Climate Change and Violence Against Children, with Jorge Cuartas, Ph.D.

Season 6Episode 6May 16, 2024

To what degree have we yet to reckon with the way climate change may increase violence against children?

All of us have had to give more thought to climate change and its effects in recent years. But to what degree have we yet reckoned with the way in which climate change may increase violence against children? Which children are most likely to be affected? What preventative measures can we take now to help mitigate that risk? And how should this knowledge shape our services to children and families, both now and in the future? We speak with Dr. Jorge Cuartas, assistant professor of applied psychology at New York University and senior consultant on violence against children at the World Bank.


Topics in this episode:

00:09 – Origin story

03:13 – The strain on families and communities

05:57 – Displaced families, family separation

08:07 – Effect on marginalized communities

12:02 – Slow violence and mental health

18:45 – Anxiety, resilience, and climate change

23:24 – Advice for policy makers

27:10 – Advice for child abuse professionals

34:11 – Future research

39:10 – For more information



Jorge Cuartas, Ph.D., assistant professor of applied psychology at New York University; senior consultant on violence against children at the World Bank; co-director of the NGO Apapacho

Climate change is a threat multiplier for violence against children,” Jorge Cuartas, Amiya Bhatia, Daniel Carter, Lucie Cluver, Carolina Coll, Elizabeth Donger, Catherine E. Draper, Frances Gardner, Bess Herbert, Orla Kelly, Jamie Lachman, Najat Maalla M’jid, Frederique Seidel, Child Abuse & Neglect, 2023, 106430, DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2023.106430.

For more information about National Children’s Alliance and the work of Children’s Advocacy Centers, visit our website at And join us on Facebook at One in Ten podcast.

Season 6, Episode 6

“Climate Change and Violence Against Children,” with Jorge Cuartas, Ph.D.

[Intro music starts]


[00:09] Teresa Huizar:
Hi, I’m Teresa Huizar, your host of One in Ten. In today’s episode, “Climate Change and Violence Against Children,” I speak with Dr. Jorge Cuartas, assistant professor of applied psychology at New York University and senior consultant on violence against children at the World Bank.

All of us have had to give more thought to climate change and its effects in recent years. And as those effects have been felt around the globe in extreme weather events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, wildfires and flooding, many Children’s Advocacy Centers have had to step in and help, whether in terms of basic needs or psychological first aid, as children have lost homes, possessions, beloved pets, and even loved ones.

But to what degree have we yet reckoned with the way in which climate change may increase violence against children? Which children are most likely to be affected? What preventative measures can we take now to help mitigate that risk? And how should this knowledge shape our services, both now and in the future?

I know you’ll be as interested in this conversation as I was. Please take a listen.

[Intro music begins to fade out]

[01:27] Teresa Huizar:
Hello, Jorge. Welcome to One in Ten.

Jorge Cuartas:
Hello, Teresa. Thank you so much for having me.

[01:32] Teresa Huizar:
I was so delighted to see this paper when it came out because I think it’s a subject that I don’t remember seeing covered previously in the literature. So thank you for joining us to talk about this. I’m just wondering, you know, where this interest came from in terms of the intersection between climate change and violence against children.

Jorge Cuartas:
Yes, that’s a very good question. I am an early childhood development and the prevention of violence against children researcher. So that has been my main focus over the last years. But while working on violence against children, it’s quite clear that it is a systemic problem with roots of the cultural, societal, individual, historical levels.

And when thinking about these systemic roots of violence, it was increasingly clear to me that there were also some environmental influences on the issue, right? And it was particularly clear to me when thinking about the COVID pandemic and how amid the pandemic there was growing evidence of how different forms of violence, including physical punishment, were increasing, not only in the U.S. but also in Colombia, my home country, and in other settings around the globe. And I began thinking how if something like the pandemic, which was kind of not permanent, right? We kind of overcome that challenge, how something like climate change, which is something way more permanent, could have even stronger consequences of violence against children.

