On May 22, 2019, was held the forum “The education of vulnerable children in San Cristóbal de Las Casas: a collective solution”, a space for dialogue between different sectors of society.
As speakers we had the presence of Jennifer Haza Gutiérrez, general director of Melel Xojobal A.C. ; Kathia Loyzaga Dávila Madrid, consultant for civil society organizations, Miriam Guadalupe Aguilar Trujillo, executive secretary of the Integrated Protection System for Girls, Boys and Adolescents of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Alfredo Ruanova Ortega, Special General Visitor for Children and Adolescents attention.
-What is the central concern regarding working children?
-That they work?
-That they do it in a situation of exploitation?
-The lack of guarantee of their rights?
-That they do not go to school? What role does the destructuring of families have in all this? And the institutions? And the society in general?
-What happens when they combine work, studies and free time and they feel that the work they do is a way to support their families and they feel proud to be working adolescents?
-What are the systems of protection for children? -What resources of this kind do we have in our city?
-Why do we often not allow children to participate and give their opinion on issues that affect them?
-How can we become active citizen observers and defend the rights of these children?
-What changes have there been in the protection law in reference to these issues? The situation that these children live is it the sole concern of their families or it is the responsibility of all?
-To what extent are their lives marked by structural conditions of poverty and neglect?
-How can we organize ordinary people to protect the rights of these young people?
-What actions can be carried out?
These and other questions were put on the table. Hopefully this space serves to make the problem visible and so that when a child comes to sell us crafts or a kilo of tomato in the market we treat them with respect, remembering that he or she is also a subject of rights and that we cannot make invisible a reality that is obvious: many children are working in our streets and in what conditions they do it, in some way, is everyone’s responsibility.