Framework in Preparation for
the Third Summit of the Americas


Document prepared by the Canadian Delegation
and approved by the
Executive Committee of the Directing Council
of the Inter-American Children’s Institute (IACI)
Kingston, Jamaica
October 2000


For the XX Meeting of the
Summit Implementation Review Group,
November 28-30, 2000,



On April 20 - 22, 2001 hemispheric Presidents and Prime Ministers will meet in Quebec City, Canada at the Summit of the Americas. This will be the third occasion on which the leaders of the hemisphere’s 34 democratic nations will come together to consider the most important issues affecting the region. Strengthening of democracy and economic integration have come to be identified as the twin pillars of the Summit process, as was reflected at the First and Second Summits of the Americas in Miami, USA (1994) and Santiago, Chile (1998). It is important that the 2001 Summit build on these accomplishments while looking toward a focussed, results-oriented and relevant agenda.

Miami and Santiago have established a solid basis for cooperation in the hemisphere and it should not be necessary simply to repeat or re-package existing commitments. The 2001 Summit of the Americas should reflect the results of an increasingly intense level of hemispheric consultation and cooperation at many levels and across many sectors. It is key to turn to the development of a focussed agenda, which addresses our collective challenges as a hemispheric community through achieving agreement on practical, results-oriented objectives.

The Summits of the Americas process must remain and be seen to be relevant and responsive to the real concerns of the citizens of the hemisphere. To this end, the 2001 Summit should have a clear focus on people and define priorities within a coherent political, economic and social agenda. This agenda should be articulated in a Declaration and Plan of Action that are mutually supportive and set out a vision and mandates for practical initiatives that will strengthen national and hemispheric institutions in support of shared values and collective undertakings




18 August 2000

Framework in Preparation for the Third Summit of the Americas


The hemisphere’s common agenda, such as the consolidation of democracy and full respect for human rights, the eradication of poverty and discrimination, and expanded economic opportunities, necessarily includes the health, well-being, protection, education and participation of children.

The Americas are wonderfully diverse ...but in the hemisphere, one great strength and one great weakness stand out. The greatest strength of the Americas lies in the creativity and vitality born from encounters among diverse cultures and traditions.

The great weakness of the Americas is the tendency among its nations to develop without equity. Inequity reproduces itself in vicious cycles of exclusion, repression, and violence. These effects of inequity are antithetical to the standard of living adequate for the children’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.

The leaders of the Americas have the opportunity to address the issues of children as an integral part of the Plan of Action and Political Declaration of the Third Summit of the Americas to be held in Quebec City, Canada in April 2001. Children are a dependent population group and quickly feel the impact of civil strife, and socio-economic and political crises in the Americas. Because children are dependent, they do not have power and are not represented, but still remain the most universal concern of all peoples of the Americas.


Instruments to create a common language and international and regional standards on the rights of children have been developed over the last decade, due in large part to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adopted in 1989 and the 1990 World Summit on Children. Political commitment and capacity-building to realize these instruments are now necessary.

The United Nations will be convening a Special Session of the General Assembly in

September 2001 - also known as the End of Decade Review of the World Summit for Children (WSC+10) - which will review the progress made towards implementing the goals of the 1990 World Summit for Children. The WSC +10 will develop new commitments for the coming decade which will include emerging issues pertaining to children.

The Fifth Ministerial Meeting on Children and Social Policy in the Americas, held in October 2000 in Kingston, Jamaica has reviewed Hemisphere’s progress on the goals of the World Summit for Children and prepared the Region’s position for the WSC + 10.

The 10th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State, taking place on 16 November, 2000 in Panama, will focus on children and adolescents as its main issue under the slogan "United for children and adolescents: basis of justice and equity in the new millennium".

In April of 2001, at the Third Summit of the Americas, the democratically-elected Heads of State and Government of the Americas can set an agenda that incorporates the progress sought for children in this forum. They can demonstrate commitment to the implementation of international and regional instruments for the protection and healthy development of children in the Americas, bearing in mind that support for children will have a positive impact on the eradication of poverty and discrimination, the consolidation of democracy, sustainable development, full respect for human rights and the expansion of economic development.

What Do the Children of Latin America and the Caribbean Say?