So I think that that was the main motivation for starting this line of research with my colleagues.

[03:13] Teresa Huizar:
You know, when I was looking at the paper, I thought that one of the things it did really well was tease out the ways in which the climate crisis could add strain to communities and also to families. Can you talk a little bit about that for folks who might not be as familiar with this framework or thinking?

Jorge Cuartas:
Yeah, absolutely. So given what you mentioned on very little work on this topic, we decided to start actually by thinking about conceptual links between the climate crisis and violence against children and early childhood development also more broadly. And to that, we began building upon bioecological and systemic perspectives to consider how the impacts of the climate crisis on children’s physical environment, on their societies, their communities, and their families may lead to these potential impacts.

So, when we think about the physical environment, for example, it’s clear that the climate crisis has direct consequences on temperature, on weather patterns, on sea level rise, on floods and precipitation, and things like that. And all of that is going to have downstream consequences on society. For example, it’s going to lead to macroeconomic distress, which we know is a major stressor for families that can also increase violence against children and reduce sources of protection for children.

All of this is also going to lead to potential destruction of infrastructure and in particular disruption in basic services that promote resilience and supports for families as well. And at the same time, there’s also growing evidence, which is quite fantastic body of research, actually, on how the climate crisis can increase the risk for wars and civil conflicts and conflicts within communities more broadly. So we are talking also about increasing in risks, contextual risks, that can also enter into children’s households and also increase violence within the household system.

The crisis is also likely going to be causing displacement. We are actually seeing that right now. It seems like even more than 50% of displacement in the world right now is caused by climate-related. stressors and not due to war, for example, which is what we tend to think about when thinking about displacement. And displacement is also going to place a high burden on families and increase risk for children.

So we have all of these different factors at the end of the day, can also increase several risks at the family level, increases stress, and reduce sources of protection for families and children.

[05:57] Teresa Huizar:
Let’s take displacement for an example, which I completely agree that people tend to think of that as a war-related event and not necessarily something that’s related to famine or other kinds of things driven by the climate crisis. Can you give me an example, just, I think it would help listeners if they could tie it to one of these concrete examples that’s sort of something maybe they would read in the news currently.

Jorge Cuartas:
Yeah, absolutely. So I think that we can take as an example, some studies and some evidence from different countries, such as India, Somalia, Ethiopia as well, and even Colombia. Showing how this placement, first of all, can reduce families’ and children’s access to basic services that are critical for children’s protection. Say, health care, early childhood education. We know that in several places, early childhood education and teachers in particular can be very important sources of protection for children who are experiencing violence in their homes, and the disruption in these systems is going to increase several risks for children.

In the case of Colombia, we have a lot of evidence on how families—not only Colombian families, but Latin American families in general—who are displaced by the conflict, or maybe trying to migrate to Central America or even to the U.S., which is a current crisis that we are facing in the region, are exposed to a lot of threats, right? Not only because of armed groups but also given the very high stress that families face in these really difficult journey and at the end of the day depletes some of the cognitive and emotional resources that they need to care for children to provide, yeah, protection for children. So, I think that in the case of Colombia, we do have indeed very good evidence on how these displacement, not only because of this conflict but also due to these economic distress and needs, is indeed increasing violence within the household system in very important levels.

[08:07] Teresa Huizar:
Well, and I also was thinking as you were talking about how this ties to family separation as well. Which is an additional stressor, too, that often, when families are displaced, that one of the things that happens as a part of that is people may be disconnected from extended family, which are support or even some individuals may, you know, move or travel while others are left behind. And, you know, we know that that creates additional strain on families as well, whatever the cause of it, including crime, climate crisis.

You know, one of the things that your paper also talked about, you and your colleagues discussed the way in which this is disproportionately affecting already marginalized populations. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Jorge Cuartas:
Absolutely, Teresa. And I think that your point on separation is also very important. Thinking about the critical importance of extended families in certain contexts, such as, for example, in Latin America, where families may not be nuclear but mostly are extended families. So these disruptions in the family system are also quite consequential for families and children. And this actually relates to this question that you’re asking on variation or differences in how the climate crisis is likely going to impact different societies, communities, and families.

