The Bolívar Square in Manizales, Colombia, was the location for the National Plantón (a type of pacifist protest) against child sexual abuse, convened by the international organization Aldeas Intantiles SOS, under the #SoySuVoz campaign. Signs and toys, silent witnesses of the abuse suffered by children, were the protagonists of this initiative.
Unfortunately, many cases of child abuse happen in the closest environment of the child who is a victim. Their toys are usually silent witnesses of these facts and faithful companions of boys and girls in their moments of greatest pain.
This is the reason why the NGO Aldeas Infantiles SOS, Colombia headquarters, gathered at least 700 dolls in the Plaza Bolívar, in Manizales, in the so-called National Plantón against child sexual abuse. The activity – to which another seven cities in the country also joined- aimed to create consciousness among the attendees and request the competent authorities:
- Disseminate prevention measures
- Urge institutions to improve the judgment systems for abusers
- Strengthen the ability of families to protect children
- Provide adequate attention to the victims
The numbers of cases of child sexual abuse are increasing and society is forced to generate protection mechanisms for children to live a happy childhood. The National Plantón was a protest that gave the children a voice to say “no more” to child sexual abuse.
Likewise, a call was made to prevent children from being separated from their families, since it creates a condition of re-victimization. However, some cases require the children to move away from their family environment to protect them.
Aldeas Infantiles SOS Colombia called on the State to make concrete moves against the infants non-inclusion in institutions and to take stronger measures against those who commit crimes of child abuse; children must not be doubly victims of events which they are not responsible of.
In Colombia alone, more than 83 thousand children are victims of child sexual abuse, many of them live in an orphanage and have not been able to see their families in a long time.
70 years of Aldeas Infantiles
Aldeas Infantiles SOS is an international organization that provides direct attention to children and adolescents; it has been fighting for the infants’ rights for over 70 years and it is present in 135 countries and territories.
This NGO has been based in Colombia for half a century, promoting projects in alliance with other organizations, accompanying the children and adolescents’ development, offering a family-based model, providing them with protective capacities in the upbringing of their sons and daughters.
Through the #SoySuVoz campaign, the organization calls to demand that children grow up in a family that protects them.