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Child Protection in Latin America (focus in Argentina) Irene Intebi Child Psychiatrist & Clinical Psychologist (Argentina) ISPCAN President

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Presentation on theme: "Child Protection in Latin America (focus in Argentina) Irene Intebi Child Psychiatrist & Clinical Psychologist (Argentina) ISPCAN President"— Presentation transcript:

1 Child Protection in Latin America (focus in Argentina) Irene Intebi Child Psychiatrist & Clinical Psychologist (Argentina) ISPCAN President ireneintebi@gmail.com ISPCAN Global Institute San Diego, January 23rd, 2011 ISPCAN Global Institute San Diego, January 23rd, 2011

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3 LATIN AMERICA Every country includes many “countries” as a consequence of large territories with diverse ethnic composition, living conditions, and deep socioeconomic disparities. This diversity can be noted not only comparing the different main cities but the urban to the rural areas of the same country as well Characteristics of these societies:  Inequalities in income distribution associated with different levels of: poverty marginalization and exclusion are the norm for high percentages of their populations  Sexism I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

4 Child Protection Systems Strengths: Strengths: based on the recommendations of the CRC National legal frameworks for the protection of children mandate bodies and agencies at national, provincial/state, and municipal level to defend the children’s rights. Challenges: Challenges: following the mandates of the national legislation, each province/state formulates policies and guidelines within which the municipal level agencies are to structure their activities. Decision making about developing, monitoring and implementing policies is a responsibility of municipalities that manage and coordinate service provisions. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

5 These systems of decentralization of policies and services is, on one hand beneficial because they encourage autonomy and culturally sensitive policies and services but, on the other hand they have as a downside the lack of coordination and the differences in the quality and the characteristics of each province/state activities and service provision. These systems of decentralization of policies and services is, on one hand beneficial because they encourage autonomy and culturally sensitive policies and services but, on the other hand they have as a downside the lack of coordination and the differences in the quality and the characteristics of each province/state activities and service provision. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

6 Child Protection Systems Most countries have mandatory reporting of suspected cases of child abuse and in most child sexual abuse and child sexual exploitation are prosecuted. Some have specific governmental agencies and programs to deal with child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation (e.g., Brazil, Colombia) while in others the intervention relies on agencies and programs that deal with victims’ and/or human rights (e.g., Argentina). I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

7 Child Protection Systems Challenges:  Systems are relatively new, under resourced and poorly coordinated and do not establish the different responsibilities of the sectors involved in order to provide coherent responses.  Many professionals do not consider themselves working in systems with clear guidelines and lines of accountability to support them.  Translation of modern legislation into services and practices is a slow and full of obstacles path. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

8 ARGENTINA

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10 ARGENTINA ARGENTINA Federation of 24 provinces and 1 autonomous city (City of Buenos Aires) 2 nd in size in the continent 2,766,890 km 2 (1,068,302 sq.mi.) Population: about 40 million (14 per km 2 ) Population under 18 (2001): 12.2 million (32%) Education: compulsory & FREE from 5-17 yrs Literacy rate: 97% Highly urbanized population (15.9 million in main city) I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= QX4p36lCpnM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV6FNRVaCvY

12 I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011 MAGNITUDE OF THE PROBLEM  The vast extension of the Argentinean territory and the political organization represent a challenge to the possibility of keeping reliable and comparable records.  There are no studies addressing the magnitude of the problem. Governmental or university funded research in the field is practically non-existent. Research depends on individuals’ or small teams’ efforts and funding opportunities. This is true not only for child abuse and neglect topics but for many other issues (related to health and social aspects) and it represents a serious handicap Argentina is facing as many researchers emigrate to be able to develop their activities.

13 I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011  Data about sexual violence against children are scattered among the different agencies that keep records and statistics of cases, mainly the judicial system and the health care sector.  There have been very few efforts focused on discussing shared definitions of different types of child abuse to apply nationally; to adapting international ones; or to selecting measurable indicators and methods that could be useful to measure the extent of the problem; etc  In urban areas, the population is moderately aware of the problem, usually depending on the attention given to the most severe cases by the media.

