JCE defends right to name abandoned children

Photo: El Nacional

The head of the Central Electoral Board, Julio Cesar Castaños Guzman, told reporters yesterday that it was certainly not the intention of the JCE to break any law in the case of their Resolution 03-2017 issued by the JCE on 23 May 2017. The resolution made a selection of last names to be assigned to abandoned children.

Castaños Guzmán made it clear that the institution is willing to re-examine its procedures in these cases and encourages the submission of opinions and suggestions from institutions and individuals to uphold the societal rights and dignity of orphaned children.

Castaños Guzman said that the JCE acted on the principle of the highest interest for the child. He said the current policies are based on language in international treaties that encourage a more open interpretation of the civil registry laws in cases of abandoned minors who are vulnerable in society because of their precarious legal status.

To emphasize his point, Castaños Guzman noted that without last names they can not obtain an identification card (cédula), which means they have no opportunity to get married, to work, to benefit from Social Security, to study etc., or in other words, “they are excluded from being a person.”

He says that the JCE currently has 261 open cases in which boys and girls, including adolescents, have been abandoned or have left orphanages and whose birth certificates only have their first names, with no known parents or last names. Without this critical information, it is impossible for the government to issue an ID card when these youth come of legal age.

27 December 2017