We have several evidence on how there are some countries, some communities, some settings that may be more climate-resilient. And this is true when thinking about the health consequences, for example. Certain places are better equipped and prepared to deal with the potential health consequences of the crisis. But when thinking about violence is exactly the same.

And to think again about the COVID pandemic, I think that amid the pandemic, this was quite evident. There were places where, for example, violence response systems could quite quickly to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, for example, continue offering parenting supports and parenting advice through social media or chatbots or digital strategies more broadly. Whereas in other countries where, for example, internet penetration is not that good or internet speed is not great, that was not feasible.

So even from that very initial perspective it’s clear that responding to violence and supporting families is going to be extremely challenging in certain places. And then when we think also about how certain families in certain communities and settings are already experiencing a lot of adversity, disadvantage, marginalization, racism, extreme poverty, it’s totally clear that something like the climate crisis is going to be a burden that these families are hardly going to be able to deal with. And I think that is exactly where we need to be thinking proactively on how to promote preparedness, resilience, and adaptation in particular for these families. Which sadly tend to concentrate in, yeah, historically marginalized communities.

Thinking also at a global level, tend to concentrate as well in low- and middle-income countries. And this is actually quite sad, because what we know from the evidence is that most of the climate crisis has been driven by high-income countries. But we also know that the worst consequences have been experienced so far and are going to be likely experienced in the future in low- and middle-income communities that have yeah, less repercussions and contributions to the actual crisis.

So I think that this is also an issue of equity that we need to be thinking about it.

[12:02] Teresa Huizar:
Well, I think that there’s definitely a moral equation that’s a part of this too. Right? But bears some thinking and talking about.

You know, one of the things in your paper that you described, which I thought was interesting to frame it in this way, was “slow violence.” You know, that it’s not just sort of the immediate that we’re thinking about. Can you just, again, for our listeners who haven’t read your paper, can you just talk a little bit about this concept of slow violence and how that pertains to child well-being?

Jorge Cuartas:
Absolutely. I think that to, in thinking about this issue, we can consider actually a definition of violence against children. I think in that violence against children can be something that is intentional or not intentional. But at the end of the day, intentionality is not important when thinking about our definition. And also to think that things like physical punishment, for example, have been conceptualized often as discipline and not as violence. And those definitions have been challenged in the last couple of years.

When thinking about the climate crisis, it’s clear that this crisis is disrupting a lot of basic services, goods, and rights that children do have. So there are some scholars that have been proposing this idea of “slow violence,” which is basically an attritional violence with very strong repercussions for current and future generations.

Some of those repercussions are not going to be salient in the short term, possibly. But at the end of the day, the importance here is that this is something that is causing very significant threats to children’s safety, to children’s well-being, and to children’s rights. And in several ways it looks like a form of violence. Again, which may not be intentional, but intentionality here is not the key factor to think of this as a form of violence.

[13:57] Teresa Huizar:
Well, and also it seemed to me that there was a lot of emphasis—and I think it is something we need to think more about too—about the sort of accumulating risk over time. That it’s the fact that these sort of toxic effects accrete, you know, year over year over year. And so you’re really looking at future generations bearing the burden of all of the previous sort of iterations of effects. Which I thought, you know, was really depressing to think about but also true. You know, we know that in other aspects of dealing with child well-being, and it’s true here, too.

So I’m just wondering about the effects on mental health. You know, the paper also talked about that. And in the U.S., as you’ve probably noticed, we’ve had more emphasis of late—much needed emphasis of late—on children’s mental health and paying more attention to it. And we know that the climate crisis will have an impact and already does on adult mental health. So certainly it will on children. What do you anticipate as its effects on children’s mental health?

