Around 68 kilometres west of Buenos Aires, Luján has a population of 107,000. Known for its basilica, pilgrims flock in to see the statue of the Virgin of Luján. The city is situated on the river, 30 metres above sea level, and is an important producer of textiles. In the region, the majority of people work in agriculture.
But in the South American country with the second highest Human Development Index, many have not recovered from the 2002 economic crisis, a situation that affects the living conditions of children.
Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Luján.
Girls and boys between 0 and 18 years old are at equal risk of suffering from emotional and physical violence – but girls face a risk of being victims of sexual violence five times higher than boys.
An estimated 89% of reported acts of violence were committed by parents or stepparents, which confirms that violence is primarily exercised in the family and is related to power relations that perpetuate gender inequalities. The prevention, care and punishment of all forms of violence against children and young people is a priority.
At least one in five 15-year-old students in Argentina lacks a quiet place to study at home – and only 52 per cent of households in the region have internet while 45 per cent only have a computer.
Significant efforts have been made across Argentinian schools to integrate intercultural education into the teaching materials, but it is still not compulsory and left to the local authorities and schools to decide on how to target indigenous, Afro-descendant, and linguistic minorities. Inclusive, universal education is a priority to give children the tools to live a fulfilled adult life.