14 I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011  Population in general support the use of corporal punishment as a way to discipline children.  Little is known about the mid- and long-term effects of child abuse and few consider child abuse to be a community problem. It is seen as one involving individual families and requiring individual professional responses.  An epidemiologic investigation carried out in a small town in the Chubut province (Argentinean Patagonia) showed that 13.38% of the students aged 4-14 were suspected of suffering some type of child abuse and neglect. (Malerba et al., 2006)

15 In 2005, National Law # 26061 was passed. This law protects the rights of children and adolescents following the Convention on the Rights of the Child standards. Some provinces had passed their own Provincial legislation before the national law was passed and other provinces are in the process of adopting similar legal regulations I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

16 CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM   Work in-progress with “blind spots” and neglected areas  Strong differences from one province to the other  Mandatory reporting nationally  Lack of clarity and contradictions regarding on who/which agencies should intervene  Offenders NOT victims are removed from home in intrafamilial violence cases

17 I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011 CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM Strengths   Legal framework based in the CRC that has been incorporated to the Argentinean Constitution  Multidisciplinary approach  Offenders NOT victims are removed from home in intrafamilial violence cases

18 I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011 CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM Challenges  Lack of public health policies to address child abuse and neglect cases  Lack of awareness among policy-makers of the importance of having a policy to address this problem  Low or non-existent budgets allocated to address the problem  Lack of governmental and/or NGO resources  Lack of network and/or collaboration between authorities & professionals  Lack of reliable information about the magnitude of the problem  Lack of training opportunities for frontline workers

19 I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011 CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM Challenges  Lack of specific treatment programs for victims, families and offenders  Lack of awareness among the community, and among the professionals and policy makers as well, of the mid- and long- term consequences of child abuse and neglect  “No-man’s lands” in detection and intervention procedures together with overlapping of services in some other areas (e.g., municipal or local services that perform only referral tasks)  Lack of national detection and intervention guidelines and protocols  Lack of research  Minimal preventive efforts that do not address the roots contributors to the problem

20 Multidisciplinary governmental agency Referral by schools; hospitals; family members; (rarely) family itself Typical response to a CAN case Low risk = referral to services Moderate risk= referral to CAN treatment program (if available) High risk= referral to legal system w/ or w/o treatment I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011 Agency has no legal authority to remove either offender or victim

21 I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011 CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM Major controversies  Need to include the judicial system –civil or criminal courts- in the intervention process cases vs. a family/community-based approach exclusively. Due to bad experiences –and sometimes inadequate legal interventions- professionals do not trust effective outcomes will result of legal intervention. Solution: mandatory training of all the professionals involved in the field?  Importance of biological bonds vs. child’s wellbeing and protection. In the last years, children have been forced to either live together with or visit their offender(s) just because he/she (they) is (are) his/her (their) parents or relatives. There is no awareness that biological bonds do not exclude a caregiver’s dangerous or risky behavior.

22 ARGENTINA MISSING CHILDREN

23 References: www.abuelas.org.ar www.hijos-rosario.org.ar The Official Story (La Historia oficial) – movie/video I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

24 References: Bokser, M. & Guarino, M. (1992): DERECHO DE NIÑOS O LEGITAMACIÓN DE DELITOS – Ediciones Colihue – Buenos Aires (ARGENTINA) Movimiento Solidario de Salud Mental (1987): TERRORISMO DE ESTADO: EFECTOS PSICOLÓGICOS EN LOS NIÑOS – Paidós- Buenos Aires (ARGENTINA) I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

25 Background: On March 24, 1976 the military forces produced a coup d’êtat against a democratic elected government & established the Proceso de Reorganización Nacional I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

26 Background: There were rebellions in some regions of he country (rural & urban areas). There was legislation the military Junta could apply to fight terrorism LEGALLY but, based on the Doctrine of National Security, chose ILLEGAL REPRESSION & clandestine procedures. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

27 Background: Not only people belonging to terrorist organizations were repressed. Innocent people were affected too. Anybody could be kidnapped, tortured & murdered. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

