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Nobel Prize recipient Kailash Satyarthi visits Children in Boquete

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Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kailash Satyarthi visits Children in Boquete at Casa Esperanza

The Nobel Peace Prize 2014 recipient Kailash Satyarthi today made a tour of a coffee farm free of child labor in the west of Panama City and visited a shelter in a local NGO dedicated to combat this social scourge.

"I am here today to support the work being done by President Varela (...). The challenge is difficult, but not impossible. I am sure that Panama will become the first country in Latin America to eradicate child labor," said the Indian Nobel prize recipient in the center of the NGO Casa Esperanza, in the village of Boquete.

To this center come close to 200 children, most of them indigenous, while their parents work in the coffee plantations in this region, which is one of the most fertile in Panama.

Satyarthi, who arrived on Sunday night to Panama, and on Wednesday, will deliver a lecture in the capital, was invited by the First Lady, Lorena Castle of Varela, who chairs the Committee for the Eradication of Child Labor and the Protection of the person Teen CETIPPAT (Worker).

"It has been understood that to break the cycle of poverty was the primary element is the education of the children and it is for this reason that the government has created programs to keep children within the formal school system and has made alliances with organizations such as Casa Esperanza that help through its programs to the sustainability of the children in the schools," said the first lady during the visit to the center.

According to the latest survey on child labor developed by the Comptroller General in 2014, in Panama there are close to 27,000 working minors, with regard to the population represents one of the lowest rates in Central America.

"What we are looking for (in our centers) is that the exploited child improve their conditions of life in the areas of nutrition, health and education," said the director of the NGO, Angelica Lavitola.

Since its founding in 1992, 25 years ago, Casa Esperanza has served more than 30,000 children at risk of being exploited.

"There are many who justify and say that children need to help them, for example, to water the plants. And they can do it one day in the company of parents, but not every day, because if you do every day becomes a job", said the Minister of Labor and Labor Development, Luis Ernesto Carles.

Carles, which advocated increasing the fines to anyone you hire to minors, recalled that the country was marked as goal to eradicate child labor in 2020.

After the visit to the center, Satyarthi toured a coffee plantation labor free accredited by the Ministry itself.

The Indian activist, which received in 2014 the award for its fight against child labor, presides over the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA, Movement to Save the Children), and from the 90 years has released more than 80,000 children enslaved.

The organization BBA conducted raids to rescue children in Indian workshops and factories where it is used child labor, sometimes without informing the police to avoid that they advise the criminals.


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