Pathfinder Roadmap - Mexico
The Mexican State has made important commitments to advance the protection of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents, most notably through the adoption of the General Law of the Rights of Girls, Boys and Adolescents in 2014, and the establishment of a broad system of comprehensive protection involving the three branches and levels of Government, with the aim to guarantee the rights of the 39.2 million of girls, boys and adolescents that live in México, as well as of the migrant children in transit in the country.
This General Law meets international human rights standards and contains provisions of comprehensive protection aimed at guaranteeing all rights of girls, boys and adolescents through prevention, promotion and monitoring, as well as through special protection focused on handling and responding to those cases in which their rights have been violated or threatened, in order restore their full exercise.
The right of girls, boys and adolescents to have a life free from violence is a guiding principle in our normative framework, which must regulate the formulation of actions and mechanisms to ensure their development and integrity in all circumstances, as well as the responsibility of the family, the society and the State to protect them from all forms of abuse.
The Mexican State faces challenges to advance the elimination of all forms of violence against the population, and for this reason it is committed to participate in the initiative of the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children as a Pathfinder Country, and consolidate specific and coordinated actions with the various actors involved, including the girls, boys and adolescents themselves.
This roadmap defines the priorities of the first stage of work for the Partnership, which will include a period of two years geared to promote a State policy focused in making effective the right to a life free of violence through prevention, treatment and response strategies, as established in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the General Law.
Actions in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals
Within the framework of commitment and leadership that México has had in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030, SDG), the “Project-country 25 to 25: national goals for the rights of girls, boys and adolescents”, which defines a State agenda to ensure the fulfillment of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents, contains twenty-five national goals that altogether chart a strategic route towards the year 2025 to close inequality gaps, prevent violence and combat discrimination, to effectively implement the paradigm shift that places them as subject and rights-holders, as well as to have a positive impact on their well-being during their every-day lives.
The Global Partnership is linked to this Project-country through their objectives of prevention, treatment, fight against violence, special protection and access to justice. Therefore, it seeks to have a clear and specific answer to reach Goal 16 regarding peace, justice and strong institutions, articulating goal 16.2 and other objectives of the SDGs directly related to the prevention and fight of all forms of violence against girls, boys and adolescents.
This approach is based on a clear political will of all the institutions in the Mexican State in favor of childhood and adolescence. In this regard, México has amended the Agreement for the Creation of the Specialized Technical Committee of the Millennium Development Goals, established in 2010, to become the Specialized Technical Committee of the Sustainable Development Goals. This Committee is responsible for measuring progress in the implementation of the SDGs and mapping each of the goals, targets and indicators with the relevant Government institutions. In this context, through the momentum of the Global Partnership, we will give priority to the objectives related to the prevention and eradication of violence against children.
Finally, México will be one of the 22 countries that will participate in the Voluntary National Reviews within the framework of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council of the Organization of the United Nations, which will take place on 11-20 July, 2016, at the headquarters of the United Nations.
Within the framework of the strategies that the Global Partnership proposes as key elements for the prevention and treatment of violence against girls, boys and adolescents, four priorities have been defined to advance in a first implementation stage in México:
1. Capacity for the implementation of laws and policies
México is a federal republic composed of 32 federal entities: 31 free and sovereign States and the city of México, all part of the National System for the Comprehensive Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents (SIPINNA). These entities have established, in turn, their own protection system, presided by the person who holds the Local Executive Power, and composed of institutions and entities related to the protection of rights.
This strategy focuses on the implementation of the General Law by strengthening the capacities of the National System and the State Systems for Comprehensive Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents, to prevent and address violence against girls, boys and adolescents, and to guarantee their right to the protection of their integrity. This entails strengthening the coordination mechanisms among the institutions of the different branches of Government contemplated in the General Law.
2. Treatment and response to services
The General Law created a Federal Attorney and state Attorneys for the Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents in each federal entity, with the authority to determine and coordinate the implementation, as well as monitor the measures for the comprehensive protection and restitution of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents established in the legislation.
For the attention and response in cases of violence against girls, boys and adolescents, a strategic priority for the country will be strengthening these attorney agencies of protection, ensuring that they perform fully to guarantee the attention, protection and restitution of the right of girls, boys and adolescents to live free from all forms of violence.
3. Data and indicators
To address all forms of violence against girls, boys and adolescents it is necessary to have clear, disaggregated and updated information and data, which will allow to identify the challenges and gaps in the compliance of rights, as well as the types of violence exerted against girls, boys and adolescents. This should be the basis on which is for all actions that seek to put an end to violence must be structured and implemented.
The General Law mandates the creation of national and state information systems, whose aim is to have disaggregated data allowing to monitor the progress made in the fulfilment of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents in the country, including qualitative and quantitative indicators.
This strategy will seek to identify information gaps at the federal and state levels in order to advance its eradication, as well as to maximize the use of the existing information to strengthen actions to eliminate all forms of violence against girls, boys and adolescents.
4. Safe environments
Besides in the domestic setting, much of the risk or exposure to violence is experienced in educational, community or public spaces; therefore, safe environments are essential to achieve a preventive and effective response with positive impacts on the well-being of girls, boys and adolescents.