28 Method: The Missing People Violent detentions Clandestine imprisonment Interrogation under torture Murder of victims Robbery of material belongings & properties I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

29 When? When? 1976-1982 How many? How many? 30,000 persons (5-6 per night in ’76-’77) I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

30 Where? People were kidnapped by groups of armed forces in civilian clothes at: Home Work Schools Universities Streets Buses I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

31 What next? Judges were not informed of detentions Illegal detentions, clandestine imprisonment & interrogation under torture Clandestine detention centers (465 concentration camps) in military & law enforcement buildings Robbery of personal belongings & properties Children kidnapping &/or “appropriation” I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

32 Kidnapping of babies & children was part of an organized terrorizing plan consisting of: murders tortures forced “disappearance” robbery & other crimes committed by members of the armed & law enforcement forces. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

33 How many children? 7,000 children & adolescents victimized by the kidnapping of one or two parents Approx. 71 children identified & contacted by biological families by 2001 450-500 babies born to missing mothers in concentration camps Only 300 documented reports I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

34 In 1977 the association of Abuelas (Grandmothers) of Plaza de Mayo was constituted, dedicated specifically to claim for the return of their children to them, for the investigation of the events regarding the disappearance and the search for their disappeared children. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

35 In the ’80s the association H.I.J.O.S. was constituted, dedicated specifically to claim for Justice & their Right for their Identity, against Oblivion & Silence, and the punishment of the persons responsible both of giving & of executing the orders to kidnap persons. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

36 The children who disappeared were deprived from their identity, their religion, their right to live with their family; summarizing, of all the rights that are national and internationally recognized as their true rights. There is concrete request from their relatives: that the children who were kidnapped as a method of political repression be restored to their legitimate families. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

37 Missing children have not been abandoned: they have the right to recover their own roots and their own history, they have relatives who are constantly engaged in searching for them. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

38 What happened to children?  Some were kidnapped together with their parents  Some were born to kidnapped mothers in concentration camps. Newborns were separated imediately after birth & given to other people. Mothers were usually killed after.  Some were looked after by neighbors till they could find their relatives & return them to them. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

39 What happened to children?  Some were looked after by neighbors who couldn’t locate their relatives immediately but who took care of children until relatives were located some years later  Some were taken to the authorities as John Does & adopted. Adoptive families didn’t know where babies came from. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

40 What happened to children?  Some neighbors kept the children with them, hiding the real facts to children & preventing them from knowing their families.  Some remained with relatives of one of the parents who wouldn’t tell out of fear or out of lack of information about other side of the family. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

41 How were the children searched by their relatives?  Investigation in the Courts nationwide of all the adoptions granted since 1976, including “John Does” cases  Investigation of all cases of births registered in governmental agencies after the normal legal term for such registration had elapsed I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

42 How were the children searched by their relatives?  Since ’97, awareness creation among young people (approximately the age range of the kidnapped children) that may have doubts regarding their true identity  Awareness creation in the community, encouraging those who might have information but who kept silence, whether due to complicity or fear, to come forward. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

43 Scientific methods to identify children Grandparenthood rate With the contribution of: Dr. Fred Allen (New York Blood Center) American Asociation for the Advance of Science (Washington) Dr. Mary Claire King & Dr. Cristian Orrego (Berkeley University) I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

44 Scientific methods to identify children Grandparenthood rate (allows 99.9% certainty) Blood group & RH Histocompatibility (HLA, A, B, C, DR) Identification of red globe isoenzymes Identification of plasmatic proteins Molecular fingerprint: Molecular fingerprint: DNA polymorphism method I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

45 Why do we consider missing children as a type of CAN? Because: Children were abruptly separated from parents: they were not abandoned BUT stolen & illegally “appropriated” Their true identity was hidden: their names, their birth day, sometimes their age were changed. In some cases false birth certificates were provided I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

46 Why do we consider missing children as a type of CAN? Because: Some went through apparently legal adoptions: though authorities knew their origin, they were labeled as “John Does” Children were murdered in kidnapping procedures Babies were murdered together with their mothers before birth I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

