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World Vision Dominican Republic holds a national forum for the protection and rights of children

The international organization World Vision Dominican Republic, within the framework of the month of the fight against child labor, developed the “National Forum: Protection of children and adolescents”, with the motto: “Children’s Rights in the Dominican Republic: advances and challenges 2003-2022”, with the purpose of drawing attention to the need to continue joining forces for the comprehensive protection of this population. The activities around the forum began in April, with a massive day of collecting signatures in support of the approval of the Positive Parenting Law, whose consolidated book will be delivered to the Commission on Children, Adolescents and Family of the Chamber of Deputies, in the culminating part of this event.

In this sense, during the event the results of the Study on the Quality of the Guarantee Services and Restitution of Children’s Rights in the municipalities of direct programmatic impact of World Vision Dominican Republic were presented, as well as the National Meeting of Community Networks and Municipal Child Protection. Likewise, the analysis was presented: “Evolution of Violence against Children and Adolescents, since the approval of Law 136-03”, with emphasis on Child Labor, Early Unions and Adolescent Pregnancy, all this complemented by conferences and panels on prevention of child abuse, the protection system and children’s rights.

The event was led by key actors from the Child Protection System such as the president of the National Council for Children and Adolescents (CONANI), Ana Cecilia Morun, representatives of the Cabinet for Children and Adolescents (GANA), members of the Coalition of NGOs for Children, Protection Networks, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Women, respectively; while for World Vision, the host team was led by Juan Carlo Ramirez, national director, and Johnny Bidó, advocacy and external relations manager.

In this regard, Bidó assured that World Vision fights day after day to protect children from all forms of abuse or mistreatment. “Our goal is to promote gentle, alternative and non-violent parenting. Together we can advocate for the eradication of physical, verbal and psychological violence against children and adolescents. We firmly believe that everyone should have the right to develop their identity, to learn, to live in a safe environment that is free from aggression, physical and humiliating punishment, sexual abuse and exploitation”, he emphasized.

Currently, in the Dominican Republic, according to data on violence against children published in ENHOGAR 2019, it indicates that 64% of Dominican children suffer violent discipline, with infants between 3 and 4 years of age being the most affected. At the same time, 29% of the victims of reported sexual crimes are minors, and many of them are forced to have sex with tourists in exchange for money. These are just some of the challenges that must be faced for the protection of girls and boys, but there are many more such as child labor, street children, the migrant child population, malnutrition, the need to create community spaces for healthy recreation, among other aspects.

In relation to this, World Vision Dominican Republic has focused its work on helping children and adolescents in vulnerable conditions so that they can exercise their rights, receive a tender upbringing and are protected against violence, abuse and sexual exploitation. It has launched various programs and special projects, holding forums, journalism and audiovisual contests, initiatives that promote child protection and contribute to the development of community leadership skills, forming protection networks, training families on the protection of childhood and the prevention of all forms of violence.
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