Last April, President Guillermo Lasso presented a draft Organic Law for the Protection and Integral Development of Children in Early Childhood, with the aim, he said, that the protection of minors would not be a government program, but a State matter in which the necessary resources would be invested.
Chronic child undernourishment was one of Lasso’s promises, but his administration presents inaccurate figures on the number of children who are in that condition.
The last survey on the subject was conducted in 2018 and the data were not encouraging, according to the director of the National Institute of Statistics (INEC), Roberto Castillo, because 27 percent of children under 2 years old had chronic malnutrition at that time.
According to the director of the United Nations Global Compact Ecuador network, Mariana Tufiño, the country is in second place in the region with the highest percentage of children in a state of chronic malnutrition.
According to Tufiño, there are problems in this nation such as the lack of drinking water and conditions for children to have a comprehensive development.
On the other hand, violence and disputes between criminal gangs, associated with drug trafficking, caused the death of 192 minors in Ecuador in 2022, according to official data.
That figure is more than double the number in 2021, when 92 children and adolescents died, and exceeds the 57 children killed in 2020, according to National Police statistics.
Most of them were between 12 and 18 years old and lost their lives during actions imposed by gangs, when they were co-opted by organized crime in the absence of the state.
Also in 2022, a total of 195,188 students dropped out of the school system, 34 percent between 16 and 17 years old, the age at which they are recruited by gangs.