Central America has experienced some important advances in terms of economic development, health, education and poverty reduction. Besides, democracy has strengthened in the region. However, crime and violence have simultaneously invaded all spheres of society. This has become one of the biggest obstacles for human development. Children, teenagers and youth (CTY) are probably the group whose right to a decent life, free of violence, abuse and exploitation is violated most often.
The forms of insecurity and violence affecting children, teenagers and youth are various. 5 out of the 11 Latin American countries with a homicide rate higher than 10 per 100,000 inhabitants (a rate that is considered epidemical by the World Health Organization) are in Central America. Youth and young men in particular are the main victims of homicides. Children and teenagers are one of the groups most vulnerable to intrafamiliar and sexual violence. According to the joint report of the UN and the Global Movement for Children 2012, 170% of children claim to have been victims of violence in their homes. The average age of victims of sexual violence was 10.5 years and in some cases over 90% of the pregnancies of girls younger than 15 years old were a result of incest.
CAIS (Central American Integration System) countries have taken big ─although very incipient─ steps in terms of specific prevention plans for priority population groups. In this context, CAIS has designed with the support of AECID and through the UNDP a project that aims to contribute to the improvement of security in Central America by reducing factors related to insecurity and violence, particularly to violence affecting children, teenagers and youth.