President of Senate´s Human Rights Commission denounces Chilean child protective services

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In order to protect the lives of 1,334 children with potential life risk and complex mental disorders, who are in centers of the National Service for Minors (Sename in Chile), Chilean Senator Alejandro Navarro made an appeal for protection against that institution, due to the actions and omissions that cause threat to the life, and physical and mental integrity of these minors.

The President of the Human Rights Commission of the Senate, who also included in the lawsuit an action on behalf of eight children from different Sename centers, explained that “this legal action is in favor of the 1334 children and adolescents from the whole country, who are in a critical situation and have not been addressed by this institution”.

For the Broad Social Movement (MAS in Spanish) senator, “we cannot tolerate cases like Lissette Villa again, the 10 years old who died in one of the centers because, if they had alerted of the background of this child, perhaps help could have arrived in time to save her life. The same now goes for more than a thousand children who are waiting for support and are in critical condition”.

The parliamentarian also included in the allegation, eight children and adolescents, “who, as a result of poor health actions by state bodies, are constantly exposed and threatened in preserving their right to life and integrity; therefore, misfortune and death may occur”.

“These children”, continued the legislator, “present medical conditions that have not been addressed, such as bipolar disorder, severe depression, substance abuse or suicide attempts, which undoubtedly makes clear the gravity of the situation”.

According to the congressman, “the problem is that the care delivered to them in the centers, is not enough to give them proper treatment and is consequently insufficient to prevent suicide attempts, the drug problem, auto aggression and in general, to treat their physical and mental health, as can be seen in the case of the girl with initials L.C.C., who to date does not count with medical treatment even, notwithstanding her serious health condition, including HIV infection”.

Navarro added, “it is according to all these reasons, and the threat, restriction and violation of their constitutional rights recognized in article 19 of the Constitution of the Republic, that we interpose this lawsuit for these children, because we do not want more fatal incidents in a Sename center”.

“Since the critical health situation of those affected makes it clear that their rights are being violated and that efforts and measures that can be adopted to avoid or prevent this situation, have had very poor results,” he added.

“For this purpose”, Navarro said, “we asked for these children to be entered into a hospital unit that possess a Short Stay for Children and Adolescents Unit, in order to have a comprehensive and real treatment, where both their mental health as well as their current medical conditions are addressed and all necessary safety measures to protect their life, are taken, “he added.

“Because we have said it countless times, the National Service for Minors must ensure the children´s care and be the institution that supports and rehabilitates them when needed. It cannot be that in Sename centers, they are worse off than in the places where they have been brought from”, concluded the President of the Senate´s Human Rights Commission.

Press and Communications Office

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