Notice our logo above. Translation: "Let's solve the root problem. We demand that the State make fundamental reforms to prevent tragedies and to protect abandoned children, today and always. Justice for the victims! Protection for at-risk children!"
Below is more information about what occurred at Hogar Seguro in San José Pinula. At this time, 40 teenage girls have died.
Also, note that EVERYONE can sign the ONLINE petition.
(Only the written petition in Guatemala is for reserved for Guatemalan citizens.)
Hello, friends. A few days ago, there was a huge tragedy (that included a fire) in one of the governmental homes for children and teens in Guatemala. So far, 38 teen girls have died badly burned. There are a few theories as to the origin of the fire and why it took so long for anyone to do anything about it. All of the theories are sad and disturbing. The common theme and background is that the children were being abused in various ways and that authorities knew about it and did nothing. The details make me sick to my stomach. Examples of abuse/neglect: 1) The teenage girls were being prostituted by those in charge. 2) When the teens refused or protested, their punishment was to get locked up. 3) Young women who lived and “graduated” from there went to different authorities to report all of the various forms of abuse and neglect, but their pleas were ignored. 4) Someone noticed that the sponge mattresses the girls slept on had holes in them. The reason? The teens used them as feminine napkins because they didn’t have any. 5) The government housed under one roof children taken from their homes due to abuse, neglect or poverty AND delinquent minors. 6) The nine teenage girls who were not burnt and were thus transferred to another care home after the fire are ALL pregnant.
On Tuesday, March 14th, Guatemalans will gather to submit petitions to (the Guatemalan) Congress. Below is an informal translation of the petition that you can read in Spanish on change.org. For those of you who know about the Hogar Rafael Ayau (a private Orthodox Orphanage) or of Igumeni Inés (the Abbess), they fully support this call to action. Please help spread the word and consider signing the petition yourselves. (The change.org petition can be signed by everyone. The legal proposals are only accepted from Guatemalan citizens, and they will have to sign on paper.)
It is with deep regret and indignation, that we, the undersigned, in the face of the unfortunate events that took place in the Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción on Wednesday, March 8, hereby exercise our constitutional right of petition, put aside indifference and advocate for the long-term welfare of the 20,000 children who are still victims of the National Council of Adoptions, CNA, the State entity responsible for this tragedy. As Guatemalans, we demand:
1. Of the Public Prosecutor's Office, to immediately prosecute the directors dismissed by President Jimmy Morales who chose to mix youths in conflict with the (criminal) law with abused or homeless children within the facilities they oversaw. And that all material evidence, including available videos, be made public in order to prosecute all personnel responsible for the crimes committed.
Deadline for first capture: Immediately.
2. Of all the deputies of the Congress of the Republic, to repeal Decree 77/2007 which gave birth to the CNA (National Council of Adoptions) and gave it a corrupt monopoly over all the adoptions and care homes, removing from the judges in charge of childhood and adolescent law the authority to decide on the future of these young people.
Deadline: March 31, 2017.
3. Of Congress, to reinstate notary adoption and judicial adoption into the Civil Code.
Deadline: March 30
4. Of the Public Prosecutor's Office, to create a Special Prosecutor's Office Against Irregular Adoptions and Abuse of Minors to pursue anyone who abuses adoption rights by acting against the welfare of the children.
Deadline: March 30, 2017.
5. Of the Executive Agency, to prepare a regulation attached to the Civil Code that will expedite the legal process of care for abandoned and at-risk children. We have enough Juvenile Judges who know their work and have the experience.
Deadline: Thursday, April 6, 2017.
6. Of all deputies of the Congress, to make it a crime, (punishable by imprisonment and not released on bail), to mix young people in conflict with the Criminal Law with children in care homes and orphanages.
Deadline: March 30, 2017
7. Following these changes, we demand of the Attorney General's Office and all Childhood and Adolescence Judges to ensure that every adoption be expeditious, transparent and efficient, with priority being given to the well-being of the child who has the right to be part of a safe and stable family.
Deadline: April 1
8. We demand that UNICEF funds be used to construct and maintain Exclusive Correctional Centers for Minors in Conflict with the Criminal Law and thereby definitively separate them from the risky coexistence with children in care homes and orphanages.
Deadline to deliver the first center: September 15, 2017.
9. We demand from all CNA care home directors that starting today, Friday, March 10, they allow access to all media that request to enter and document their work.
In order for people who have the good will to form individual homes with state supervision and permanently and efficiently care for these children, it is imperative to make these changes urgently.
Sign the Change.org petition here
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