Argentina: Services available, particularly in Mendoza, to adolescents whose parents are abusive, or who are unable or unwilling to provide the necessities of life (2000 - April 2001)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||25 April 2001|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ARG36909.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Argentina: Services available, particularly in Mendoza, to adolescents whose parents are abusive, or who are unable or unwilling to provide the necessities of life (2000 - April 2001), 25 April 2001, ARG36909.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be0bc.html [accessed 25 October 2014]|
In Mendoza, a number of organizations provide services to adolescents who are experiencing problems with their families (Instituto Provincial de la Juventud 2001; Municipalidad de Mendoza 10 Apr. 2001; Diario Los Andes 19 Mar. 2001; ibid. 3 Jan. 2000). According to the Provincial Youth Institute (Instituto Provincial de la Juventud), a government agency, adolescents abused by family members may seek assistance by calling a "kids' hotline" (línea de chicos), or by contacting a social worker at a hospital or health centre (2001).
The Mendoza provincial government operates a number of shelters for minors who are experiencing problems with their families, and a network of foster homes is also in place (Diario Los Andes 19 Mar. 2001; ibid. 3 Jan. 2000). According to Marta Politino de Noé, an advisor employed by the First Family Court (Primer Juzgado de Familiar) of Mendoza, many of the minors making use of these lodgings are individuals whose families have "disintegrated" (desintegaron), who have been abandoned by their parents, or who have suffered abuse at the hands of parents, siblings or other family members (ibid. 19 Mar. 2001). On 19 March 2001, the Mendoza newspaper Diario Los Andes reported that shelters in the eastern region of the province were unable to keep pace with the demand, particularly among those between 14 and 18 years of age, due to an increase in the number of families experiencing problems in this area. However, government spokespersons cited by the newspaper claimed that no child would be left without protection (ibid.).
In the region of the City of Buenos Aires, numerous governmental and non-governmental agencies offer services to adolescents who are experiencing problems with their families ( Consejo Nacional del Menor y la Familia n.d.; ibid. 1999; ibid. 2000a; ibid. 2000b; CAINA 2000; Clarín 14 Apr. 2001)
In October 2000, the Buenos Aires City Council for the Rights of Boys, Girls and Adolescents (Consejo de los Derechos de los Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes de la Ciudad) was established with a mandate to intervene in a number of areas, including child physical and sexual abuse and prevention of teenage pregnancy (La Nación 18 Oct. 2000). Law 144 of 3 December 1998, under the terms of which the Council was created, also called for the establishment of neighbourhood ombudsperson's offices (defensorías barriales) (ibid.). These offices, already in existence in October 2000, are mandated to intervene in specific cases (ibid.).
The National Council for Minors and the Family ( Consejo Nacional del Menor y la Familia), a federal government agency, operates a toll-free hotline staffed by trained personnel who take complaints, offer advice and provide follow-up to minors who are having problems with their families, or to others calling on their behalf (Consejo Nacional del Menor y la Familia n.d.). The hotline is available in the federal capital region, Paraná, Concepción del Uruguay, Gualeguaychu, Rosario, Corrientes, Formosa and Posadas (ibid.).
The National Council for Minors and the Family also coordinates a network of "integral assistance institutions" (institutos de asistencia integral) in which abandoned minors or minors "in moral or material danger" (en peligro moral o material) are lodged pending a detailed assessment of their situation, and subsequent return to their families or placement in a foster home (ibid. 1999). On its Website, the Council lists 31 such shelters, among which is the Manuel Rocca Institution, located in the City of Buenos Aires, which houses as many as 98 minors between the ages of 15 and 18 years who are experiencing problems with addiction, their families, or the law (ibid.).
In April 2001, the Council, along with the government of the City of Buenos Aires and a group of non-governmental organizations, launched a program to recruit foster parents who would house minors who cannot live with their biological family (Clarín 14 Apr. 2001). Volunteers taking part in the program receive support and advice from members of a "specialized technical team" (ibid.; Consejo Nacional del Menor y la Familia 2000a).
Very little information on the effectiveness of the programs described above in assisting adolescents experiencing problems with their families could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, according to Country Reports 2000,
While the Government voices strong commitment to issues of children's rights and welfare, including education and health, increasingly tight federal and provincial budgets mean that programs relevant to these areas continue to receive insufficient funding (2001).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
CAINA. 2000. "Programa chicos de la calle."
Clarín [Buenos Aires]. 14 April 2001. Hector Pavon. "Un plan para integrar a chicos con problemas a una familia."
Consejo Nacional del Menor y la Familia. 2000a. "Programas pequeños hogares."
_____. 2000b. "Hogares de niños y adolescentes."
_____. 1999. "Institutos de asistencia integral."
_____. n.d. "El número de los niños."
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000. 2001. United States Department of State. Washington, DC.
Diario Los Andes [Mendoza]. 19 March 2001. María Elena Guyet. "Proponen abrir más hogares de tránsito para adolescentes."
_____. 3 January 2000. "También hubo buenas noticias."
Instituto Provincial de la Juventud. 2001. " Programa de atención integral al maltrato de la Niñez y Adolescencia - Ley 6551."
Municipalidad de Mendoza, Area Niñez y Adolescencia. 10 April 2001. Correspondence from coordinator.
La Nación [Buenos Aires]. 18 October 2000. "Flamante defensoría para los más chicos."