The recently conducted UNICEF Regional Survey: Voices of Children and Adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean provided the following striking evidence from interviews with 12,000 children and adolescents ages 9 to 18:

  • more than half of those interviewed say they are not heard, either at home or at school;
  • children express low levels of trust in their governments and do not feel that they are seen by them as important;
  • children express great pessimism concerning the future of their countries. Two-thirds of respondents believe that their country is going to be the same (34%) or worse (33%) in the future;
  • in contrast, optimism exists concerning the possibility of having a better life than that of their parents;
  • one of every five respondents live alone with their mother;
  • 25% of respondents complain of a high level of aggressive behaviour in the household;
  • 43% of respondents indicated that they feel hardly or not at all secure in the places where they live;
  • a third of children interviewed feel uninformed about sex education, AIDS and drug abuse prevention;
  • a third of the respondents said feeling happiness is infrequent.

When they were asked about what it is that they want from their governments, children and adolescents responded:

  • greater efficiency in government;
  • following through on electoral promises;
  • putting an end to corruption;
  • creating more space and showing greater concern for children and adolescents, dedicating greater resources for education and free time;
  • giving supportive help for the needy.

When faced with the question about what they would do in order to help the children and adolescents of their country, the respondents mentioned:

  • guarantee the right to education;
  • combat crime and delinquency;
  • right to home, attributing great importance to the family in their personal and social development;
  • prohibition of the use of drugs;
  • right to adequate food;
  • respect for the right to be healthy and not to be abused (physically, psychologically and morally). (UNICEF, May 2000)


We have analyzed the three Baskets through a child development and protection lens and have outlined opportunities under almost each one which will impact the socio-economic and cultural context in which we live and will be a direct benefit to children. The opportunities are outlined in Appendix A- Summary of Main Challenges Regarding Children for The Summit of the Americas for your review. Children’s issues cut across broad socio-economic and political concerns – for example strengthening democracy, promoting prosperity -- and are key in realizing human potential. The opportunities outlined in the summary should also be addressed by the authorities responsible for those areas, not only by authorities responsible for children. Below, in Section D, we have identified priorities for action under the specific category of "Children and Youth".


The inclusion of the category of Children and Youth within the third Basket is an important acknowledgment that children and youth remain the most universal concern of all peoples of the Americas. We have drawn out of the summary those items that are of priority for children in the Americas and should be dealt with under the category of "Children and Youth"

and identified specific items which might be used for the Third Summit of the Americas Plan of Action.

Democracy and civil society - strengthening the culture of democracy and participation of children and youth.

Human Rights - ratification and implementation of human rights instruments in favour of children and women.

Human Security - addressing the protection of children.

Economic Disparity - decreasing disparity by supporting families through various measures.

Social Investment - in areas that favour the development of children and families.



1.1 Demonstrate political commitment to children’s issues by endorsing the Kingston Consensus of the Fifth Ministerial Meeting on Children and Social Policy in the Americas which manifests the Region’s position for the World Summit for Children + 10.

1.2 Appoint the Inter-American Children’s Institute and Pan-American Health Organization as the official technical advisors on children for this and future Summits of the Americas.

1.3 Champion the Convention of the Rights of the Child’s principle of participation of children in matters that affect them in order to consolidate democracy and foster strong development of adolescents by incorporating mechanisms in national, regional, and international organizations and events that provide space for the expression of the views of children.


2.1 Strengthen the capacity of governments and their cooperation with civil society on the monitoring and implementation of children’s rights, especially through the capacity development of writing of National Reports on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This issue has been identified as a high priority need amongst the IACI Directors, academics and researchers in the Americas.


3.1 Connect inter-American agencies, researchers, civil society organizations, International Organizations (regional offices) through a internet-based platform on themes such as child labour; children affected by violence; children affected by substance abuse; street children; children with disabilities, etc.

3.2 Develop a Standing Committee of OAS Agencies on Children.

Multilateral Organization Policy Development:

4.1 Mainstreaming of children’s issues into Inter-American agencies and bodies of the OAS.

4.2 Develop a Child Impact Assessment Tool for inter-American agencies. This tool will also be of help to other interamerican agencies such as the inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development and other "non-child’ inter-American bodies.



Basket #1: Strengthening Democracy

1.1 Democratic Institutions and Processes:

Strengthening the culture of democracy through:

  • education and strong educational environments with access for all;
  • the establishment of civic education for children and families;
  • creating opportunities for leadership and participation of children as well as young adults; and
  • creating a culture of respect within institutions and governments by listening to children.

1.2 Human Rights:

Strengthening the Human Rights system through:

  • implementing and monitoring of human rights instruments, especially the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW);
  • implementing right to name and nationality (i.e. civil registration);
  • promoting gender equality
  • educating and promoting the human rights of children among military actors, police and the general public.

