UNCT hr capacity building activities by Levone


									Report from the Guatemala UN Country Team *
Stage in CCA/UNDAF process in Guatemala I. Background of the UN Reform Process in Guatemala The signing process of the Peace Agreements in Guatemala in December 1996 almost coincided with the UN Reform, launched in 1997 by Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The UN Country Team (UNCT), which includes the UN Mission of the Verification of Human Rights and the Peace Agreements (MINUGUA) and sixteen UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes represented in the country has therefore consolidated the peace-building and UN Reform processes.. Within the framework of the Peace Accords and the UN Reform, the Guatemala UNCT has worked towards achieving the goal of closer collaboration, strengthening collaborative mechanisms, bringing greater coherence to the UN Programmes of assistance, based on national priorities. The successful interventions carried out by the UN System over the last 5 years to assist the Government is a result of the collaborative relationship that has been built between the UNCT and the Government, the donor community, the civil society and other international partners. During 1997-1998, prior to the elaboration of the CCA and UNDAF documents, the UN Country Team carried out several important preparatory activities through workshops, interagency retreats, UNCT meetings, presentations and dissemination of the UN Reform process among different development actors. Guatemala is one of two pilot-countries (the other being Zimbabwe) selected to move ahead on a country-level UN reform process. In June, 97 Guatemala was also one of 11 countries selected to implement the UNDAF on a pilot basis. Supported by a grant from the Swedish Government, the Project “Promoting Change: a country team response to the calls for UN Reforms” (July, 97 to August, 99) has been implementing a wide range of reform initiatives. II. CCA (Common Country Assessment) and UNDAF (United Nations Development Assistance Framework) Another important achievement of the UN Reform in Guatemala is the formulation of the CCA/UNDAF documents (finalized in May and August 2000), that represent the UNCT’s common effort, common vision and common response of the UN System, related to peace, development, security and human rights. The Guatemala CCA/UNDAF documents reflect the Peace Accords, State policies and the policies of the current Government and provide a structural analysis of the main problems with an identification of the root causes of these problems.

Report presented to the Second Interagency Workshop on Implementing a Human Rights-Based Approach in the Context of UN Reform, Stamford, 5-7 May 2003


The CCA study defined peace, development and human rights as analytical key concepts, focusing human rights respect and protection as the base of peace building and devolopment. It focused on cross cutting areas such as the discrimination against women and indigenous people and their exclusion, democracy and stakeholder responsibility. A special field of the cooperation identified within the UNCT is the rights of indigenous people and women rights. Consequently, the UNDAF underlined that posterior to the internal armed conflict, human rights are implicated in peace promotion , public security, economic prosperity and social equity. HR are defined as one of the transversal themes of the UNDAF. A special focus is put on the principle of non discrimination, access to the tribunals, human rights education and knowledge in an integral way of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. The universal and specific rights of indigenous people, children and youth and women are seen as a condition for political stability and social and economic progress. The gender issues and a multicultural approach to public policies are consulting areas in the framework of the national context. Therefore, the priority of the UN System is support to measures that consolidate and implement peace and respect for human rights as well as reduce poverty. Among the fields of activity of the UN System are the struggle against the culture of violence strengthening the citizen security, promoting the development of the justice system and citizen participation and organization in public affairs. One of the key objectives of the UN System in the fields of State modernization, democracy and consolidation of the rule of law, is support to the legal process of human rights promotion and protection based on the Declaration and Action Programme of the UN World Conference on Human Rights. The UNDAF contains an integral proposal of responses by the UN System to the complex and difficult human rights situation in Guatemala, that has to be traduced in the agencies’ programmes and that is related to the promotion of a culture of peace. A special point in Guatemala after the internal conflict, is the reparation of victims of human rights violations and violence and the acknowledgment of their dignity and rights. The following sensitive key issues: human rights, social and economic exclusion, disparities, discrimination, indigenous people, reproductive health, education, vulnerable groups, democratic rule of law, represent the most important challenges for the national peace-building/development agenda, which are reflected in the CCA/UNDAF documents. III. Mid Term Review Evaluation of the CCA/UNDAF Process Following the Reform guidelines and recommendations, in October 2002 the UN System in Guatemala carried out the Evaluation of the CCA/UNDAF process with the central objective to determine its operational efficiency, in order to find out the pertinent requirements and the appropriate modifications needed. In order to obtain an external opinion about the process, the Evaluation included, besides the UN System and UN Thematic Groups, the interview of the International Cooperation, the Government, Universities and several civil society organizations. Specific objectives related to analysis of CCA/UNDAF progress, determination of the UNDAF components that contributed to the achievement of the established goals, and factors that influenced the smooth functioning of the process. At the same time, difficulties were identified, recommendations and the further steps to be taken by the UNCT in order to achieve UNDAF implementation were also identified.



