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.
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
- 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
- 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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