Friday, August 12, 2011

A good law unfunded

El Salvador adopted child protection legislation last year, designed to help lower incidence of abuse, poverty and neglect.   Last week IPS reported, however, that the law is languishing for lack of funding by the cash-strapped Salvadoran government:

The law is an improvement on previous child protection legislation, as it commits the state to ensuring comprehensive child protection and full enjoyment by children of universal human rights, such as health and education. It also includes safeguards against all forms of slavery, trafficking in children, forced and bonded labour, and the use of children in drug trafficking. An effort has been made to integrate child protection measures provided in other legislation, like the Family Code, and to construct a coherent legal system. 
The slow rate of progress is attributed by children's rights organisations to a real lapse of interest on the part of President Funes and Finance Minister Carlos Cáceres, whose responsibility it is to promote the necessary budget appropriations. "We observe a lack of political will, a failure to establish priorities and to commit national budget resources so that the law can be enforced," Georgina Villalta, special counsel for children at the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDDH), told IPS. 
The budget allocation must be approved by the executive branch, but the country's acute fiscal problems mean that this law, along with other bills, is languishing in limbo.
Read more about the law and its slow implementation here.

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