Thematic interagency groups Significant products and, at the same time successful tools of the UN Reform in Guatemala, are the Interagency Theme Groups (ITGs) that represent important institutional mechanisms to strengthen coordination and promote joint programming. Many ITGs have been established since 1996, after the Peace Accords and the UN Reform (1997), and are covering the priority areas of peace building and development. The Thematic Groups facilitate dialogue and the coordination of common actions between UN System, civil society, government and other actors within the international community. The agenda of the ITGs parallels the peace accords and is linked to the international agenda of Sustainable Human Development. Taken together, they form a common framework for joint action for the UN System. Presently, in Guatemala the following eight strategic theme groups are operating: 1. Indigenous people and Multicultural Issues (GRUTIM); 2. Uprooted population (Desarraigo), 3. Poverty Reduction, Rural Development and Nutritional Security (GIPDR); 4. Justice (GIJUS); 5. Education (GIE); 6. Gender equality (GIGAM); 7. HIV/AIDS (ONUSIDA); 8. Communication and Information (GICI). One the most important objectives of the Interagency Theme Group on Communication and Information (GICI) is the establishment of the Joint Communication and Information System for all UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes as a UN body, that will assume the transition/transfer of the responsibilities of MINUGUA in this area. In this regard, mention must be made of the joint publication between MINUGUA and the UN System of the weekly bulletin “MINUGUA and UN System Chronic”, initiated during the year 2002. In April 2003, the ITG on Communication and Information (GICI) published the first issue of the Interagency Magazine “UN System in ACTION”.


National Human Development Reports (NHDRs) In the same spirit of interagency products, under the leadership of UNDP, several National Human Development Reports have been issued which contain valuable information regarding achievements of peace building and sustainable development in the country. Since 1998 the following NHDRs have been published: 1. Guatemala – the contrasts of human development, 1998 2. Guatemala - the rural face of human development, 1999 3. The inclusive power of human development, 2000 4. The financing of human development, 2001 5. Guatemala: human development, women and health, 2002 6. Proposal of public policies to increase the human development level (exact title to be confirmed)


Millennium Development Goals: Progress Report of Guatemala Guatemala is the second country in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean that has completed the elaboration of the first document “Millennium Development Goals: Progress Report of Guatemala” (October 2002). The report also reflects the good practices of interagency work of the UN System in close collaboration with the Government, several Universities, and NGOs through the organization of seven thematic


workshops, participatory meetings, UNCT retreat and wide exchange of experience with other development actors. VII. Multi-Sectoral Fora Following agreements of the Consultative Group held in Washington in February 2002, the UN System in strong collaboration with the Organization of the American States (OAS) is supporting the establishment of the Multi-Sectoral Fora on the key areas of Peace agreements: 1. Peace, Culture and Reconciliation, 2. National Defense Policy, 3. Indigenous People, 4. Justice, Civil Security and Human Rights, 5. Rural Development, 6. Economic Development. VIII. Special Issues Relating to MINUGUA A very important lessons learned from the Guatemala Peace process that embraces the ample content of development, is the establishment of a more homogeneous presence of the whole UN System in the country. During its major presence in the country, MINUGUA employed between 500 to 600 persons with an annual budget of over USD 30 million and 14 offices across the country. The large MINUGUA mission stands in sharp contrast to the extremely limited presence of some important Agencies, whose mandates are related to the achievement of the Peace Accords commitments, such as: Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Labor Organization, UNESCO and HABITAT. This asymmetry negatively affected the potential for essential cooperation on sustainable themes of the Peace Accords and limited the possibilities for supporting the State and civil society in the peace-building process. IX.  UN Reform in action

