|Saturday, 31 July 2004 00:00|
LATIN AMERICAN MOVEMENT
The continental organization MOLACNATS is made up of national Movements of Working Children and Adolescents of several Latin American countries. In MOLACNATS, the meetings are run by children; they also decide what strategies the Movement should follow and what actions it should take.
In the decision-making bodies there aren’t any adults; they just accompany the children, playing an educational role.
The local groups of each movement struggle to attain better services and assistance to improve the living conditions of working children. Although on the one hand, survival is all too often the primary objective, children gradually understand than they sometimes need more than a meal or a place to sleep.: They also need to become aware of their own rights, they need their status as workers to be acknowledged, and they need to identify themselves as a group.
Children thus become aware of the importance of living in dignity and respecting themselves. They organise demonstrations for such fundamental needs, and actions to condemn abuses and to claim their rights. Within a few years, such actions have yielded important results: the Peruvian Governement has granted them an advisory role during the ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
MOLACNATS has 3 main focuses of action that are put into effect through its local groups :
1. Participation in the protection and promotion of child rights, and the rights of Working Children in particular. To do this, children create small organizations both where they work and in the communities in which they live, in order to interact with society. The local and national networks of working children and adolescents come together and organize themselves into Movements, whose aim is to raise public awareness through a series of initiatives;
2. Development of programmes tailored to local needs and to the experiences of Working Children and Adolescents: schools for WC, social and vocational training projects;
a) To condemn the total lack of public policies and protection measures devoted to children and adolescents;
b) To condemn the implementation of governmental policies against the Working Children, as such approaches violate the underlying principle of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as happened in , and
c) To actively participation in the development of policies for the protection of Working Children and Adolescents, as is the case in .
Member of the Latin American Organization:
ONATS COL: Columbia
Guatemala, Argentina, Mexico, Nicaragua and El Salvador
Movements' web sites
Movimiento nacional de Nats organizados del Peru (National Movement of organized working children in Peru)