Dialogue and social awareness to guarantee child rights in Mexico

By Geisel García Graña

Photo: Charlein Gracia, on Unsplash

One out of every two Mexican children and adolescents is living in poverty. UNICEF’s 2018 Situation Analysis of Children in Mexico reveals a country with significant inequalities concerning the guarantee of different rights including access to health, education and basic services such as water and sanitation.

To address this reality, UNICEF has developed different strategies. These are aimed at improving education services, including water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure in schools, assistance in preschool education and the education rights of migrant children. 

GlobalCAD will support UNICEF in achieving a positive and measurable impact on social norms and behaviours related to these three areas through thematic communication strategies for each of them.

Within the framework of these strategies, the results of the projects and programmes implemented in the country will be disseminated in order to raise public awareness on these issues. GlobalCAD and UNICEF will work on the development of key messages and dissemination channels, as well as tools and approaches to facilitate dialogue, participation and involvement of children, families and communities.

The situation of children and adolescents in Mexico

Since the start of 2021, the number of migrant children reported in Mexico has increased sharply from 380 to nearly 3,500, according to UNICEF. On many occasions, this population’s rights of access to school are violated, despite the existence of a regional and national framework to guarantee their fulfilment.

Moreover, many pre-school children do not attend specialised educational centres. Despite the fact that early childhood is key for later learning in school, it is estimated that only 78.9% of children from the poorest households have adequate development in their first years.

In the field of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools, there are also deficiencies that have an impact on the prevalence of school absenteeism. According to UNICEF data, 19 per cent of schools in the country lack sufficient toilets for students, and 58 per cent of schools do not provide safe drinking water.

The strategies that GlobalCAD will develop with UNICEF will be designed and implemented between 2021 and early 2022.