Children raisign their voices to defend their rights

Monday 12 June 2017

Anielka is confident and believes in herself. She is 17 years old and on the occasion of the International Day of the Child celebrated on June 1, she has proven her experience in advocacy, invigorating a high level panel before more than 60 people and with live broadcast by Facebook.

This teenager was calm during the regional launch of the report "Stolen Childhoods", in which she was able to share scenario and comments on the data of the world index in which countries are classified where children face more and less danger with three panelists of Victoria Ward, Regional Director of Save the Children for Latin America and the Caribbean, Marita Perceval, Regional Director of UNICEF and Emerald Arocemena, Rapporteur of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Anielka highlights she will always remember she shared her views as a teenager in high level events such as the report launch, "I`ve shared with representatives who have a very important role to be able to make governments guarantee everything we need. I think it was a great opportunity to be able to express what we need, what we need, and see how they can support our hopes to become a reality".

This teenager, born in the municipality of La Dalia, located in a rural area of Nicaragua, is aware of her role as Regional Spokesperson for the "Every Last Child" global campaign. "The most important thing is to represent children and adolescents from Latin America and the Caribbean and be able to take their voice through me and be able to reflect those realities that we are living, those barriers," she says confidently.

The report confirms birth rate among teenagers in the region is the second highest in all regions: 1 in 13 girls aged 15 to 19 give birth annually. The Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guyana and Guatemala are the countries with the highest rates. "Pregnancy and child marriage are the biggest problems teenagers and girls face in the region," said Anielka during an interview with the Panamanian newspaper La Estrella, just hours before the release of the report. "The future of these girls is tarnished, their lives change completely. Inequality is affecting us a lot and this problem is not just for girls, it affects us all".

"I feel very proud and happy because I know that through me the voices of all the children of Latin America will be heard and I will be able to defend and advocate for their rights", she explained. "When we have a leading role and we are raising our voices to defending our rights, we think about what we want and fight for our dreams and what we want to do".

When we asked about the recipe for children and adolescents to exercise their right to enjoy their childhood and to develop fully, Anielka answered bluntly: "an equitable and fair investment. Because when governments invest in children, it ensure us a better future and a greater social progress for our countries".