UNICEF is an organization that is well known for itsmonumental actions towards children’s rights and aim to satisfy their needs.The organization was established after World War II due to the tragic anddevastating crisis in wars that left children weak and uneducated. Thefollowing topics are to address the issue of “Protecting Children’s Rightto Healthcare and Education During Warfare and Crisis” and “The Roleof Children in Drug Trafficking.”A Central American country bordered by Mexico to thenorth and west runs by the name Guatemala. With an estimated population ofalmost 17 million Guatemalans (also known as Ladinos), Guatemala is the mostpopulated nation among all countries in Central America. However, 36 years ofcivil war has lead to a major crisis in Guatemala and its economy. Over 200,00victims of death and 45,000 people disappearing, the country is facing troubleto rebuild. The case of children is strenuous and difficult.
In 2014, Worldbank news reported that over 59% of the population (which is more than half ofthe population of Guatemala) live below the poverty line. Poverty has a hugeimpact on children’s lives. It affectstheir malnutrition, health, and education.They are constrained to work to be able to make a living, which destroys theirchances of getting an education. It’salmost illogical to see the number of children missing out on their educationto work on the streets.
An organization that helps children on the streetscalled Viva proclaims that over 1.5 million children are out of school. Childrenare obliged to work to be able to contribute totheir household income, even if it was atthe expense of their education.Guatemala doesn’t proffer the adequate healthcare tomeet the needs of the population as a whole. It lacks infrastructure and resourcesthat are demanded in the country. Therefore, children with any particular diseaseor sickness are not being cured. Another barrier standing in the way ofchildren’s health and education is the traditional mindsets that are opposed to the obligatory needs of theirchildren. However, with all these challenges and conflicts that continue toexist, Guatemala has been considering the establishment of better Children’sCourts and improvements in the children’s protection system.
In the last few years, the death of children hadbecome high due to the crimes, kidnapping, gang activitiesand drug trafficking in Guatemala. Every month, thousands of Ladinos are forcedto work to bring food to their family’s table. Criminals take advantage ofthese naive children and have themcontribute to the most dangerous andillicit work. Children are usually the victims of these criminals due to their lackof knowledge and education. They are usually the targets, they get attackedwith brutality and threatened by theirlives or the lives of their family in casethey object. The impunity assures thatthere is nothing done to prohibit this.
Children have tried escaping from this violence and torture by seeking refuge help inthe US from gangsters. UNICEF has reported that in 2014 over 44,500Central American children were found on the United States borders and were arrested. Children seek protection and carein these situations.
As children, having to livein a country that has one of the world’s highest murder rates is dangerous andquite difficult to tolerate. In recent reports, a group reported that some governmentofficials contributed to this issue by cooperating with drug trafficking andcrimes as such.This alone is a motive for some children to contribute to theseillegal acts. It keeps the drugs available for children to sell. Moreover, thisissue could lead to further corruption in Guatemala. UNICEF’spartnership with Guatemala is highly beneficial and promising.
By the help ofUNICEF’s, the obstacles that Guatemala is facing will be partially solved. Thepoverty crisis should come to an end to be able to solve the issues in Guatemala.Theconflict of drug trafficking is the most laborious and difficult issue tosolve. However, a strict law should be implemented to be able to resolve theproblem.