San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Study Investigates What Children Fear

SCHOOL children in San José fearstaying alone in the house, fires, drugaddicts in their neighborhoods and aroundtheir schools, street dogs, people who followthem and getting hit, among other things,according to a study conducted jointly by theUnited Nations Development Program andthe Paniamor Foundation.The study, called “Perception ofSafety and Insecurity Among SchoolChildren in San José’s Central Canton,”interviewed 230 children ages 7-11 in fiveschools in San José. It was released earlierthis month.Those schools, the study reports, areovercrowded and in disrepair. They lackplaygrounds and are located in areas frequentedby drug addicts, gang membersand homeless people.The study said 58% of the childreninterviewed stay home alone in the houseafter school, 31% said they are hit in theirhomes, and an unspecified number of thegirls reported harassment by adults in thestreets of their neighborhoods such asobscene gestures and vulgarities.

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