The capital of the country and of the state of Mexico, Mexico City has an urban population of 9 million inhabitants and 22 million in the greater metropolitan area. It is the world’s largest Spanish-speaking city and sixth largest urban agglomeration.
Here, high-rise buildings stand beside shanty towns, and many social problems affect the lives of local families. Every day, migrants arrive in Mexico City looking for opportunities. Children and young people who move here with their families, often end up living in poor housing with little access to education, healthcare or ways to improve their future.
Since 1971, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Mexico City.
Life in a big city can be very hard, and home should be a safe place to retreat to. However, domestic violence is on the rise in the Mexico City metropolitan area, with 11% of the total complaints addressing domestic violence issues. That’s more than twice the average in Morelia, another city to the west of Mexico City, for example.
Children who witness domestic violence at home are themselves often affected by it directly. Families need support so that children can grow up in safe and protective homes, free from violence or abuse.
Huge contrasts can be seen in Mexico City. This is also true regarding access to health care.
Only 35% of the broader Mexico City population benefit from social security coverage. This leaves 65% without an affiliation to health services – including children.
But the difficulties go beyond medical care. Thousands of families continue to live in slums, unable to meet basic needs such as sanitation, food, and adequate housing. Children growing up in these conditions are particularly vulnerable to dropping out of education, having to work, or getting pulled into criminal activities.