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Children’s organizations demand an urgent response in the Cañada Real (one of the largest slums in Madrid, Spain) [editar]

17/02/2021
Plataforma de Infancia

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Children’s organizations demand an urgent response in the Cañada Real (one of the largest slums in Madrid, Spain)

The organisations signing below demand an urgent response to the violation of rights which residents have been suffering for more than 100 days in sectors V and VI of the Cañada Real Galiana (one of the largest slums in Madrid). The lack of an electricity supply which more than 1,800 children living in these zones have been suffering represents a radical deterioration in their living conditions, seriously exacerbated by the severe impact of the pandemic in this area and the cold winter temperatures.  

This situation puts many boys and girls at risk and represents a serious violation of their rights, especially in the area of health, but also in terms of access to education, the right to decent housing and the right to protection. Especially serious are the cases of 20 babies and other children in vulnerable situations, which mean that the need to act constitutes a humanitarian emergency. 

Institutions such as the Ombudsman, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Special Rapporteurs, the High Commissioner for the Fight against Child Poverty and the Spanish Children’s Rights Coalition have communicated to the various responsible institutions the need to take measures, both urgently and over the long term, to resolve this situation. The most urgent issue is the need to restore the electricity supply to the families.  

The organisations signing below are aware of situations of extreme severity and wish to express their bewilderment and concern at the lack of sufficient or adequate measures to tackle the humanitarian crisis which is occurring.

The Royal Decree-Law 37/2020 passed last December is very clear with respect to the protection which must be afforded to vulnerable consumers during the state of alarm, prohibiting the cutting of the electricity supply even in cases where the identity of the contract holder cannot be proven. 

In light of all the above, we demand:

  • The urgent adoption of the exceptional measures necessary to immediately re-establish the supply of electricity to all affected families.
  • The necessary adjustments to and renovation of the electricity grid in order to guarantee an adequate electrical supply, based if necessary on an external assessment to clarify the technical issues and find solutions over the short and long term.  
  • Open up the possibility of offering contracts within what is legally possible in the short term.  
  • Implement the agreements made in the Regional Pact for the Cañada Real Galiana in the medium term, to solve this and other serious problems suffered by families living in these sectors.
  • Carry out an evaluation of the impact of this situation on the wellbeing and rights of the children affected, with a view to taking decisions to repair the damage and the negative impact which it may have had in various areas.
  • Take into account the opinion of the affected families at all times and guarantee that the measures implemented will take account of the Best Interests of the Child, as required by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, above all other considerations.

We make this appeal to the Community of Madrid, the Government Delegation and the City Councils of Madrid, Rivas and Coslada, and also to the energy supply company, Naturgy, so that in accordance with their powers they fulfil these demands

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