2018 is a momentous year for Mexico. It is the year in which the Mexican society will elect a new President for the next 6 years. But for the organized civil society, it is also the year where they face a new opportunity to influence the government from the moment it takes office. At Save the Children, we know the great potential this year holds for Mexico.
As a result, we worked in partnership with World Vision Mexico, Child Fund, JUCONI, Aldeas Infantiles, REDIM and more than 100 organizations, just to create #MXPORLANIÑEZ - a movement that seeks to make children and adolescent’s rights a key political priority.
Together we developed an agenda containing 9 points to be considered by the next government administration. These 9 points are critical and they all need to be attended to carefully in order to address the main issue of child exclusion in our country.
- Institutional strengthening
- Public investment for children and adolescents
- Enjoy the highest possible level of health
- Protection against all forms of violence and impunity
- Quality and inclusive education for all
- Effective and systematic participation of children and adolescents
- Special protection for children and adolescents in mobility contexts
- Affirmative actions in favour of highly excluded groups
- Stimulate the role of civil society organizations
This agenda was presented to all of the presidential candidates in Mexico: Andres Manuel López Obrador, José Antonio Meade, Margarita Zavala and Ricardo Anaya. Our aim was to encourage them to include these proposals within their own electoral agendas. We noticed that within the candidate’s campaign proposals, children were not at the centre of their proposed integral actions. That is why we decided to hold meetings with each of the campaign teams of the candidates, make them aware of it, and then present the children’s agendas.
In order to encourage them to seriously consider our proposed points for their agendas and sign our commitments, we decided to carry out a public event during the national Day of the Child. By making the public aware of our cause, we could strategically pressure the candidates to publicly acknowledge and make commitments with #MXPORLANIÑEZ.
On April 30, the coalition held a public dialogue with each candidate, during which the candidates shared anecdotes from their childhood and the happiest memories they had. They also presented their positions regarding child rights’ and discussed the main issues that concern them.
Finally, and to our delight, they signed the commitment and adopted our proposed points into their agenda.
Moving forward from this, we developed nine proposed actions, which will be actioned immediately to tackle the immediate issues that children face. The action points were presented to all the presidential candidates and their teams. We then called on them to commit to fulfilling these actions during our public event.
Although the civil society had worked very hard to get compliance from all the candidates, only the #MXPORLANIÑEZ was able to actively engage and gain commitment from all the candidates.
This is the first time, in many years, where major organizations representing the rights of children were able to join forces and with a single effort, able to integrate agendas to promote children and adolescent’s rights.
The role of Save the Children was crucial to achieving this result, since we were the driving force of this alliance; we worked to coordinate the events and we were able to make use of our previous alliances to reach the candidates and share our message.
However, our movement is far from over. After the signing of these commitments, we have made efforts to spread our message with the media and on social networks.
Furthermore, after the elections take place on 1 July, #MXPORLANIÑEZ will work with the transition team to ensure that the commitments are adopted into the National Development Plan; a document that will define the new government's policy for the next six years.
If all goes to plan, it will be the first time that we will see a government that takes the rights of children seriously and puts them at the centre of development.