Projects funded by Spanish

Cooperation

The IIN carries out the “Programme for the Promotion and Defence of the Human Rights of the Children of the Americas”, with funding from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). This Programme includes the implementation of three specific projects: 1. The promotion of child participation; 2. Promotion and support for the development of Ombudsmen for child rights, and 3. Unaccompanied migrant children.

In each it has been possible to promote the issues in participating States, by means of the generation of knowledge in the subjects, training, and opportunities for the exchange of experiences and practices (regional meetings).

1. The promotion of child participation

The Inter-American Children’s Institute (IIN), an OAS Specialized Organization, promotes joint work with OAS Member States in order to contribute to the development of public policies for child rights. In its Action Plan for 2007-2011, the IIN includes the generation of “actions in favour of the right to participation and civic education in childhood and adolescence” amongst its anticipated outcomes. In line with the above, some of the activities to be performed during this period include ‘jointly conceptualizing the matter’, ‘preparing documents on the matter in collaboration with States’ and ‘giving advice to States on this matter’.
During the 83rd Meeting of the Directing Council of the IIN, held in Ottawa, Canada, in October 2008, the agenda for the Twentieth Pan American Child Congress held in Lima, Peru, from 23 to 25 September 2009, was discussed and adopted. Child participation was established as one of the thematic focal points for the construction of citizenship and its impact on public policies.
It was decided to form a work group in order to address the conceptual issues arising and to propose the measures to be taken so that participation should, in fact, become one of the main focal points of the Twentieth Pan American Congress – not only in terms of the issues to be discussed but also including the real participation of children at the event. The work group was composed of the following States: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, United States and Uruguay.

Genuine child participation was achieved with the First Pan American Child Forum, held as part of the Twentieth Pan American Congress (September 2009, Peru). As from that event, a network of technical liaison officers was formed, supported and expanded, from 10 to 26 member states at present, and a joint work agenda has been implemented together with the States, made possible by the funds provided for this project by Spanish cooperation, through AECID.

The Project for the Promotion of Child Participation was launched in October 2009, for a term of two years. Its objective is to improve the existing capacity of member states to increase child participation in plans, programmes, projects or actions aimed at addressing matters which affect them. In order to achieve this, the following activities have been carried out:

Update and reinforcement of the website “Nuestra voz a colores” (Our Voice in Colours).

The IIN is maintaining the website at www.nuestravozacolores.org, launched in the context of the First Pan American Child Forum, and which has been updated and improved as part of this Project. This is a bilingual (Spanish/English) website devoted to promoting the exchange of national and regional experiences in the field of child participation, as well as being an interactive online communication and exchange site for children and adults who are involved in promoting this right.

Production, validation and publication of a framework of reference on child participation

One of this project’s outputs was the production of a framework of reference on child participation. The Second Meeting of the Work Group on Child Participation was held in Panama on 9 and 10 December 2009, with the purpose of validating the framework. Eight States took part: Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, United States and Uruguay. Representatives of Plan International, Save the Children and the Spanish Cooperation Agency also attended. In addition, a survey was carried out amongst children with regard to this paper, through the Nuestra Voz a Colores website.

The framework was launched in June 2010, at the third meeting of the work group, has been circulated at different regional meetings and has been used in online and face-to-face courses on participation.

Production, validation and publication of an indicators menu to measure participation

The Third Meeting of the Work Group took place in Uruguay on 24 and 25 June, 2010, with the purpose of analysing and validating the menu of indicators to measure participation. Eleven States took part: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Panama, Peru, Saint Lucia, United States and Uruguay.

The paper was launched in November 2010, at the fourth meeting of the work group, has been circulated at different regional meetings and has been used in online and face-to-face courses on participation.

Production and validation of tools for the promotion of participation

An Intergenerational Regional Meeting on Child Participation – Fourth Meeting of the Participation Work Team was held (18-19 November 2010, Bogotá, Colombia). It was attended by adults and adolescents and technical and political tools for the implementation of strategies for the promotion of participation were presented. The meeting was jointly funded through the participation component in Colombia, Guatemala and Jamaica, which is financed by CIDA, Canada.

It was attended by 25 adolescents (16 girls and 9 boys of between 12 and 17 years of age, as well as by 34 adults, representing 13 countries: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia and Uruguay. Fourteen child participation experiences were presented. Together with this meeting, the first meeting of the Children’s Consultative Councils took place, and the experiences of the delegations from Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay were presented, in addition to those of Paraguay’s discussion assemblies (Asambleas de Diálogo).

Summary of achievements and challenges

The Fifth Meeting of the Work Group on Child Participation took place in Asunción, Paraguay (7-8/July/2011). This was a significant meeting at which an overview of the activities carried out during the period 2008-2011 was performed, as well as of projections and needs related to guaranteeing the right to participate over the next period. As part of the agenda, special note was taken of the guidelines regarding the strengthening and dissemination of consultative councils – adolescents from States which are implementing these councils were present: Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay. The input for this meeting has served to define the work plan for the period 2011-2015 in the context of the institutional Action Plan.

Training human resources


During the last quarter of 2010, an online intergenerational course on training trainers was held, with the participation of adults and adolescents from 13 States: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The contents of the online course form the basis for the face-to-face courses which have been taught in the three participating States in the project funded by Canadian cooperation – Colombia, Guatemala and Jamaica.

In addition, a second version of the online trainers’ training course is taking place in Spanish (July – September 2011), attended by professionals from eight States.