Jorge Cuartas:
Yeah, that’s a very good question. And let me first reflect a little bit on what you mentioned about cumulative effects. Because I think that that’s actually a critical factor to consider when thinking about the climate crisis and the fact that the climate crisis is different from other humanitarian or health crisis that we have experienced in the fact that it has a dual timeframe nature, right?

When we think about the climate crisis, we have to consider that it includes acute effects and risks, such as, for example, extreme weather events, which are salient and we can see those and hear about those in the news. Very salient storms, things like that. But we also have this other set of protracted or cumulative risks that are way more difficult to see and to anticipate. And I think that that that’s part of what explains how much inaction and lack of attention has been to these issues of the climate crisis. It’s really difficult to see those protracted risks in the ecology of human development.

When thinking about the potential consequences on mental health as you mentioned, Teresa, there’s a lot of evidence on the potential consequences of the crisis on adults’ mental health. There’s some evidence also for adolescents. But there’s very little evidence for young children. So a group of us have been trying to think about this and also starting to look at some of the evidence that there may be.

And in particular in the first years of life, we know that early childhood is a sensitive period of brain skill and health and in general of the sensitive development where different experiences and context can have particularly strong and long-lasting consequences on our biology, our health, and our well-being. So what we are finding is that experiencing these climate-change-related risks, in particular early in life, can have very strong consequences on cognitive development, social emotional development, and, in general, in a lot of foundational skills and biological systems, which tend to underlie lifelong well-being and mental health.

In particular, we have been finding evidence on how climate-change-related stressors can impair social emotional outcomes. Such as, for example, resilience and self-regulation. And we know that these factors and these skills are foundational and critical for children to function later on in educational systems, in society. And all of this is going to start to accumulate and also pose more threats for children to have positive mental health outcomes. And I think that we need to think about these issues also in the current situation of a mental health crisis, right? If we are facing this right now, and in this moment, we need way more strategies and supports to promote resilience.

Yeah, this could indeed be showing a very gloomy perspective, but at the same time, I would like to be very clear and very explicit with the fact that there’s a very basic scientific principle in human development, which is resilience. And it’s the capacity that all of us have to adapt and to overcome substantial adversity, right? And I think that all the work that we are doing related to the climate crisis should always start by thinking about this idea of resilience and how to promote resilience for families and children.

[18:45] Teresa Huizar:
You know, when talking with folks who are younger than me, one of the things that I’ve noticed is that anxiety around climate change is really present in their day-to-day thinking. This isn’t something, you know, that is sort of out there, something to be thought about tomorrow, but something that is very—that feels very present to them. And it makes me think about how, younger and younger generations, it’s going to be ever more present as there’s ever more experience of the effects of it day to day and acutely, as you’re saying.

And I’m just wondering, you know—and I’m just musing here, you know, more than anything—but about the impact of that sort of added anxiety. You know, if you feel if your anxiety is sort of existential in nature, that’s a different type of anxiety than “I’m anxious about a test,” or “I’m anxious about something important that’s coming up.” If you’re worried about your existence on the planet, you know, if you’re worried about, if you had a child whether that child will grow up in a world that is actually survivable, I think that’s a very different kind of anxiety. And so I think when we think about resilience, we’re setting a high bar for human resilience when we’re asking people to be very resilient in the face of that.

And I’m wondering what you think about when you look at current research on resilience? And there’s a lot out there and it’s really great. And we’ve tapped into that as it relates to trauma from child abuse and in various forms and had various researchers on to talk about that. But do you think that there has been enough research around resilience applied to this topic to the climate crisis?

Jorge Cuartas:
Yeah, the short answer is no.

Teresa Huizar:

Jorge Cuartas:
There’s not enough research applied to this topic, and I definitely think that that’s exactly why starting these conversations and putting this on the table is absolutely critical to start mobilizing researchers, policy makers, and practitioners towards this, because we do indeed have growing evidence on this anticipatory climate anxiety, right? There is actually a couple of reviews. And there’s a very salient study with more than 10,000 children in, I think, maybe nine or 10 countries around the globe showing how children are increasingly expressing anxiety, sadness, anger, powerlessness, hopelessness, and guilt for the climate crisis, right? So this is something that is very much on their minds.

