MEXICO CITY – Kidnappings represent the problem that worries Mexican children the most, according to a report released Wednesday by Save the Children.
“This information shows that children and teenagers are aware of the environment where they live and know that these problems are constant in the country, preventing an equitable development,” Nancy Ramirez of Save the Children Mexico told a press conference.
For the preparation of its VOCES (Voices) report, Save the Children surveyed 3,133 students at 60 public schools in 13 Mexican states.
According to the organization, in 2016, 1,105 minors were murdered, representing an average of three murders per day, while 6,226 were missing.
The report notes that 91 percent of the surveyed children felt safe at home and 83 percent felt safe at school, although only 25 percent perceived their communities as safe.
“We found that, in this complicated context, the voices of children and teenagers are not heard. If they are not listened to at this stage, we will continue to violate their basic rights and lose the opportunity of forming participative adults,” Maria Josefina Menendez, director general of Save the Children Mexico, said.
Save the Children urged the incoming administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who will be sworn in on Dec. 1, to “make a strong commitment to children and teenagers” and develop mechanisms of “effective participation” for minors.
The administration also demanded that children “be protected against every form of violence,” as hostile environments create “toxic stress” that affects their health and academic achievement.