Indigenous, afro-descendent, migrant and refugee children and adolescents demand action against racism, xenophobia and discrimination
Honorable representatives of the State, Organization of American States, Civil Society and Business Sector:
After 200 years of life as a republic, it is painful to confirm that today thousands of children and adolescents in Peru suffer the consequences of racism and xenophobia that adults have not been able to eradicate. We note that the consequences of these problems particularly affect Indigenous, Afro-descendant, migrant and refugee children and adolescents.
In order to measure the magnitude and urgency of combating these scourges, we must consider that in the region there are 670 indigenous peoples and more than 130 million Afro-descendants. In addition, according to UNICEF, more than 6.3 million children and adolescents are migrants and more than 10 million are refugees.
Taking into account the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Related Forms of Intolerance, the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination, the Plan of Action for the Decade of Afro-descendants in the Americas (2016-2025), the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Plan of Action on the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2022-2026), the Inter-American Principles on the Human Rights of All Migrants, Refugees, Stateless Persons, and Victims of Trafficking in Persons and the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance.
Regarding the OAS General Assembly to be held in Lima, whose motto is “Together against Inequality and Discrimination”, the Indigenous, Afro-descendant and migrant children and adolsecents have spoken and demand concrete actions against racism and xenophobia, both evils that undoubtedly harm their well-being, limit their rights and seriously compromise their future.
Children and adolescents demand that the authorities and adults in general:
To have representation and to have their voices heard in all spaces where actions or policies involving children and adolescents are decided; that their right to education be guaranteed, taking care that schools are safe and egalitarian places, where an anti-racist approach is applied and that recognizes diversity; that their right to health be guaranteed, ensuring that access to these services is not limited by nationality or immigration status; and that concrete actions are urgently applied to reverse the adult-centered logic that still dominates the management of the State, international organizations and society.
The children and adolescents of indigenous or native peoples, with special emphasis, ask that the school curriculum recognize their identities, their languages, and their traditions, without reducing them to subjects that stand out for folkloric expressions. Ensuring that their visions and priorities for development are included in the design and execution of the curriculum.
Afro-Peruvian children and adolescents, for their part, join the request for recognition of their identities in the school curriculum, demand that discrimination based on skin color be tackled and that policies be implemented to combat the stereotypes with which they are historically associated in a racist manner that deprive them of exercising fundamental rights. Likewise, the implementation of intercultural policies must be ensured so that difference does not become inequality, and that the school curriculum recognizes the contribution of Africans and their descendants to the construction of the nation.
Children and adolescents from groups in human mobility demand respect for the fact that their fundamental rights have no borders, and ask that their access to education, health and protection be guaranteed without restrictions based on their migratory status (regular or irregular) or that of their families.
Indigenous, Afro-descendant, migrant and refugee children and adolescents, as subjects of rights, demand that adults guarantee them conditions that allow them to be the main protagonists and architects of their own present and future. Likewise, that they implement the inter-American and international instruments related to children and adolescants, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, migrants and refugees.
STRUCTURAL RACISM, XENOPHOBIA AND CHILDHOOD
Made up of Save the Children Peru, the Department of Social Inclusion of the Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Network of High Authorities on Policies for the Afro-descendant Population (RIAFRO), the Center for Ethnic Development (CEDET), the Center for Indigenous Cultures in Peru (CHIRAPAQ) and the Ministry of Culture of Peru.