From 2021 to 2022, there have been registered 471 complaints of recruitment of minors in Medellín and the Municipal Administration has activated the routes for reestablishing rights related to this scourge.
This is because this February 12 is the International Day of the Red Hands, a day promoted since 2002 by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), as a strategy to raise awareness about the scourge of the use and forced recruitment of minors in armed conflicts.
“From the Municipal Administration we have been joining forces to put an end to this scourge. That is why we have activated, between last year and 2022, 39 routes to make the rights of this population sector prevail. At the same time, we will continue working to promote prevention, protection and the promotion of the rights of children and adolescents”, said the secretary of Social Inclusion, Family and Human Rights, Juan Pablo Ramírez Álvarez.
One of the main strategies to mitigate the recruitment of minors is reporting. It can be done anonymously through the Early Warning System of Medellín -SATMED-, at www.medellin.gov.co/satmed or WhatsApp 3107154095. Also on lines 123 Social and 141 of the ICBF.
Anyone can alert about the existing risks in the territories and contribute to the strengthening of protective environments, through the Personería of Medellín, the School Protective Environment strategy of the Ministry of Education and the territorial Human Rights managers of the Ministry of Inclusion Social, Family and Human Rights.
“Children must be studying, playing, being in protective environments with their families, learning and, above all, dreaming of transforming their territories, their countries. Societies that empower their children are more peaceful societies”, expressed the Secretary of Non-Violence, Juan Carlos Upegui.
Juan – fictitious name, to protect his identity – was recruited by the ELN guerrilla since he was 13 years old. There he stood guard and participated in armed confrontations until he activated an antipersonnel mine. The army found him and in Medellín he entered programs to restore his rights through the Municipal Administration.
“Thanks to the programs of the Mayor’s Office, I can think about working, having a rent and food. I know that I will achieve it with God and with the Mayor’s Office of Medellin, which offers me help,” said the young man, who is now 18 years old.