Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat Reforma
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) urged the Mexican State to take all necessary actions to ensure the safety and integrity of all populations and that no child, adolescent or adolescent is recruited by armed groups.
He also indicated that it is essential that conditions of development are generated in these communities so that girls, boys and adolescents can exercise their rights in equal opportunities and develop their full potential.
“Children and adolescents in Mexico must be protected against this unacceptable practice, since it is an obligation of the Mexican State derived from International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law,” said Christian Skoog – representative of Unicef in Mexico.
In a statement, after it became known that in Guerrero self-defense groups presented minors as new members, the UN agency condemned the recruitment and use of children and adolescents in armed groups and warned about the harmful effects of this practice in their human development and in the fulfillment of their rights.
“Regardless of which armed group or organization a child or adolescent is recruited, for whom it is sponsored and for what purpose, this recruitment is a practice that directly undermines their human rights,” said Christian Skoog.
The organization said that the recruitment of children under 18 in armed groups is always the result of forced action, and one of the worst forms of violence and exploitation to which children and adolescents may be exposed, since it affects their personal integrity and violates their rights to survival and development, protection, health, education and recreation, among many other rights.
One of the most serious consequences is that it affects your expectations and your life project.
“The consequences of recruitment in armed groups can be extremely serious for a child both physically and emotionally, they lose their childhood,” Skoog said.
“Children and adolescents associated with armed forces are exposed to violence, as they are often forced to witness or commit acts that threaten the physical integrity and life of other people, and are at high risk of being abused, exploitation and dropout, suffer physical and psychological injuries and even death.”
UNICEF recalled that Mexico has adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international instrument that establishes the obligation of the State to protect children from all forms of ill-treatment and violence, as well as to establish preventive and attention measures.
Similarly, Mexico is part of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the participation of children in armed conflicts, which states that the States Parties must do everything necessary so that those under 18 do not participate actively in hostilities.