47 Why do we consider missing children as a type of CAN? Because: Pregnant women were tortured, raped & vexated Children had to live together with & were brought up by adults who established their bonds based on the kidnapping & murder of biological parents In most cases both the adults who kept the children & the Government tried to delete the links/bonds with their real origins I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

48 Restitution Reintegration of a baby or a child victim to his/her family by means of a lawsuit or a non-legal procedure. Action, procedure & right of a child to restore him/herself as a human being, after recovering his/her real identity, history, & family bonds. Includes the possibility of recovering from the damage inflicted by the crime. I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

49 Restitution Where are these children? Who are they living with? I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

50 Restitution What are the effects of this forced “disappeareance” of children? Have these children suffered or are they suffering any harm? Could they sue for reparations? Of what kind? Who should be sued? How would this claim be based on? What legal instruments should be applied? I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

51 Restitution What are the basis to claim for restitution? What are its reaches? Which could be the actual or potential risks of no restitution? What are the laws & regulations that could be applied to guarantee validity & efficiency? I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

52 Restitution Who are the legitimate representatives of these children in order to argue for their cause & interests? Is it worthy to start the restitution proceedings or is it better to leave things the way they are? I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

53 Restitution Until October 2010, 102 children & adolescents were found. In 2001, 71 had been found : Restored adolescents: 41 Murdered children: 9 Cases still in the courts: 7 Children still living with the families that brought them up: 14 I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

54 Legal aspects 1986 Ley de Obediencia Debida (Due Obedience Law) 1987 Ley de Punto Final (Termination Point Law) Grant an amnesty to the persons with a responsibility in the repressive process & to repressors tried & found guilty I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

55 Legal aspects Kidnapping of children is considered a crime against mankind & was not included in those laws. This crime does not prescribe. 1989: 3 articles are included in the Convention for the Rights of Children: Articles 7 & 8 (Argentinean articles), & 11 I. Intebi – ISPCAN Global Institute- San Diego-2011

56 Subject: Fw: Hijo de desaparecidos busca su hermano Date: Wed, 02 Jul 2003 13:07:09 -0300 Disculpen la molestia.;Mi nombre es Diego Olivares, tengo 23 años y soy de nacionalidad argentina ;Soy hijo de padres desaparecidos durante la dictadura militar argentina;fines de 1979 y principios de 1980. Ellos eran Juan Olivares (25 años en el día de su desaparición) y Julieta Alzugaray(23años). La razón de este mail es encontrar a mi hermano dado en adopción después de la desaparición de mis padres.

57 He intentado encontrarlo a través de varios caminos sin llegar a obtener resultados certeros. Un amigo me comento acerca de estas cadenas de mail y me decidí; a realizarla con la esperanza de que mi hermano al leerla (o alguna persona cercana a el) se comunique conmigo para realizar el esperado reencuentro.

58 Para ello necesito de su ayuda. He consultado en varios organismos gubernamentales y de derechos humanos,así como H.I.J.O.S. y MADRES DE PLAZA DE MAYO, sin llegar a obtener información certera. Los únicos datos que me han dado es que existen sospechas de que mi hermano podría haber sido dado en adopción, con el nombre de ALEXIS FRENETTE, a una pareja de franceses; o bien podría estar en el país con cualquier otro nombre.

59 Por favor envíen este mail a cuanta persona conozcan con la esperanza de poder reencontrarme con mi hermano y llegar a tan ansiado dia. Si tienen alguna información, escríbanme a mi dirección de e-mail: diegoolivares@hotmail.com, ya que esa es la única forma de contactarme,por lo que no poseo aposento propio y estoy en continuo movimiento. Muchas gracias, Diego Olivares PD: copien este email y péguenlo en otro nuevo así no se acumulan piquitos al principio del renglon. gracias

60 Child Abuse & Neglect in Latin America Child Abuse & Neglect in Latin America Dr. Irene Intebi, M.D. & Clinical Psychologist (Argentina) ISPCAN President ireneintebi@gmail.com


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