The Family as a Stakeholder in the Comprehensive Protection of Early Childhood: Second Technical Meeting in Colombia
Further to the technical assistance provided by the IIN to the State of Colombia, within the context of the project on the “Promotion and Protection of Children’s Rights in the Inter-American System”, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), a second technical meeting was held in Bogotá, Colombia.
The meeting took place on 31 October and was attended by representatives of the President of the Republic of Colombia, the Family Directorate of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, the Ministry of Social Protection, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture and the Presidential Consultancy for Social Action.
On this occasion, work was based on the analysis of the most meaningful regional experiences in the area of strengthening families in order to achieve the full development of children, particularly during early childhood; an activity presented through a study carried out by the IIN.
This comparative study used experiences from Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay, extracting lessons from them, on the basis of which recommendations were made for the production of technical guidelines for work involving training and support for families, for the care of early childhood. Amongst the principal criteria to guide the work carried out with families contained in this paper and validated at the meeting were:
- Recognition of the importance of providing support to family and community networks.
- Acceptance of the different ways families are formed, valuing the strengths of each in the way they support, show solidarity and ensure the survival of the members of the unit.
- Incorporation of the gender equity approach to guide relationships between men and women, preventing one gender from prevailing over the other.
- Acceptance that changes or transformations involving family systems are complex and require long-term, systematic processes.
- Awareness that investments must be carried out based on these principles, which transcend mere attempts to provide care coverage.
- Emphasis on the fact that in the area of child protection, families, society and the State are jointly responsible and that, therefore, each party must fulfil its assigned duties and responsibilities.
During the event, a number of proposals were exchanged and analyzed with regard to the inclusion of the guidelines arising from this study amongst the national strategy De 0 a Siempre (“From 0 to Forever”) guidelines established by the State of Colombia.