Friday, October 26, 2012



AMERICA/CHILE - A program for the protection of street children has begun in the Andes

Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - The "Programa de Niños y Niñas en situación Calle de Los Andes" organized by the Peace and Justice Service (SERPAJ-Chile) began in September, an association based on a culture of peace and human rights. The program provides assistance to 25 boys and girls who live, sleep or spend most of their time on the streets. The main objective is the rehabilitation and/or decrease of this phenomenon through psychosocial, family and community interventions, with proposed alternatives for a good use of free time, enhancement of family ties and a protected life. These little ones are assisted by a social worker, a psychologist and an educator, who in addition to working with children, are committed on a daily basis with those children who spend long periods on the streets during the day. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2012)

AMERICA/COSTA RICA - Every year violence causes the death of 80 000 children in Latin America

San José (Agenzia Fides) - An "epidemic" at a social level continues to rage in Latin American countries: it is violence against children which every year causes the death of approximately 80 000 children. Preventive measures and more information are urgently needed. Latin America is the most violent region in the world, where 28.7% of homicide victims are aged between 10 and 19, 6 million children are abused seriously, are abandoned and exploited. Around the world one child in three does not live in a decent home, one in five does not have drinking water, and one in seven has no access to basic health services. These findings were observed during the seminar "Childhood violence: the urgent need to eradicate the global phenomenon", carried out in San José, in Costa Rica, which has constituted a great opportunity to reflect on the very high rate of abuse and incidence of violence against children, young people and adolescents. In many Latin American countries, children are "educated" with abuse because parents "know no other way", therefore educational programs are also needed for them. Violence in fact will bring dramatic effects on the mental and emotional health of children, who might also reach the point of committing suicide. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2012)