Claudio X. Gonzalez Guajardo on Mexico's Little Children: The Invisible Ones
Claudio X. Gonzalez Guajardo - Reforma
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June 7, 2014

The scientific evidence is conclusive: there is no better investment, in terms of human capital development, than what is done in the first stage of life. During a child’s first six years we need to have the greatest care and positive impact. After this, it could be too late.

Mexican parents and authorities have not seen or attended to this. For example, there are states where 40 percent of newborns do not even have a birth certificate. The number for the country is 18 percent. This makes them invisible to the Mexican State.

Other data reinforces the fact that we don’t prioritize our childhood: Mexico invests half of what Chile does on its children from 0 to 6 years old and a third of what South Korea invests on its children of the same category.

And what about childhood conditions of poverty, malnutrition and mistreatment:

  • 56 percent of children under five years old live in poverty.
  • 38 percent of those under two years old suffer from anemia, which, if not corrected in time, can have irreversible consequences.
  • Most don't get enough early stimulation; we are ranked lowest by the OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] on day care coverage and only four out of ten Mexican children three-year olds attend preschool [which the state is mandated to provide].
  • 16 percent live in overcrowded conditions, which leads to the following painful fact: every two days, one child under age four becomes a victim of homicide.

For all of this, Mexico has failed on matters of rights for young children. And if we failed on these matters, we fail on everything else as well. It is as simple as it is tragic.

Read the rest at Mexico Voices

Translated by Penn Tomassetti

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