UN Agency responses to the challenges of the Reform Process include:  establishment of Interagency Thematic Groups and Operational Groups;  creation of a Database on the Cooperation of the UN System in Guatemala and Donor Assistance Database;  work-shops on reform issues: Zimbabwe-Guatemala (October, 1998). AntiguaGuatemala(2000, 2001);  UNCT Retreats: January 2000, February 2001, February 2002, October 2002;  dissemination of the UN Reform process among different actors of development;  common services;  elaboration of the CCA (May, 2000) and UNDAF (August, 2000) documents;  Mid Term Review Evaluation of the CCA/UNDAF Process;  elaboration of National Human Development reports at interagency level;  UNDG evaluation missions (last one: November 2000);  elaboration of Annual Resident Coordinator reports and other reform documents;  The role of the UN System in the transition of MINUGUA;  Consultative Group of Guatemala (February, 2002);  6 Multi-Sectoral Fora;  Interagency Magazine: “UN System in ACTION“;  Resource mobilization through the Resident Coordinator Project “Support of the UN System to Peace and Development” financed by the Norwegian Government


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Achievements of the UN Reform in Guatemala CCA/UNDAF provided a structural analysis of the problems of Guatemala, which goes beyond the usual assessment of problems: there is an identification of the root causes and not only “manifestation” of the problems. CCA/UNDAF reflects the Peace Accords, State policies and the policies of the current Government and, in general, reflect a joint analysis of the country and a common vision of the response of the UN System. Improvement of knowledge about the specific activities of all Agencies, Funds and Programmes. A result of this process is the creation of a common vision on the priorities for UN System Cooperation and formulation of common strategies for common actions. Positioning of the UN System in Guatemala for raising sensitive/key issues on the national/development agenda: human rights, social and economic exclusion, disparities, discrimination, indigenous people, uprooted population, reproductive health and gender equality. Political dialogue and linkage with civil society have been established, although recognizing that these need to be taken further. The National Human Development Reports, as an interagency product, strengthen the profile of the UN System in the country. Establishment of common services (14 areas of common services have been addressed so far: travel agency, security, banking services, maintenance contracts, etc.). Difficulties

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 Many agencies do not have the capacity in terms of time and human resources to participate effectively in all processes (small agencies, funds and programmes).  The Interagency Thematic Groups needs financial support (the secretarial support, elaboration of documents, joint activities with other actors). Sometimes Interagency competition for funds and “space” acts against the interests of coordination.  Approval by the government of the UNDAF document was delayed by continuous changes of key personnel in the new Government of Guatemala (during 2000).  Permanent Resource Mobilization is required.  Difficulties in the establishment of the UN House. Next steps in the Reform Process          Increased level of the dissemination of the UNDAF document among all the development actors (civil society, international community, donors, private sector, etc.). Harmonization of cycles of programming by four UNDG Agencies starting in January 2005. Formulation and implementation of Joint Programme in the area of Poverty Reduction. Establishment of a monitoring and evaluation system for the CCA/UNDAF process. Pursuing the establishment of partial UN House (UNDP, UNFPA, UN AIDS, UNSECOORD, UNV, Office of the Resident Coordinator) with support of UNDG/SGCPS (Support Group for Common Premises and Services) to the Country Team. MINUGUA transition and the responsibility of the UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes to assume their main mandates and activities. MDG dissemination and implementation. Establishment of the Common Indicators based on MDG, HR, Peace Agreement, etc. Evaluation of CCA/UNDAF: the programmatic part.



