CLADE and ICE reject UN Award to the Mexican President
Felipe Calderón has won the award for his program of Childcare for Working Mothers, which represents a throwback to the early childhood education as a human right
In June 27, 2012, the United Nations awarded to the Mexican government the second place in the UN Public Service Award for his program of Childcare for Working Mothers in Category 5, Promotion Services Responsive to Gender. The Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) and Civil Advocacy in Education (ICE) of Mexico added to the repudiation already shown by the Citizens Movement for Justice June 5, and other joints of Mexican citizenship, with relation to the provision of this award to the Felipe Calderon's government.
According to the UN, this award is "the most prestigious international award for excellence in public administration" and is intended as a mechanism to encourage "excellence in exemplary public services" when it "recognizes that democracy and good governance rely on a competent civil service".
This award to the Mexican government for its program of Childcare for Working Mothers is a throwback to the consolidation of early childhood education as a human right and reflects fundamental contradictions within the United Nations, which has also been promoting many international instruments on human rights and protection of the interests of the children.
The criteria for a "care space" for beeing eligible to the award-winning program aimed at a conception of education and care to children that disrespects the rights of children and doesn't contain political, ethical and teaching bases. The criteria indicate that the necessary formation of those who will be leading and caring for children is only completed high school and the physical space needed has to be of 2 square meters for each child. These examples of criteria and the absence of other substantive parameters in line with principles and contents of human rights in early childhood show that the requirement to integrate the Children's Instances Program is practically zero.
We understand that the implementation of programs like this donsn´t respond to the realization of children rights nor the rights of women workers, while exempting the state from its responsibility as guarantor of rights. Low-cost programs that do not use eligibility criteria of the human right to education and are directed in a targeted manner to the lower-income, violate rights rather than perform and create divisions between families of different socioeconomic levels, widening gaps and inequalities. Various international human rights standards which people have won over the years are clear: "Everyone has the right to education without discrimination."
Beyond the serious features of Childcare Program for Working Mothers, awarding this prize to the Mexican government in a context where three years ago a tragic fire occurred in the ABC Nursery, State of Sonora, which killed 49 girls and boys between 0 and 5 years old, is an affront to Mexican citizenship and to the struggle for human rights in the country, the continent and the world.
Finally, we emphasize another aggravating to the context in which the prize is awarded: Although President Felipe Calderon signed in 2011 the decree which approves the General Law on Provision of Services for Child Atention, Integrated Development and Care, also called June 5 law for being driven by the Movement June 5, consisted of parents of child that were victims of fire at the ABC Nursery, it is clear that untill the present date he has not done the procedure to develop and approve the necessary regulation to validate the law, which today is irrelevant.
CLADE, ICE and other sister networks and civic movements that fight for human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean will continue articulating for the early childhood education to be recognized as a fundamental human right and that this view reflect consistently in public policies and programs that are launched.