Andrea Flores Ruilova
GC Latin America Caribbean (LATMA cohort 2018/2019)
Andrea Flores Ruilova is an Ecuadorian lawyer. She has a Master in Human Rights and Democratization, from the National University of San Martín in Argentina. She is also a restorative juvenile justice specialist from the University of Geneva; master’s student of Children’s Rights in Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; international consultant and researcher on access to justice, human rights, children, and adolescents. She currently works in Argentina for the International Center for Political Studies, CIEP. She worked within the Judiciary Council and Ministry of Justice of Ecuador generating education and public policies of prevention, protection, and judicialization in cases of children victims of sexual violence, children without parental care, and juvenile justice.
What motivates you to work on children’s rights?
It motivates me to work on children’s sense of justice and the hope of building a better world for them. I am also moved by the need to study and rethink the mechanisms and forms of prevention and protection of their rights. My work on children’s rights has allowed me to repeat and reconstruct my own life story.
My experience of working with juvenile justice, children victims of sexual violence, and public institutions marked my professional and personal training because I understood the importance of protecting children’s rights. Furthermore, I understood and felt in my heart the teachings of Eglantyne Jebb, who mentioned: If children in a country are physically or morally abandoned, the whole world loses, and everyone gains if children grow up healthy.
What gives you hope regarding the current developments and the future of children’s rights?
The work of the social movements for the protection of children and women around the world gives me hope. I am motivated by the fight of the children and relative’s victims of sexual violence who have built social movements such as the campaigns Girls Not mothers, Me too, We will be the last in Ecuador, Coalition Against Sexual Abuse of Children (Cocasen-Ec), among others. I believe that the world’s social movements are key to developing effective protection mechanisms together with the State.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the international mechanisms for the protection of Human Rights also gives us hope for building the best future for children in the world.
I think of the current and future children’s rights challenges are active participation, the study of the effects of COVID-19 in the world. This calls for the development of an interdependent and interdisciplinary work of all professionals who work for children, lawyers, psychologists, social workers, doctors, social organizations, among others.
Which skill/knowledge that you acquired during the master are you currently using in your work?
The master’s degree allowed me to deepen and specialize my knowledge in childhood and adolescence. In addition, I understood the progress of Latin America on children’s rights. America is the richest and most unequal continent in the world with great challenges for children such as poverty, participation, elimination of violence, among others. The master’s degree allows me, in my current job at the International Center for Political Studies of the National University of San Martín, to develop specialized knowledge on forced disappearance and extrajudicial execution of children.