Carrying out two workshops for UNCT (28 of May and 4 of June): on HRBA and on UNDAF Mid Term evaluation. UNCT HR capacity building activities:


Through the human rights interagency working group in 1999 and OHCHR field presence in Guatemala since 2001 essential support was provided to the CCA and UNDAF elaboration. An advisor to the RC on human rights issues regarding relationship with civil society and State institutions, development projects and internal policy matters, was appointed. XII. HR staffing and focal point arrangements:

During the absence of OHCHR field presence a human rights consultant to the UNCT was hired and project officers were assigned in justice and support of civil society projects, to be focal points for human rights issues within the UNCT. XIII. HR and national development plans

There is no coherent national plan of human rights, justice and security in Guatemala that acknowledges the participation of wide social sectors. Even though political guidelines were elaborated by the Governments’ Presidential Commission of Human Rights (COPREDEH), their implementation is not really possible now because of the weakness of the national human rights protection system, the financial and economic situation of public institutions, the weak political will of the elites, the militarization of civil power and other social factors in consequence of the internal conflict. The deepest proposal for social transformations that may guarantee human rights respect and protection are the Peace Agreements (1994-1996) recognized by the Government as a State compromise. But in the light of the last years, it is evident that the State was not capable of effectively fighting against corruption, illegal structures, organized crime, citizen insecurity and political violence. Civil society, only recently is increasing efforts to unify its expressions in a National Human Rights Movement that includes special human rights demands and more and more of an interest in social economic and cultural rights. The institution of the Ombudsman , for the last years, was weak and not able to ensure human rights protection, as the situation demanded. So the new Ombudsman, lobbied by civil society, has designed a real institutional reform programme, which definitively needs governmental support and deserves the attention of international cooperation. Nevertheless, the success of the Ombudsman programme focussing on the victims of human rights violations, and specific rights of indigenous people, children and women and depends a lot upon a financial and political framework that the State does not offer at the moment. Examples of HRBA The National Human Development Report 2003, for the first time works with human rights indicators in three fields (right to life, access to justice and the right of political participation) that were constructed together by different national organizations and institutions working on human rights protection, UNDP and the OHCHR project in Guatemala. The report also contains a chapter about national human rights proposals and seeks to mainstream human rights in most of its content. National Counterparts


Governmental/State: Presidential Commission of Human Rights (COPREDEH) Human Rights Office of the National Civil Police Indigenous Women Defense (DEMI) Public Ministry (Special HR Prosecutor) Ombudsman Office Public Defense Non-governmental: National Human Rights Movement Indigenous people organizations XIV. Successes and good practices

Special Thematic Rapporteurs who have paid visits to the country include those on: HR Defenders, and Indigenous peoples rights and freedoms. Independency of the Judiciary, Sale of children and prostitution. The State has made an official, permanent invitation to the extra-conventional mechanisms to visit the country. 1) Contribution of the Special Rapporteurs reports to the work of the UNCT

Special recommendations for the UN and international community help to focus the development projects on important human rights aspects and to assess its present orientation. 2) Impact of the Special Rapporteurs reports on the relationship between UNCT and government

The reports of the Special Rapporteurs reinforce the positions of the national UNCT, in relation to the Government on issues related to the report. They also recall the obligations of Government on special human rights issues, and request the UNCT to support the Government in complying with the recommendations. The reports and also a working instrument for mainstreaming and cross-cutting ethnic and HR issues in projects of the UNCT. They are also instrument and reference point for human rights education and its multicultural perspective with civil society and State. They finally constitute a policy document for programming. 3) Contribution of the Special Rapporteurs reports to the relationship between civil society and the State

The reports of the Special Rapporteurs strengthen the position of the victims of human rights violations and NGOs (human rights defenders) in respect of the State. They promote the normative development/ progress in human rights matters. Finally, they help to focus State policies on the protection and promotion of human rights. XV. Examples of HRB programming


