Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020

UNICEF warns of violations of children's rights in protests in Chile

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday warned about violations of the rights of children and adolescents due to police procedures during protests in Chile that are now 21 days old.

The representative of UNICEF in the country, Paolo Mefalopulos, told Efe on Thursday that the concern exists since the first days of protests.

"We are concerned not only with detentions, but also with the rise in cases of violence and violations of the rights of minors, children and adolescents. They are rising and increasing steadily," he said.

The United Nations agency referred to a report by the National Prosecutor's Office indicating that between October 18 and 27, a total of 122 complaints were filed regarding alleged violations of children's rights.

The international entity also added that on several occasions the Adolescent Criminal Responsibility Law has not been complied with, forcing minors to be separated from adults in detention.

According to the National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI), a state but independent entity, the protocols for police action in access to educational centers were not fulfilled, as happened with the incursion of police officers in an institute in the center of Santiago last Tuesday.

According to local media, the students were inside the center, demonstrating when the police stormed shooting pellets and throwing tear gas inside the building.

"Chemical deterrents will only be used when there is a danger to the physical integrity of the people inside them or of the police officers who intervene in the place," states the rule that establishes the use of force.

However, on that occasion the uniformed men used rubber pellets and two young people were injured, one of them with more than 10 pellets in one leg.

The defender of Children, Patricia Muñoz, said in this case that the situation is not sustainable and that "Carabineros de Chile cannot afford to enter an educational establishment to shoot at the students."

In that sense, the general director of Carabineros, Mario Rozas, acknowledged that there was a violation of the protocols of action at the entrance to this educational center.

The uniformed officer, a major of the police institution, was arrested for the non-proportional use of force, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

The Public Ministry also announced on the eve charges against two police officers accused of torturing a 16-year-old teenager during the first days of protests, when the curfew was in the Chilean capital.

According to the NHRI, around 5,000 people were arrested since the beginning of the protests, 549 of whom were minors.

Chile is experiencing an unprecedented social outbreak since the end of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1990, with massive demonstrations in the streets and that to date has killed at least 20 people, six of them foreign citizens.

. (tagsToTranslate) Unicef ​​(t) violations (t) rights (t) protests (t) Chile

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