Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Panama

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Panama
2020 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2020, Panama made moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government successfully prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced its first forced child labor case, and it provided social services to 1,500 child victims and children at risk of child labor. It also established a Network of Companies Against Child Labor with the participation of the National Council of Private Enterprise and technical advice from the International Labor Organization, with the aim of creating a certification seal for products produced free of child labor. However, children in Panama are subjected to the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also perform dangerous tasks in agriculture. Panamanian law allows minors under age 16 to engage in hazardous work within training facilities in violation of international standards. Moreover, the Ministry of Labor lacks the authority to collect fines for labor violations, limiting its capacity to enforce laws on the worst forms of child labor.

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