The new set of laws and legislation, in fulfillment of one of the key agreements of the Peace Accords and in harmony with the CRC, are genuine opportunities for real change from the bottom up and from the top down. They are fundamental in eradicating patterns of exclusion, inequity and marginalization, and in building peace, democracy and civic participation for men, women and children, indigenous groups, and civil society in general. The new laws provide spaces at the community, municipal, departmental and national levels for promoting and auditing of public policies, development plans and the fulfillment of rights. In a country that is still mostly rural with a widely dispersed population, it is in the community and municipal context where rights do or do not become a reality for people. It is at this local level where people can build up institutions that respond to their priorities, needs and rights, and where citizens can best have control and influence over matters that affect them. UNICEF in Guatemala has a new framework (laws on decentralization), a new context (election year and new government), and new ways to take the international instruments (CRC, CEDAW. ILO 169 and 182, and a World Fit for Children) to different levels, in order to ensure that they are appropriated, promoted, protected, defended, and institutionalized at the community and municipal level. This requires not just the participation of the local government and authorities, but also of local civil society. It is not enough to have “child friendly mayors”. All sectors of civil society and local authorities must be a part of a “municipality fit for children.” Nor is it enough to have adults alone working for children’s rights. Children and adolescents are partners in making a better world, municipality and community. What is lacking are appropriate attitudes, spaces, preparation, materials, methods and ways for children’s participation. It is not enough for adults to have the conscience and will to invite children to adult-centered and adultdirected events. Increasingly in working for children’s rights, the role and responsibility of adults, NGOs, UNICEF, and adult institutions, will be to ensure that children have appropriate preparation, ways, settings and structures to be listened to, express themselves, and be taken into account in matters that affect them.



The priorities are the following:     keeping alive the Peace Accords in the next government and beyond; building citizenship, democracy and rights by knowing and using the new laws regarding decentralization and municipal government; generating effective National Plans of Action and Integrated Public Policies for Children and planning, monitoring, and implementing these commitments and actions across the decade; building up the capacity of local government, local development councils, local civil society, and local children and youth organizations to work together in the municipal and community context to make a world more fit for children by enacting policies and systems for increasing the quality and coverage of girls education, integrated early childhood development, immunization-health-nutrition, prevention and care of HIV/AIDS, and child protection; putting the situation of children - and the creation of solutions, commitment and resources to respond to that situation - on the agenda of the electoral process and with candidates, parties, advisors, and the public in general in 2003; advocating, monitoring, social auditing and following up on those commitments with the new government in 2004;

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preparing, participating in, and following up on the Geneva CRC meeting on Indigenous Children in September 2003, and promoting the understanding and use of the CRC, CEDAW, 169 and 182 and other international and national instruments Creating and strengthening appropriate spaces and ways of children’s participation at the community, municipal, departmental, national and international levels in policies, issues, processes, and decisions that affect them.