But I think that this also speaks to something related, and it’s how new generations are increasingly thinking about recognizing, expressing a lot of issues related to mental health, right? Which in prior generations, and even in my generation, has been a taboo topic in several ways. Like people in Colombia, for example—and this also has a lot of variability between context and cultures in places like Colombia, in Latin America in general, Sub-Saharan African countries, in Asia even, there’s a lot of a stigma around mental health.

But the good thing is that these new generations are thinking more and more about both mental health and the climate crisis. And I think that should give us hope, because these new generations are also doing a lot for all of us in this sense, trying to think about new strategies to deal with the crisis, also doing a lot of advocacy efforts in this regard. And this is great, but at the same time, it has been a challenge for a lot of these children and adolescents who have even received harassment and threats all over the world, given their climate activism.

But I think that us as researchers, policy makers, and practitioners also have a huge deal of work to do on this, on this regard. The evidence that we have on how to promote resilience is great, and I think that we can apply several of these scientific principles and findings to this new body of work. But it’s critical to continue doing more qualitative work to understand the perspectives, the lived experiences of families in climate risk situations to understand how they have been adapting and preparing in the face of this threat and to inform future interventions and strategies to promote resilience in these areas.

[23:24] Teresa Huizar:
You were talking a little bit about hopelessness, and I was thinking that, that I hear too, you know, especially the sort of nihilism that attends to that, you know—what do you think certain things matter in the face of such an overwhelming threat. And I think that this piece around activism is not a perfect antidote to that but helps many young people cope with those feelings of, you know, helplessness in the face of something so daunting.

And I think thinking about—you know, as child abuse professionals, I don’t know that we often think of activism as one of those things that is something that can sort of be recommended sometimes to people. But sometimes that is something that can be as useful as other things that we’re recommending to them as possible interventions. Doing something positive to change your condition is powerful in and of itself.

I’m just wondering, you know, I want to tease out sort of at different levels what all of us should be doing about this. So I want to start with policy makers. If you had the ear of policy makers right here in the U.S., what would you say to them about this issue based on the framework in your paper?

Jorge Cuartas:
Yeah, that’s a very good question, Teresa. I think that, first of all, reflecting on what you’re saying about activism and advocacy and also, yeah, what to recommend to people and how to think about this, I think we really need a lot of fresh thinking on these issues, and in particular from within academia. And policy making, I think that we need to get rid of some very rigid structures of thinking and to start considering how these issues as complex as the climate crisis require a lot of new ideas, require for us to think outside the box, and require to consider all the different actors and their interests around these topics. We need to stop thinking that only by producing evidence that’s going to catalyze policy change or societal change. And we need to start understanding that activism and the role of, for example, social media is going to be critical in building these change that we need in the world.

So when thinking about policy makers in particular, I have to be completely transparent that I don’t think that providing evidence on how the climate crisis can impact children is going to be good enough for them. Because there’s a lot of very strong economic and other type of interests around the climate crisis, right? So I think that is exactly where things like activism and collective action is going to be absolutely critical. So I hope to be able to share some of these findings with policy makers. I still believe that sharing this with them and with societies in general is very important.

But I don’t believe that that’s going to make the actual change that we need. I think that that’s going to be just one piece in this very important and huge puzzle, a societal puzzle, where I consider that all societal actors and leaders are going to have a, yeah, most important role in catalyzing this change.

So I’m hopeful that this research is going to be helpful for them to be more proactive and have more energy to work. But, yeah, I think that given all the economic pressures and interests, it’s a very difficult topic to work with.

[27:10] Teresa Huizar:
I think we find that on many occasions, it’s helpful for policy makers to have a nudge beyond just the data. I think that’s right. Activism is often an important part of this.

