President Piñera in his third Public Account strengthened the Government’s action in the face of the health crisis and presented the elements for social and economic revival that seek to strengthen, in contingency, the network of protection to medium and most vulnerable sectors. The message highlighted a set of initiatives that are part of the “Agreement to Strengthen the Social Protection Network” that, together with other complementary initiatives that, among other areas, are expected to contribute to the reactivation of employment for more than 1.8 million compatriots who have lost it in this period and 700 thousand who have suspended their contracts.
However, the effort to deploy the account to these important points, we expected more depth to highlight one of the priority axes of this administration, which is the situation of Children in Chile and the progress of the Transversal Agreement.
In this sense, through the account, some of the points are raised such as the advancement in the Bicentennial Lycées, or with regard to the preventive dimension of the fight against drug trafficking, with a particular focus on children. Indeed, a quality public offering with evidence against alcohol and drug use in children and adolescents has been promoted, through the “Choose to Live Without Drugs” model based on “Planet Youth”. Also valuable is the clearance of the Protected Breeding Law, pending the agreements of “Universal Cradle Room” and “Kinder Obligatory”. With regard to Children Violated, it is generally aware of progress in programmes to support family reunification, strengthening host families, without providing further background such as experiences and evaluations, operation of models and what the current results, scopes and coverages are. Close monitoring of these measures, as the requirement, escalation opportunities and resources are essential to the design of a policy of deinstitutionalization of more than 6500 children deprived of parental care, is necessary. In these matters there was also a lack of a clear signal regarding the urgency of the “Guarantee Law” and the “Presidential Veto” which has in question deep elements of the “Specialized Protection Service Project” such as controls and inability to system operators. Finally, it would have been important to specify in how to deal in particular with the reality of children in post-pandemic Chile, for example, in the face of dropout, the mental health crisis, the recovery of street children, many of whom left Sename’s residences. It is necessary to understand how the Government will address the effects of the crisis on children, especially the most vulnerable. We know of the precariousness of the protection system to address the crisis and we are concerned that fundamental changes in legislation and institutionality still have a wide time of discussion, we cannot mortgage the welfare of children, without managingly addressing what has not been possible to date with agreements.
By Marcelo Sánchez, general manager of Fundación San Carlos de Maipo