XVII. Challenges and Obstacles The principle obstacles to all of these priorities are patterns of patriarchy, a model of political economy that is not inclusive, racial discrimination against the Mayan people, and an adult-centered view of the world that does not see children as resources and subjects with rights. XVIII. Opportunities 1) In compliance with the Peace Accords, the Guatemalan Congress in 2002 approved new laws on Decentralization, Rural and Urban Development Councils, and Municipal Development. These laws create spaces for historically excluded groups (women, children and youth, the indigenous population and organized civil society) to participate in development planning, public policy processes and the social auditing of rights and programmes at the community, municipal, departmental and national levels. 2) “A World Fit for Children” was signed by the Guatemalan Government in 2002. A national commission comprised of NGOs, Government agencies and UNICEF has designed and begun a process for developing the National Plan of Action and Integrated Public Policies for children as follow up to the Special Session. Although a first round of consultation has been completed with technical staff from Ministries, NGOs and civil society, and children and youth organizations from different parts of the country, another round will take place in coming months to take the draft proposals to the departamentos (provinces) and municipalities, and to build broader and deeper participation and ownership of the content and process. The outcome, a National Plan of Action and Integrated Public Policies for Children and Adolescents, will become a framework for action in this decade at the national, departmental and municipal levels. Within a context of historical patterns of exclusion with decisions made in the capital city by a repressive and dominant elite, a more inclusive public policy process helps to build a new political culture of rights, inclusion, dialogue, non-violence and respect. The policy process must have certain qualities, and the quality of the policies must be technically high, gather and reflect best practices and experiences. The follow-up to these policies must also be done in such a way that builds understanding, commitment, appropriation, public and private support, and the allocation of more resources over the decade. 3) Complementing this, a working group of NGOs and UNICEF on children’s rights and municipalities (La Mesa de Municipalización de los Derechos de la Niñez) has been functioning for 6 years and is forming a national strategy and alliance for “Municipalities Fit for Children” to be able to go to scale with the good practices, public policies and actions at the municipal and community levels with and on behalf of children. More than Child Friendly Mayors, the effort is to build up awareness, institutions, commitment, relationships, linkages, actions and the allocation of resources among local government and authorities, civil society organizations and leaders, and children and youth organizations around rights. La Mesa is part of a Central American Working Group of a similar nature that also seeks collective learning and enhanced practice on children’s rights with the multiple actors in a municipal context. The Mesa, with UN support, will identify the good practices, experiences, methods, materials, trainings and technical support, and then put together a process, support materials and accompanying strategy to reach the first circle of 100


municipalities, and progressively over the next three years extend the circle to reach the 331 municipalities of the country. 4) Guatemala will have national elections in November 2003. The objective is to put the situation of children and women, and their rights and proposals, on the agenda during the electoral process with candidates, political parties, influential people in the private sector, organized children and youth, and the public in general. We will be promoting 3-4 overarching and visionary issues, and provide spaces and bridges where candidates, parties, sectors and youth can come together and propose solutions, policies and generate commitments. We have a respected statesman noted for his equanimity and trustworthiness who is advising us in this process and showing us how to take children’s issues to the different audiences in a way that is understandable to them. We need to come to the table in a way that informs, inspires and unites a divided people around a common vision and how to get to that vision. One of these overarching themes is “Invest in Children.” Here we are promoting universal and quality coverage in education and health. Another is “Respect and be Respected,” where child protection, interfamily violence, institutional violence, racism, gender and cultural diversity are addressed. Another theme is, “Listen to Children and Take them into Account,” accepting the challenge of building new intergenerational relationships, seeing children as subjects with rights and resources, and creating new ways and forms for participation over the decade in the family, community and society. 5) A new government will take office in January 2004. The first six months of the new government will be key to forming the agenda and priorities for the coming four years. The promises and commitments made in the campaign will be transformed into priorities, public policies, and budget allocations for the coming years. The NPA and Integrated Public Policies must have goals, indicators, commitment, sound technical solutions, and resources, and be reflected in the agreements of “Municipalities Fit for Children” in each municipio. 6) The Committee on the Rights of the Child in its 31st session on September 19, 2003 in Geneva will devote its day of general discussion to the rights of indigenous children, with representatives present. The majority of Guatemalan children come from 22 linguistic communities of Mayan, Xinca and Garifuna origin, and most of the children and adolescents (and adults) are not familiar with the national and international conventions, standards, norms, and instruments. This sense of isolation, lack of protection, absence of legal frameworks and access to justice is what makes adults and children feel, and be, more vulnerable. Just as the preparation and follow-up to the UN Special Session on Children had an awareness raising, informational, mobilizing, galvanizing and energizing function, preparation for participation in the September 19 event will generate processes that go broader, deeper and beyond the event itself. We will use the Committee on the Rights of the Child general discussion day, the preparation that it requires, and the follow-up that flows from the process as an organizing principle, an integrating force and a capacity building exercise among Indigenous Children’s organizations. The linkages among the children and youth organizations from the diverse language communities and indigenous peoples are presently few and embryonic. Preparatory events will be held in different regions of the country, and include sessions and child friendly materials in different languages on: rights, leadership, a new ethic, the Mayan Cosmovision and values, ILO 169, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the current and pending laws and legislation in Guatemala on indigenous rights and racism, the Peace Accords (with an emphasis on the agreement on Indigenous Populations), A World Fit for Children, and the CRC. In these sessions, children and youth will decide how they want to participate in and influence the candidates and the electoral agenda, a World Fit for Children and the National Plan of Action and Integrated Public Policies for Children. Considering that intercultural and intergenerational relations comes up in almost any conversation we have with youth, we will support their efforts to engage with adult indigenous organizations, and “other cultures” (ladinos, mestizos) on different terms.



