Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Panama

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Panama
2019 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2019, Panama made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government implemented the Districts Free of Child Labor initiative through anti-child labor agreements with six municipalities. The government also made improvements to the Child Labor Monitoring System to streamline responses to cases of child labor from different agencies, and continued to expand labor inspector trainings and unannounced inspections. In addition, the Ministry of Labor implemented the Direct Government Action Program for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor, which includes a new national survey on child labor. However, children in Panama engage in 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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