Montevideo is the capital city, and commercial and political centre of Uruguay. Approximately 1.9 million people live here, and this makes up 47% of the population of Uruguay.
The great economic growth experienced in the capital has drawn many people to move here in hope of a better future.
However, despite the high levels of literacy and increasing financial success, there are many risks to children and young people: poverty, sustained child labour, and a growing number of HIV cases.
Since 1964, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Montevideo.
Around 40% of children under the age of 14 are in households living in poverty.
Larger families have a greater number of children in poverty, with parents unable to sustain their families. This trend has also been observed in single-parent households, particularly where the head of the family is a woman. With fewer employment opportunities available to women, child poverty persists.
More initiatives in areas of parental education and a change in labour status for women could contribute to reducing child poverty cases.
Child sex trafficking rings are prevalent in Montevideo. Most victims are women and young girls from families suffering financial hardship.
While authorities have increased efforts to address, identify and prosecute organized crime, long-term support remains insufficient.
Victims require additional aid in the form of more funding for shelters, support for social reintegration and efforts towards vocational training. And children and young people at risk require more support so that they do not fall victims to these crimes.