La participacion de niños, niñas y adolescentes en las América. A 20 años de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño: mayo 2010 La participacion de niños, niñas y adolescentes en las América. A 20 años de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño: mayo 2010

La participacion de niños, niñas y adolescentes en las América. A 20 años de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño: mayo 2010

Presentation of the Framework on Participation

3rd Meeting of the Work Group on Child Participation

4th Meeting of the Work Group on Child Participation


2. Promotion and support for the development of Ombudsmen for child rights

As from 2009, the IIN, by means of this project, has been technically supporting and collaborating with national human rights institutions (Ombudsmen) in the States in which it is executed, with the objective of enhancing the capacity to defend and promote child rights of the offices of children’s advocates in member states, within the context of national Ombudsman offices, entitled, for the project “Ombudsmen for Children”. These offices or departments are areas devoted to the defence and promotion of the rights of underage persons within national human rights institutions (Ombudsmen) in the region.


Production and publication of a standard care protocol, validated by Ombudsman Offices, including a study of the status of these offices.

The First Meeting of Child and Youth Advocates was held on December 7-8, 2009 in Panama. Ten Child and Youth Advocacy Offices from ten countries participated. These were Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. Participants also included representatives from UNICEF and the Inter-American Human Rights Institute (IIDH). The purpose of this meeting was to provide an opportunity to share experiences, detect good practices, identify training requirements in this area, and strengthen the specific capabilities of these national entities in order to improve their action regarding the monitoring, defence, and promotion of children’s rights. A work agenda for 2010 was developed as a result of the meeting, as part of the activities contemplated by the project.

The Second Meeting of Ombudsmen for Children was held in Quito, Ecuador, on November 11 and 12, 2010, with the participation of 12 States: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru.

The main purpose of this second workshop was the presentation and validation of the output being developed through the project; namely: the report on the status of Ombudsmen for Children and the Standards Protocol for Ombudsmen for Children. In addition, progress was made on some of the outputs promised for the second year of the project. Regarding online training, those present were consulted on the type of content that would interest them in the context of their work and, in connection with the implementation of an online platform, they were asked about the information and topics that were most closely related to the work of the Ombudsmen.

Work is being carried out at present with some of the participating States for the implementation of the Operating Protocol for Ombudsmen, according to the needs of each NHRI, in order to strengthen their work in defence of the human rights of children.

Training human resources

The IIN, together with the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR), is developing a training course specializing in children’s human rights, aimed particularly at officials of the national human rights institutions (OMBUDSMEN). The course will be taught online over eight weeks, as from 15 August, for officials of institutions in the States in which the project is being implemented.

3. Unaccompanied migrant children

As from September 2010, the IIN has been carrying out the project on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of unaccompanied migrant children. This project is intended to assist the States of Mexico and Guatemala to improve the capacities of their institutions for the protection of the rights of unaccompanied migrant children, focusing its action on the southern border of Mexico and the northern border of Guatemala.

The project’s intervention focus is the southern border of Mexico and the northern border of Guatemala. The first result of this process is the joint definition with the countries participating in the project of a road map for the implementation of the planned activities. Within this framework, training activities will be carried out, specifically involving the process and support for the application of the joint protocol, including the different stakeholders involved in the migratory circuit.

The following activities have been carried out so far:

Institutional analytical study in Guatemala

The purpose of this study was to analyse the capacity of the State of Guatemala to care for unaccompanied migrants children and to identify and systematize the procedures carried out during the stages of reception, care, protection and delivery of migrant children to their families.

Guatemala-Mexico First Binational Workshop

The First Guatemala-Mexico Binational Workshop took place on 28 and 29 April 2011, in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. In the workshop, among other aspects, the programme for the care of migrant children in border areas was presented: methodology and procedures employed in Mexico, as well as the results of the analytical study on capacity for the care of migrant children in Guatemala.

The workshop was attended, representing Guatemala, by the Secretaría de Bienestar Social de la Presidencia de Guatemala – SBS (Social Welfare Secretariat of the Presidency of Guatemala), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the General Directorate for Migration, the office of the Prosecutor General and the consulates of Guatemala in Mexico. For Mexico, the Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia – DIF (National System for Comprehensive Family Development) attended, as well as the National Migration Institute.

In addition, work was done in connection with the identification and discussion of aspects of the migratory circuit, with an emphasis on the care provided by both States, and interinstitutional coordination between the institutions involved in the prompt resolution of situations affecting children. This, with a view to the production of an operational protocol.

Traineeship for Guatemalan officials to study a care model for unaccompanied migrant children

The objective was to analyse in practice the care model which Mexico has established for unaccompanied migrant children, through the route they travel in Mexico’s migratory circuit, including the country’s northern and southern borders, and the migrants’ places of origin. Participants were able to study the care provided in Mexico’s northern and southern borders, including visits to DIF and civil society border care modules and shelters, as well as day centres for migrant children. In this way, they travelled the institutional route taken by migrant children in Mexico, and identified lessons to be applied in Guatemala.

At the same time, they visited the municipality of San Miguel el Alto, in the state of Jalisco, in order to become acquainted with the interesting work carried out in originating areas, with the participation of young leaders in projects involving the strengthening of local roots and the prevention of the risks of migration. The activities of the traineeship took place with the participation of officials from the Social Welfare Secretariat (SBS, in Spanish), and the office of the Prosecutor General of Guatemala, as well as from the System for the Comprehensive Development of Families (national and state).

The activities concluded at the offices of the national DIF in Mexico City, where a technical meeting was held in order to determine the steps to be followed next, with the participation of the head of DIF, Mrs. Cecilia Landerreche.

Consultancy in support of the production of the operational protocol
A consultancy has begun in order to draft this paper during the third and fourth quarters of the year. This will conclude with its validation and the agreement of both States at the second binational workshop planned for the fourth quarter and to be held in Mexico.

Guatemala-Mexico First Binational Workshop

Traineeship for Guatemalan officials to study a care model for unaccompanied migrant children



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