Lessons Learned: The UNICEF Experience in Guatemala and the past, present and future of children in Guatemala: the call for a paradigm shift and the logic of our new approach

In the “development decades,” we learned, among other things, that people themselves are the greatest resource in alleviating poverty, disaster response, assistance in refuge and displacement. Plans and programmes designed in foreign or national capitals or from the desk of out of touch technicians are rarely viable solutions to the complex realities and problems that people face. Development policy and public policy time and time again have shown that the people affected by the problems should be consulted, taken into account and participate in the creation of the solutions designed to address those problems. In addition, it is not enough to focus on the pathological, the problematic, what is wrong, needs, and discrepancies. Good policy and good programmes are not only sensitive to what makes people vulnerable, they also recognize, appreciate and build on what is right, the potentials, what is working, and the capabilities. The root causes of poverty are found in exclusion, inequities, racism, sexism, cultural patterns of domination. Successful approaches see systems, parts and relations, and hence have technical, social, political, ethical and cultural dimensions. Organizational responses can seldom be reduced to a single sector or one easy solution if durable and deeper change in the objective and subjective conditions is sought. Part of the logic that led us to support the Convention, the World’s Summit for Children and the incipient movement for children rights in the 1990s was the recognition of these lessons learned, and the need for a legal and legislative framework, contextual and structural change. Survival, development, protection, non-discrimination, and the best interests of children require new partnerships and responsibility for rights among multiple actors. With varying degrees of success across countries and in Guatemala, we promoted the Convention, promoted new laws for children, engaged the media and the elites, and had child friendly mayors, cities and schools. Much of our programming, however, remains sector-based programmes dressed in rights-based clothing. That is not to discredit the value of sector-based approaches: the world and Guatemala would be much worse off without vaccination campaigns, micronutrient strategies, educational reform, potable water and sanitation programmes. What is still missing is what was most often missing in the development decades and in the first decade of the Convention – a sense of agency-participation, ownership, understanding, use, defense and application of rights by men and women, and children themselves. The CRC, as a legal document, set of standards and norms, proclamation and promotion, has made advances. Without backsliding on the “supply” side of rights, however, the principal challenge for UNICEF and child rights-based organizations in this decade will be to broaden and deepen the appropriation, demand and use of those instruments, values, and rights at an individual, family, community and collective level. Making rights a reality cannot be done by trickle down, declaration or decree, or noble intentions alone. A real rights-based approach looks at the relationships of supply and demand, rights and responsibilities, institutions and individuals, policies and practices, protection and participation, causes and effects, prevention and remedies, victims and victimizers, national and local. The first Child Revolution led by UNICEF in the 70s and 80s was about the delivery of services and assistance for survival, development and even protection – the responsibility of the state to its children. Perhaps now a Second Child Revolution is needed, which includes the above, but is also about new relationships and sets of responsibilities between generations, and accompanies children and adolescents, and their organizations in their search for a new paradigm of rights, development,


