Quito is the capital of the republic of Ecuador, located in the northern part of the country. Around 2, 8 million people live in the city, which is located at an elevation of 2,850m.
Quito is divided: on the one hand, a thriving, modern financial district with a growing middle class. On the other hand, large sectors of society who remain marginalized and live in dire conditions. 11% of the population is officially unemployed, but many more struggle to make ends meet.
Since 1963, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Quito.
Since 2015, 1.2 million Venezuelan refugees have entered Ecuador. Most of them move on to other countries, but an estimated 500,000 refugees decide to stay in Ecuador.
The province of Pichincha, where Quito is located, has the largest population of Venezuelan refugees, with around 100,000 people living there. The Ecuadorian government is struggling to respond to all the urgent needs, like food and shelter; and the administrative needs, like access to social services. Not only do Venezuelans face challenges around employment, housing and legal status; they also suffer from xenophobia. Children suffer most from these difficult living situations and insecurity.
Around 40% of Ecuadorian women have been victims of physical or sexual violence, and 70% of women have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.
More specifically in the province of Pichincha, where Quito is located, 49% of women suffer from emotional violence and 40% suffer from physical violence from their partners.
The Ecuadorian president has vowed to eradicate gender-biased violence, but this will require a major push from the government. Children are most impacted by this violence, directly or indirectly.