for "not taking their finger off the ball" and presenting a forceful summary and a call for indignation. "The Index highlights that so far Mexico has been unable to build a comprehensive institutional framework that makes the rights that our Constitution and various laws recognize for children a reality." The document is a map to outline public policies and programs that benefit this sector of the population.