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“I would like El Salvador to be a safer country,” says a young man who marched for children’s rights

At least 3,000 people marched in Concepción Batres to demand that children’s rights be respected.

On Friday, May 20, at least 3,000 people gathered in Concepción Batres, municipality of Usulutan, to march for the children’s rights.

The rally was attended by members of more than 60 churches in the eastern part of the country, united under the initiative of Compassion International, an organization that works to improve the quality of life of children in different countries.

“Today’s march, we decided to do it because it is necessary for the community to realize that the church can also raise its voice to peacefully express the rights of the children of the East and of all the children of El Salvador,” said Misael Sáenz , pastor of the Josué church in Gotera.

Salem Nohemí Castellón, 6 years old, participated in the march together with children from 60 churches in the eastern part of the country. Photo EDH/ Damaris Girón

Children of all ages were present at the event, accompanied by their parents. All the minors carried signs, caps or shirts with the campaign slogan “It’s not normal”.

“The campaign itself is the message that we want to leave with them, that it is not normal for children to be abused at home, in schools or on the street,” said Sáenz.

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According to Brenda Rivas, national director and legal representative of Compassion International in El Salvador, the campaign seeks to raise awareness among parents, so that they do not normalize violence in children.

“We must not normalize beatings, screaming, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancies because it is not normal,” he emphasizes.

Rivas explains that in addition to the campaign, they have developed a three-step protection route to deal with cases of violence against minors. “This protection route allows us to learn about the case, to be able to report it and also take action to prevent it,” he says.

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Another aspect in which they are working is the education of parents, so that they know how to treat children. “Sometimes we see it common for children to be beaten, receive verbal abuse, shouting and this is not normal. Behaviors from when we suffer in childhood are usually replicated and we pass it on from generation to generation and what we want is to counteract that,” says Brenda Rivas.

children’s dream

For Jeferson Trejo, 17, his biggest dream is to live in a safe country. “I have an 11-year-old brother and a 14-year-old sister. I would like El Salvador to be a healthy country, a little safer, with a better quality of life so that they can grow up in a safe environment and that there is a future for them. “, He says. Within a few years, Jeferson hopes to become a business manager.

Katherine Navarrete is in third grade and her favorite subject is language. Growing up, her biggest dream is to become a doctor to save lives, but for now her biggest wish is to be able to go out and play with her friends in a safe place.

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Communities Childhood Violence

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