1.3 Administration of Justice:

Strengthening the justice system through:

  • upholding and reinforcement of the principles set forth in the CRC with regards to juvenile justice;
  • introduction/strengthening of laws against child abuse;
  • addressing impunity on crimes committed against children; and
  • addressing the heightened risk of children as victims of child pornography, pedophilia, and cybercrime.

1.4 Public and Human Security:

In order to facilitate/precipitate action, ensuring that the following issues be given priority in the development of public policy, inter-sectoral collaboration and international cooperation:

  • children affected by violence;
  • children affected by armed conflict (including in post-conflict countries);
  • commercial sexual exploitation including child pornography;
  • transnational crime such as trafficking of women and children and cybercrime;
  • counter-narcotics and drug abuse prevention; and
  • prevention of child abuse and child maltreatment through public education campaigns, strengthening of child abuse laws and enforcement.

1.5 Civil Society:

Creating mechanisms and opportunities for the participation of children in matters that affect them within schools, communities, national, regional and international institutions.

  1. Basket #2: Creating Prosperity

2.1 Trade and Investment:

2.2 Financial Markets:

2.3 Environment:

Ensure that the effects of change in the physical environment (air, water, pollution, sanitation, climate change, natural disasters, contaminants and chemicals ) on children are given due importance in research, development of public policy and intersectoral collaboration.

2.4 Labour:


  • the worst forms of child labour and exploitation of children be eradicated through the swift ratification of ILO Convention 182;
  • the establishment and enforcement of age related laws through the adherence of public policy in ILO Convention 138;
  • adequate regulations for the conditions of work for children to ensure their education and normal development are not affected; and
  • that the effects of migratory labour on children and their families are studied and public policies to support families are implemented.

2.5 Telecommunications:

Promote access to information and the participation in information exchanges with special attention to access for marginalized children.

Promote knowledge and action on:

  • the impact of the media on children;
  • child exposure to media violence; and
  • negative media portrayal of adolescents.

2.6 Economic Disparity:

Promoting the reduction of economic disparity through:

  • investment in social policies benefiting children, youth and families, especially in early child development and for marginalized children;
  • improving economic opportunities for parents and communities, especially marginalized ones;

Addressing the issue of poverty and its effect on families and children by understanding and taking action to:

  • promote non-violent family environments;
  • promote stable family environments, especially for female-headed households and families of migrant workers;
  • decrease substance abuse;
  • promote non-violent social environments;
  • increase accessibility to and retention in primary and secondary education;
  • increased opportunity for post-secondary education;
  • prevention of malnutrition;
  • provide access to health care, including primary and preventative health care; and
  • provide access to quality low-income housing and adequate community development.

Addressing the geographic distribution of economic disparity such as:

  • rural poverty impact on children;
  • effects of urbanization, especially on marginalized children; and
  • street children.

3. Basket #3: Realizing Human Potential

3.1 Education/ Lifelong learning:

Strengthening the education and healthy development through:

  • access to quality education for children, especially marginalized and rural children, girls and children in conflict zones;
  • access to quality secondary school education;
  • training of youth; and
  • non-formal education opportunities for marginalized children.

3.2 Health:

Enhancing the importance of children’s health issues by promoting:

  • the prevention of substance abuse;
  • the prevention of tobacco-related illnesses;
  • addressing the special needs of children with differing abilities;
  • providing access to preventative and primary health care;
  • addressing the increase of respiratory infections amongst children due to exposure of polluted environments;
  • addressing insect-born illnesses (such as malaria, dengue and chagas), water- and food-born illnesses;
  • education for the prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS ;
  • the prevention of childhood illnesses; and
  • the promotion of mental health amongst adolescents.

3.3 Gender Equality:

Promote the development of healthy environments for children through:

  • the promotion of legal equality between women and men;
  • enhancing women’s economic autonomy and economic security;
  • eradicating violence against women;
  • enhancing public policy to support female-headed households;
  • promoting opportunities for girl-children; and
  • promoting the eradication of anti-female public attitudes.

3.4 Indigenous Children:

Promote the well-being of Indigenous children through:

  • access to basic social services;
  • addressing the need to keep/protect language and culture
  • addressing discrimination in public institutions
  • provision of economic and social development programs for communities; and
  • empowerment and community development.

3.5 Cultural Diversity:

  • strengthening of cultural institutions’ accessibility to children; and
  • providing opportunities for children to participate in cultural sectors.


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