De cuidados especiales
requieren niñas y niños
crecer en ambientes sanos
rodeados de gran cariño
Convención para Cantar. Luisa Pernalete 2020
Article 27 of the CRC establishes that children and adolescents have the right to an adequate standard of living that includes having access to public services ensuring hygiene and healthiness. Communities must be equipped with the essential resources to protect life and encourage human development.
The collapse of water supply, cooking gas, transport and fuel supply services worsens in the period between May and September 2020. The constant and lengthy power outages in the country impact families, hospitals, educational institutions and other essential services. The school year started in online mode, but academic institutions, parents and teachers caution that a considerable swathe of the population doesn’t have stable electricity or internet connection.
Although washing our hands is compulsory due to COVID-19, only 14% of the population has regular access to water: in Boconó (Trujillo state) there was no water supply for 4 consecutive months, while some areas of Baruta (Miranda state) went 800 continuous days with this problem; there are areas in Petare (Miranda state) that haven’t had any water in 2020, and communities that have to pay up to 60 USD for a water tanker.
Due to the lack of cooking gas for many months, families in several states in the country must cook with wood. Inhabitants of certain areas report extremely high prices in USD being charged for a gas canister.
Public transport is failing across the country due to the shortages of fuel and replacement parts. Four women gave birth on the street in Anzoátegui, Zulia, Lara and Monagas states, while an 18-year old girl in labor died while waiting for the vehicle that would take her to the hospital to replenish fuel. Additionally, three children gravely injured by an explosion couldn’t be taken to the hospital in an indigenous community, and neither could a child bitten by snake, who couldn’t even get the serum that would save his life.
The lack of fuel supply has also caused the shutdown of community kitchens, and even funeral parlor and forensic clinics are closed. A family had to walk 12 km with a deceased girl to bury her in Aragua state.
This brief recount of afflictions is enough to portray the immense responsibility that the Venezuelan State is failing to fulfill in order to guarantee a dignified life for children and adolescents in the country. These and other omissions must be explained before the Committee on the Rights of the Child.