Melel Xojobal A.C.

Mission of the organisation

Melel Xojobal is a children's rights organization based in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Our mission is to promote and defend the rights of indigenous children and young people through participatory educational programs that improve their quality of life. At Melel Xojobal we work in a participatory manner to promote the strengthening of indigenous cultural identity, to defend human rights, to strengthen personal and cultural dignity, to ensure that justice and liberty are respected, and that the participation of all is ensured regardless of race, gender, creed, religious affiliation or ideology. We believe that education is a fundamental means by which people exercise self-determination and become the authors of their own history. Melel Xojobal's specific objectives are: 1. To implement participatory educational programmes with indigenous girls, boys, and young people to promote and defend their rights to health, education, protection from mistreatment, to regulated conditions of work, association and expression. 2. To generate through ongoing research a better understanding of child welfare, human rights and education in an urban context. 3. To inform and educate the Mexican public about the human rights of indigenous girls, boys, and young people of Chiapas. 4. To exchange and share ideas and experiences from a human rights perspective which relate to indigenous infant, childhood, and adolescent education among organizations on a national and international level. All of our work is guided by the aim of protecting and promoting five human rights established by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Rights to health, to education, to protection against all forms of mistreatment, to work, and to freedom of expression and association). Our work responds to the situation of indigenous peoples in Mexico, who account for around 10% of the population, and continue to live in conditions that marginalise them socially, economically and politically and which push them to the edge of society. To provide an indication of the need for our work: according to government statistices, in the city we work in, in 2010 61% of the population had no formal right to medical services; 24% of the population aged 3-18 did not attend school. In 2010 we formally counted 2,481 child workers in the city. In 2005 in Chiapas as a whole, 71% of the population under 14 lived in municipalities classified as being at high or extreme risk of malnutrition; in some municipalities infant mortality rates 75 in a 1000, on a par with several countries in sub-Saharan Africa.


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Melel Xojobal A.C.

67-B Nicolas Ruiz, Barrio de Guadalupe
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, 29230