and leadership. The Second Child Revolution builds a critical mass – a movement with, and for, children which is global, national, and local. We can no longer think globally and act locally, we must think and act locally and globally. These lessons learned emerged in the development decades– namely, that people are more than poor hapless victims requiring our sympathy –can now be applied. Children are more than victims, problems, beneficiaries, delinquents, clients, students, patients, and target groups. Children are subjects with rights, solutions, resources, and actors in making a world fit for themselves and everyone, but even many well intentioned and rights based adults and adult led organizations have a traditional concept of children and lack the conviction and the awareness, attitudes, methods and mechanisms to encourage and accompany child participation. A more authentic relationship and one respectful of rights begins with where children are and helping them get to where they want to go, on their own terms, and sensitive to their realities and concerns. Last year, Vox Latina did a national survey with youth in Guatemala from 15-24 years of age. 76% said that their future would be worse than that of their parents. 40% said they wanted to migrate to the US to seek their future. This year, 78% said that politicians offer little or no solutions to the national problems. 52.7% said that there are no good politicians in the country. 91.1% felt that politicians enter into politics to further their own interests. 45% said they would not vote in this year’s elections, and 58.1% said the elections would not be clean. 92% do not believe the present government and 95.6% felt that Guatemala needs a change. In a cross-country study by ASIES on democratic attitudes that was released last year, Guatemala was the country in the region that showed the highest intolerance of the views and rights of others, the most likely country to support a coup d’etat, and the most willing to accept authoritarian solutions. If children are to be democratic, appreciative of rights and value the rights of others, gender sensitive and capable of working in multicultural and multilingual settings, they must practice these values from an early age. After living in authoritarian families, schools, churches and societies, we can not expect them to turn 18, receive a civic education and suddenly learn to negotiate, be respectful of rights (their own and others), listen to and learn from others, appreciate diversity and approach life and relationships non violently. Conclusions Guatemala has a predominantly young population – 65% of the population is under 25 years of age and 53% is less than 18. Creating a world fit for children must involve children, adolescents and youth, not just as a moral, political and legal imperative, but as a practical one. The intensification of poverty has resulted in more complex family survival strategies and forces children and adolescents to take on burdensome and adult roles, and move into the labour force at greater numbers and at earlier ages. 29% of girls by the age of 18 have been pregnant. 24% of 10-14 year old are in the work force. Guatemala is predominantly rural, (67%), municipally organized (331 municipalities with new laws and increased power and responsibility) and community based (20,000 villages and hamlets). If rights, the different conventions and their instruments are promoted and defended, detected and protected, fulfilled or violated, it is in the community and municipality where this will happen. The institutions that are to be created and strengthened, and that will reach the greatest number of people in a significant way, are local. It is at the local level where people still have the most confidence in institutions, and are most capable of creating and influencing the decisions and institutions that affect their lives. The new laws, rights, democracy, justice and the different conventions are still an


abstraction for the majority of the population, especially the 75% poor, 65% young and 50%+ indigenous. It is at the municipal and community levels where the plans, programmes, institutions, accountability, commitment, policies and resources will be gathered and built for a sustainable effort and practical impact. Here is where people can generate ownership of rights in their own language, within their cultural context, from their own reality and in their daily lives. Guatemala and its new laws are attempting to link the macro and the micro, the national framework and the local reality. Given the massive and growing scale of poverty and the absence of rights, UNICEF cannot be content in reaching only a few municipalities with a project and sector focus. Our presence in the country must help generate a critical mass of change over a period of time, a culture of rights and respect, the democratization of justice, inclusive systems and sustainable development. A municipal strategy must be national, and have a national support system. The task for UNICEF, the UN System and Guatemala is to transform the national macro legal frameworks, conventions, standards, rhetoric and principles of rights into a reality at a micro, individual, family, community and municipal level where people live, and actually enjoy, promote and defend rights, or have them denied and violated. The first decade of the Convention was really about the proclamation and provision of principles, rights and frameworks; this second decade of the Convention is about the reclamation and appropriation of principles and rights by people, and specifically children, their families and communities.


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