MANAGUA.- Cuba is a world champion in the promotion and protection of children’s rights, said the regional director of UNICEF ​​for Latin America and the Caribbean, María Cristina Perceval.

During a recent forum in this capital about the rights of children to grow as a family, Perceval spoke with Prensa Latina about the achievements of the largest of the Antilles.

Cuba has the program “Educate your child”, a global model in early childhood development, that we have shared in other countries, said the representative of the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF).

Perceval also highlighted with pride the advances in health in the Caribbean nation, the first to validate the elimination of maternal and child transmission of HIV / AIDS in 2015.

Another of the country’s great strengths is preparedness for natural disasters, he added.

“In that sense, we recognize the installed capacity in the government and community social organization, not only to be prepared against emergencies, but to act during the phenomena with efficiency, professionalism and speed,” he said.

At the same time, he showed his gratitude to the Cuban government and people for accepting the Agency’s contribution to the recovery of the country after the hurricane lashed last year.

“I also want to thank you for allowing us to share what they have built in early childhood education, on the issue of the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV, prevention of teenage pregnancies … ‘Champions, champions, champions!’, she celebrated.

UNICEF ​​works hand in hand with the people and government of Cuba, Perceval said enthusiastically.

The Unicef Cuba country team participates in the mentioned “Educate your child” program, which contributes to the integral development of infants from zero to 6 years old who do not attend educational institutions.

Promoted by the Cuban government for 26 years, the initiative promotes the leading role of the family in the formation of children, with a community and multi-sectorial approach.

In addition, according to the specialist, they prioritize the issue of adolescence with participatory methodologies and social commitment to contribute to the generation of opportunities and life projects in that age sector.

In that same line, he showed gratitude to the Cuban population and authorities ‘for allowing with much humility to work on what is lacking.’

In this regard, he explained that they agreed to strengthen the components of violence prevention and especially based on gender.

“The Federation of Cuban Women has immense strength, but we also know that sometimes violent practices occur in coexistence spaces and we must insist on the eradication of all types of mistreatment against children from communities and institutions,” she said.

On the other hand, Perceval expects to visit the archipelago this year to celebrate the regional meeting of Unicef, postponed in 2017 by the passage of tropical cyclone Maria.

Given the vulnerability of the area, he reflected on the importance of being alert to natural disasters ‘that affect mainly the elderly, women, children and the disabled’.