This strategy seeks to identify and boost initiatives and strategies from different areas in order to generate spaces and contexts that are safe for children, as well as to strengthen the actions implemented in the matter, in particular in community and public schools settings, and in areas with educational lags and social shortcomings.
Commitments and international actions
In the last years, México has contributed and participated actively in different initiatives and projects at the regional and international level related to the protection of girls, boys and adolescents against violence, particularly on corporal punishment, exploitation and sexual abuse on line (We Protect and the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online), bullying, missing children, as well as other initiatives aimed to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence that violate their human rights.
By participating in these projects, the Mexican State has sought to articulate joint efforts with different actors around the world to advance towards a childhood and adolescence free of violence. In this context, a coordination mechanism of the main international initiatives will be launched through a Dedicated Task Force to be integrated into the framework of the Global Partnership.
This process will be linked to the fulfillment of México’s international obligations according to the international human rights treaties and their monitoring mechanisms, particularly the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which in its concluding observations to México acknowledged the actions carried out to date and recommended intensified efforts to address, prevent and combat situations of violence faced by girls, boys and adolescents in different areas, with special emphasis on issues such as access to justice, special protection and statistical information related to this phenomenon.
Institutional coordination and non-governmental actors
Any strategy to prevent and respond to violence in México requires high level inter-agency coordination. In the framework of the Global Partnership, this will build upon the determination and distribution of responsibilities established by the General Law for all powers and levels of Government, as well as attending the obligation to incorporate the participation of the social and private sector and of girls, boys and adolescents, to advance in guaranteeing their rights. The priorities chosen in this first stage will allow to identify clearly the attribution and execution of such responsibilities.
In the interest of coordinating the participation of México as a in the framework of the Global Partnership, as well as coordinating the actions to be carried out in the field of prevention and response to violence affecting girls, boys and adolescents, an inter-agency group was established, composed by more than 15 institutions specialized in different subjects, such as education, health, safety, development, law enforcement, special protection, discrimination, disability and migration, all of them in addition to the representation of the judicial and legislative branches. This group has met on three occasions, most importantly on the occasion of visit of the Ms. Susan Bissell, the Director of the Partnership, from the 27 to the 31 of May 2016; its purpose was to identify the needs and opportunities specific for México. Ms. Bissell also met with 25 civil society organizations and held private meetings with various federal authorities.
These working groups will coordinate the implementation of this roadmap and the actions that derive from it. Civil society organizations have also expressed their interest to collaborate in this process by monitoring the actions carried out within the framework of the Partnership, fostering and promoting at local and municipal level the agenda to prevent and combat violence, cooperating in the mechanisms that allow the participation of girls, boys and adolescents, as well as contributing to the development of strategies for building implementation capability at the local level.
Participation of girls, boys and adolescents
The Mexican State recognizes that girls, boys and adolescents should have a key role in the exercise of their rights, as well as the possibility to decide on all aspects of their life. To this end, it is necessary to ensure their effective and appropriate participation in the decision-making process of matters that concern them, including the design and implementation of public actions related to the prevention, treatment and response to violence.
The legal framework in México sets as a guiding principle the right of girls, boys and adolescents to participation, in order to be listened to and taken into account in matters of their interest; therefore, all the authorities should implement mechanisms that ensure their permanent and active participation in decisions that are taken in all areas, including the one that are related to the creation and implementation of programs and policies for the respect and comprehensive protection of their rights.
Therefore, the actions carried out in the framework of the Global Partnership will include the participation of girls, boys and adolescents in different processes, methodologies and tools suitable for this purpose.
Project-country 25-25 also incorporates child participation as a central element to be considered in the measures taken to ensure the enjoyment of their rights on the basis of their own aspirations and desires.
Monitoring of actions
The monitoring of the actions of implementation within the framework of the Global Partnership will be carried out by the inter-agency group created for this process and the national and state systems of comprehensive protection, and must include the participation of civil society organizations as well as girls, boys and adolescents.
Next steps (commitments)
- Action plan: Detail the main activities that are included in the working plan for the implementation of the roadmap during the first stage to advance the protection of the right of girls, boys and adolescents to a life free of violence.
- National system of comprehensive protection of girls, boys and adolescents: Incorporate as a priority the actions of the Global Partnership in the National Protection System through a coordination agreement with protection systems and agencies at state level.
- Second visit and national launch: Within the framework of the second follow-up visit to México of Ms. Susan Bissell, Director of the Partnership, in 2016, to launch the Global Partnership at the national level.
- Dialogue on prevention, treatment and response to violence: Promote dialogue between authorities of the three branches of Government responsible for implementing policies and actions in response to violence, in particular with the protection agencies.
- Joint initiatives against violence: In the framework of the Global Partnership, define a mechanism to articulate the main initiatives for prevention, treatment and response to violence against girls, boys and adolescents.
- Social dialogue: Promote collaborative dialogues with civil society organizations and other non-governmental actors committed to the agenda of prevention and response to violence against girls, boys and adolescents.
- Information and statistics: Strengthen and develop methodologies and indicators on violence against girls, boys and adolescents, within the framework of the national system of information and state information systems.
- International cooperation: Exchange experiences, information and technical advice through dialogue with other pathfinder countries, as well as interested countries in the Latin American region, within the framework of the participation of México in the Global Partnership.