Article 19 of the CRC establishes that States must implement all actions, policies and measures to protect children and adolescents against abuse, negligence and mistreatment.
According to reports, between May and September, 2020, 107 children and adolescents have died while 277 have been injured and, although the deaths and injuries deliberately caused by strangers or their relatives represent less than 30% of reports, the intensity and forms of violence are still alarming. 71 children and adolescents were injured or killed by relatives, mainly boys and girls between 0 and 10 years old.
19 children and adolescents suffered violence perpetrated by criminals and, in this case, the main victims were adolescents. In these cases, the State has a non-delegable responsibility in its failure to offer conditions to prevent them, mainly in the absence of an effective protection system, with equality and without discrimination, with available and sufficient programs to allow families, schools and communities to foster harmonious cohabitation in households and society at large.
But the State, through its actions or omissions, the lack of invest, public policies and attention in the social sectors most important of the lives of children and adolescents, is responsible for over 70% of the reported situations, turning them into examples of the structural violence suffered by children and adolescents in Venezuela due to the absence or negligence of the instances that should provide solutions for these cases.
For reasons associated with health, 129 children and adolescents suffered injuries and 32 died. Due to the excessive use of police force, 7 children and adolescents died and 10 were injured. The lack of antiophidian serum or the impossibility to transport victims to a healthcare center able to administer it caused the death of one child and injuries in other 9. Deaths caused by burns, explosions of gas canisters, fuel deposits, grenades and explosives, traffic accidents, drowning in beaches and rivers, are part of this regrettable recount of damages and losses.
We’re dealing with injuries that mark the lives of children and adolescents, compromising their development and wellbeing, as well as with avoidable deaths caused by the structural violence imposed by the State, which it must explain before the Committee on the Rights of the Child, but most importantly, before the Venezuelan society that demands justice for its children and adolescents.