OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Photo: Jose M. Correa

Our childhood is today more threatened than ever. Its longstanding and known enemies, such as poverty and disease, have been joined by others of a much greater impact. The number of children and adolescent victims of terrorism, the escalation of armed conflicts, and the increase in displaced persons are increasingly alarming.

This according to Deputy Minister of Justice Rosa Charro Ruiz, speaking during the inauguration of the Third International Conference on Child Protection this Wednesday, May 24, which will run though May 26 in Havana’s Hotel Palco. The event is an opportunity for specialists and researchers from 11 countries to analyze and debate issues regarding childhood and adolescence, and seek concrete solutions.

The deputy minister called for new alliances and the strengthening of existing ones, among institutions, organizations, agencies and countries, to work systematically for the training and participation, not only of adults, but also of children and adolescents, in promoting a culture of recognition, respect and the guarantee of their rights.

In addressing the situation in Cuba, Charro Ruiz referred to the legal framework that supports child protection, which includes the Civil Code, the Criminal Code, the Civil Registry Law, and other norms.

Beyond legal recognition, the Cuban system is based on the design, implementation and evaluation of social policies and programs in the areas of health, education, arts, culture, sport, recreation and social security, with the broadest possible participation of different agencies, social organizations and civil society.

In addition, the specialist stressed that the Childhood and Youth Code – Cuba’ special law on the protection of children and adolescents – supports and develops principles contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, such as equality and non-discrimination, and also includes premises and characteristics in line with the island’s own social and legal system, such as comprehensive participation and education.

She stressed that another example of Cuba’s work in this area is the hosting of this event, supported by UNICEF, which has contributed to an important group of projects aimed at increasingly benefiting the island’s children.

Meanwhile, Amanda Martín, a UNICEF child protection specialist, noted that the international organization accompanies countries in the process of improving the guarantees of children’s rights, and supports the fight against all forms of violence.