Children and adolescents in Peru: “We demand actions against racism, xenophobia and discrimination”
“A lot of us hide where we’re from because they don’t like us. Discrimination affects us emotionally, it affects us as people, it affects our performance, many of us fall into terrible depression. How to get ahead when you are limited even by the way you speak?”, was the testimony of Ana Paula, a 15-year-old Venezuelan teenager.
Ana Paula has lived in Lima for two years and her interest in raising her voice about discrimination and xenophobia led her to work with other children and adolescents, representatives of organizations to draw attention against the critical situation of violence they experience, emphasizing the importance of being heard, that their leading role in the decisions that involve them be guaranteed, and with clear commitments from the State, international organizations, and civil society.
Also Taariq, an Afro-descendant adolescent, remarked “Adults do not take us into account and that limits our freedom, it is frustrating that they do not listen to our voice”, emphasizing many boys and girls of the Afro-Peruvian people suffer discrimination because of the color of their skin. In addition, she questioned that a logic centered on the vision of adults still predominates in the management of decision-making spaces.
The children’s representatives participated in the parallel event of the OAS, organized by Save the Children Peru, they spoke with international specialists, to raise awareness about this problem. After exchanging opinions and raising some priority issues, the event culminated with the Declaration of Indigenous, Afro-descendant, Migrant and Refugee Children and Adolescents demanding action against Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination.
The Country Director of Save the Children Peru, Verónica Valdivieso, considered this space essential to address the dimensions of inequality and the urgent action against racism, xenophobia and discrimination, which limits the rights of children and adolescents. During the event “Structural racism, xenophobia and childhood in Latin America”, a meeting parallel to the Assembly of the Organization of American States held in Lima.