Talk to me a little bit about what you think child abuse professionals should be doing? You know, the folks who are listening to this podcast, what’s one thing they could do that would be a positive action that could be helpful?

Jorge Cuartas:
Yes, so I think that a lot of things. First of all, to continue the great work that this community is already doing. I think that when we look at the data and we look at the history of child abuse, we have been doing great progress, in particular with things like home visiting programs, also putting out there in the world a lot of open access and free supports for families. And I think that we should continue heading that direction. Start moving away from proprietary and unfeasible or very expensive programs for families and moving towards having more and more and more open source and free and available resources for families.

Because at the end of the day, these supports and protecting children from violence is a human rights issue. And it’s also an issue with very significant, long-lasting consequences, not only for these children and individuals but also for our societies. Like, guaranteeing children’s protection is fundamental to ensuring peace and well-being and economic prosperity in our society. So moving in the direction of having these open source and free resources and available resources is absolutely critical.

But I think that the other thing that would be very important for child abuse professionals is to continue exploring with the families they work with the ways in which we need to start adapting these materials and supports to respond to their needs in climate stressors and climate-related risks that they may be already facing. I think that this is exactly one of those cases where doing desk work is not going to be as helpful as being there with the families, learning from families, understanding how they have been coping with these stressors and acting in the face of these stressors and by learning from that to start informing policies, interventions, and practice at the end of day.

So, I really see the child abuse professionals as critical in building this body of evidence and in moving forward on how to strengthen interventions and strategies to respond to the climate crisis as well.

[29:51] Teresa Huizar:
As you were talking, I was thinking about the sort of increase in extreme weather events that we’ve had in the U.S. that have been building over time and we just see more and more of, whether it’s tornadoes or hurricanes or other sorts of things, wildfires. And, you know, Children’s Advocacy Centers, who deal primarily with child sexual abuse but other forms of trauma as well, are not necessarily the first group you would have thought of as first responders to some of those events, and yet they’ve become that. It’s been very interesting to see their adaptation and involvement when kids experience the trauma of an extreme weather event.

And so, as you’re talking, it’s making me think about already the way the field has adapted to try to make sure that those children who may have just lost their home, for example, feel like, you know, they’re comforted that they have what they need. That they’re not sort of developing PTSD from the experience of those sort of sudden catastrophic loss that they may have experienced. And I think this is just going to call on us as adults and as child abuse professionals to continue to adapt and readapt and adapt some more as other effects or experience beyond extreme weather events. And even more broadly for those extreme weather events, perhaps.

As we work with families, what is your advice about how we help families themselves prepare for the effects of the climate crisis?

Jorge Cuartas:
Yes, so first of all, I absolutely agree with you. And I think that not only these groups but also by seeing how religious organizations or social organizations have been responding and building solutions from within communities is fantastic. And I think it’s the biggest demonstration of this principle of resilience on how communities can indeed start organizing and responding to this existential threat of the climate crisis.

To help families prepare, I think that we can learn from the experiences that we have with parenting programs, home visiting programs, and in particular seeing how the different strategies have been highly effective in promoting core capabilities for parenting and also for self-regulation and well-being in families.

These programs and the evidence that we have from meta-analysis and systematic reviews have been effective in promoting skills such as knowledge, which is going to be critical in the climate crisis, on how to deal with the potential health consequences of the crisis, or how to deal with the potential mental health impacts and how to promote positive behaviors and self-care behaviors within the home. These programs have also been quite effective in promoting self-regulation skills, and this is also going to be fundamental for families to be able to be responsive and to support children in the face of this threat.

We know that a critical aspect to promote and to protect children from different threats is to start by caring for their caregivers. And parenting supports and programs can be quite effective in doing so.

So I think that in general what we need to be thinking about is how to promote these very basic core capabilities that families require to deal with these potential threats. But at the same time, I think that it’s fundamental for us to consider that this should not be think as an individual problem, right? This is a societal problem, systemic problem. So we need to really be thinking about the systemic roots of this issue. And these systemic roots are quite related to systemic factors such as discrimination, oppression, historical issues that we need to be dealing with.

