In spite of the fact that Casa Alianza (Covenant House Latin America) forced the Honduras government to admit in a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that it illegally confines juveniles with adults, Bruce Harris, executive director of Casa Alianza, reports that the situation hasn't changed for dozens of youth in that country. Casa Alianza also reports that in Guatemala there have been thousands of cases documented of torture, rape, and murder of street children. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is scheduled to address the illegal jailing of juveniles with adults again at their next meeting, April 29-May 3.
While Casa Alianza and others are speaking out on the abuse of Central American children, the February 1996 issue of New Internationalist reports that Brazilian street children are organizing themselves and rallying around a campaign asking for "education not housing." Volunteers, many of whom were once street children themselves, are helping to raise consciousness among the youth, in base-community fashion. They hope that through literacy and organizing skills, the street kids can make their concerns known to the Brazilian government themselves.