NLCI Latino Youth

Our Agenda

The National Latino Children’s Agenda is a statement of principles essential for the healthy and complete development of Latino children. It was developed following the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the lack of child-centered input to a national document developed by the leading Latino organizations. National leaders recognized that there wasn’t a children’s constituency represented in the NAFTA Latino Summit, although children represented the largest population group along the U.S.-Mexico border. As a result, representatives of 46 regional and national organizations gathered in 1994 to create the National Latino Children’s Agenda so that, in the future, everyone would be able to represent Latino children’s interests. Over 150 national organizations and hundreds of individuals have endorsed the Agenda, and many cities and groups use it as a guide to assure that children’s interests are represented.

We, the supporters of the Latino Children’s agenda, acknowledge that Latinos are an integral part of this country’s past, present, and future; that the Latino population has contributed significantly to this country’s development and will continue to do so; and that children are the center and the most precious aspect of Latino families and communities.

It is to our children that we presently and historically devote our lives. Our children are interconnected with their ancestors, extended family, and community. In advocating for Latino children, we are also advocating for the dignity, respect, and fair treatment of all children. We stand united in the effort to assure the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of those we represent: the children.

Therefore, we promote the following principles for the complete and healthy development of all children.

  • Children will be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Children will live in loving and healthy homes.
  • Children will live in a secure, safe, and healthy community.
  • Children will have the opportunity and the right to achieve their highest potential.
  • Children will see themselves positively and accurately reflected in literature, music, film, media, and other forms of artistic expression.
  • Children will have a voice and a role in the development of their programs and services.
  • Children will receive comprehensive services that are affordable and fully accessible regardless of their parent’s citizenship, language, work hours, migrant or economic status.
  • Children who speak languages other than English will have access to bilingual education programs.
  • Children will have educational equity from early childhood to higher education.
  • The language, culture and spirituality of Latino children and families will be respected as an integral and necessary part of their identity and development.
  • The integrity of the extended family relationship will be respected in programs and policies.
  • Families will be included in the creation and implementation of their children’s programs.
  • Families will receive culturally and linguistically appropriate services from competent agencies and organizations.
  • Families will participate in developing new economic and self-sufficiency opportunities for their communities.
  • Latinos will participate in public and private policy and funding decisions.
  • The workforce and community leaders will have access to professional preparation programs that develop culturally and linguistically appropriate skills and competencies.
  • Funders will provide equitable funding opportunities commensurate with population size and need.
  • The community will reflect and support the values and ideals of healthy Latino families.

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