Paraguay’s Presidency candidates commit to children
CCFC, as part of a coalition, secures promise from key politicians to endorse 20 commitments to improving children’s lives
By Rosanna Menchaca, communications manager, Paraguay
Paraguayans are preparing to elect a new President April 22, and we’re excited to report the two main candidates have signed 20 commitments (see below) to protect the rights of children and youth.
CCFC, as co-lead of the Front of Childhood and Adolescence coalition of non-governmental organizations, helped make these commitments possible.
The responses from candidates have been very positive. “We are committed to all points; our commitment is firm,” affirmed Efrain Alegre (below, centre), the Ganar Alliance candidate. He added: “The point [about accountability] summarizes everything; that's why we're going to meet once a year and find out if we’re doing [our] homework.”
In a separate event, Mario Abdo Benitez (above), the Colorado Party candidate, said the commitments represent “an enormous challenge, since children and adolescents represent almost 40 percent of the country population.” He also emphasized the importance of following through with the commitments. We understand “the future of our nation depends on these policies.”
At both events, Jorge Méndez Rheineck, country director for CCFC in Paraguay, stressed the importance of children and youth participating in the process. “They’re part of the Front in a substantial, core and structural way,” he said. “They’ll also join us throughout the follow-up process.”
One of the young representatives, who was part of the discussion, added “It makes us very happy the candidates made a commitment to us.”
The 20 commitments
- make notable public investment in children and youth
- strengthen national protection system
- strengthen role of National Secretariat for Children and Adolescents
- expand access to improved water and sanitation services
- create universal care for early childhood
- create universal healthcare for children, youth, pregnant women and mothers
- expand sexual and reproductive health services
- end AIDS epidemic and other communicable diseases in children and youth
- promote equality and empowerment of girls and young women
- expand and improve education
- strengthen comprehensive services for children and youth with disabilities
- ensure births are registered
- promote efficient adoptions to reduce the number of institutionalized children
- protect children and youth from violence
- eradicate worst forms of child labour and protect youth who work
- improve lives of indigenous children and youth
- hold government accountable to 20 commitments, and promote similar processes at departmental and municipal levels
- strengthen participation of children and youth in decisions affecting them
- ensure comprehensive care for adolescents in conflict with Law
- promote recreation, play and participation in artistic and cultural activities
This is the second time organizations have gathered to move this agenda forward — this time in response to a call from CCFC. UNICEF made a similar call during the 2013 Presidential elections.
About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-centred international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For nearly 60 years, CCFC has worked with children, communities, donors and other partners — changing lives through improved health, education and clean water. CCFC works in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, to support more than 700,000 children, youth and community members.