So while it’s important to keep thinking how to support individual families in this program, we have to be careful in not forgetting the systemic factors that really need to be addressed.

[34:11] Teresa Huizar:
Unfortunately, the default in the U. S. is often to sort of ask individuals to solve a problem that is much bigger than the individual. And so I think while all of us have our part to do, I think you’re right to point out that there’s some collective action needed here and that we have to collectively, as a society, take responsibility for having contributed so heavily to a problem and therefore have a responsibility to solve it at the same level. So.

I’m just wondering what’s next for you on this topic? Do you have other research in the works, or other papers in the works, or other ways you’re thinking about or acting on this?

Jorge Cuartas:
Yes, absolutely. So I have been putting together a research agenda that I hope to develop in the upcoming years. This research agenda is aimed at first understanding a little bit more the links between the climate crisis, violence against children, and child development.

I think that understanding that and unpacking a little bit more the theoretical model and arguments that we have been putting together is critical to informing potential targets for intervention. So understanding these mechanisms, for example, is going to be fundamental to understand where to intervene and how to intervene.

And after working on these issues of understanding these potential impacts, what I’m hoping for is to doing a lot of work with families, exactly to understand the things that we have been discussing today: How families have been adapting their needs in climate threat settings in particular. And with all of this, to start informing intervention work.

So in the past couple of years, I have also been working on designing and implementing parenting programs and other parenting supports and strategies in low- and middle-income countries. This has been a work that I have been conducting with UNICEF, with the World Bank, also with Harvard University, the University of Oxford.

And something that has become a priority, if not an obsession to me, is to keep thinking how to adapt these programs. Thinking about the climate crisis. I think that those adaptations are going to require rethinking some of the contents of these programs, in particular how to, yeah, deal with the potential threats that come with the climate crisis. But also to think very deeply on how to implement these programs.

When we faced the COVID pandemic, it was again, for example, the need for digital supports. And in the climate crisis, and specifically for displaced populations, for example, it’s completely clear that having an in-person 10 or 12 or 15 session supports is not going to be feasible. So we really need a lot of innovation in this sense. And things like artificial intelligence, for example, could be quite fantastic to offer families ongoing supports, supports that they can use whenever they like, and to have basically this group of support or a parenting expert all the time in their cell phone. So I’m really interested also in thinking about how to deliver these parenting supports using new technologies and trying to respond to these ongoing challenges.

But yeah, in general, I think that I’m really excited about this new line of work, and in particular, really hopeful that we are going to show our best as human beings and how to promote resilience in the middle of this new threat that is the climate crisis.

[37:53] Teresa Huizar:
Is there anything else I should have asked you and didn’t? Or anything else that you wanted to make sure we talked about today?

Jorge Cuartas:
I don’t think so. I think that, yeah, maybe the most important thing is also to continue putting out there this idea of resilience. And also to make sure to balance all the potential risks and threats with, yeah, this profound conviction that in the past we have been able to overcome significant challenges when we see our human history that have been the rule to overcome challenges and threats of all sorts. So, I think that it’s going to be very important for us to make sure that it’s completely clear that there’s this resilience and that we can definitely cope with this new threat and achieve and thrive amid this new threat.

[38:47] Teresa Huizar:
It’s a good reminder. You know, the long human history that we have, there’ve been other threats too, and we’ve been a resilient species.

[Outro music begins]

And we’ll continue to be so. Thank you so much for this important conversation, and I hope when you’ve done more work, you’ll come back and visit us again.

Jorge Cuartas:
Thank you very much, Teresa. Delighted to participate today, and yeah, thank you so much for the invitation.


[39:10] Teresa Huizar:
Thanks for listening to One in Ten. If you’d like this episode, please share it with a friend. And if you’re a fan of the show, please rate us in Apple Podcasts store or wherever you listen. For more information about this episode or any of our others, please visit our podcast website at

[Outro music fades out]