Fellow: Esmeralda Ramos Rodriguez
Grant Year: 2018
City: San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Job Title: President
Organization: Ciudadanos Empoderados en Movimiento (CEMAC)
Project title: For Human Rights Education – “Yes We Can”
Project summary: Among the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mexico is ranked number one in physical violence, sexual abuse, and homicide of children under 14 years. The most widespread violence in the country is corporal punishment for disciplinary purposes, followed by physical and psychological violence in the forms of child mistreatment, neglect, and humiliating treatment. Despite these unacceptable circumstances, there is no comprehensive legislation that protects Mexican children from violence. There is also a complete lack of child participation mechanisms that promote enforcement and reporting of violence. CEMAC will advocate for the amendment of Article 47 of the General Law of Education, adding language to section 6 of the article to make it mandatory to teach and promote human rights as part of the standard curriculum at elementary schools. Through this advocacy for educational reform, the new human rights curriculum will teach students about their rights to protect them from violence. CEMAC is well positioned to advocate directly with Congress and the Secretary of Education for this legislation. Through community forums, CEMAC will get buy-in from directors, teachers, parents, state authorities and young people to implement the newly mandated human rights curriculum into the 36,345 schools in the state, impacting over 1.6 million students.