Torture in  [Panama]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Panama]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Panama]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Panama]  [other countries]
 

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                    gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Panama.htm

Republic of Panama

Panama's dollarized economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for 80% of GDP.

Economic growth will be bolstered by the Panama Canal expansion project that began in 2007 and is scheduled to be completed by 2014 at a cost of $5.3 billion - about 25% of current GDP. The expansion project will more than double the Canal's capacity, enabling it to accommodate ships that are now too large to transverse the transoceanic crossway, and should help to reduce the high unemployment

Description: Description: Panama

rate. Strong economic performance has reduced the national poverty level to 29% in 2008; however, Panama has the second most unequal income distribution in Latin America.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Panama is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Some Panamanian women are trafficked to Jamaica, Europe, and Israel for commercial sexual exploitation, but most victims are trafficked to and within the country into Panama’s sex trade. NGOs report that some Panamanian children, mostly young girls, are trafficked into domestic servitude. Government agencies indicate that indigenous girls may be trafficked by their parents into prostitution in Darien province. Most foreign sex trafficking victims are adult women from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and neighboring Central American countries; some victims migrate voluntarily to Panama to work but are subsequently forced into prostitution. Weak controls along Panama’s borders make the nation an easy transit point for trafficked persons.  - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009  [full country report]

 

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Panama.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLE ***

Nations Make Progress Against Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Finds

Charlene Porter, Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, 14 June 2004

www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0406/S00181/nations-make-progress-against-trafficking-people.htm

[accessed 7 October 2013]

The world's most comprehensive report on trafficking in persons shows governments are making some progress in their responses to this form of organized criminal activity -- often called modern-day slavery -- with stronger laws, increased convictions and greater protections for victims.

Consistent with its objective of inspiring action against human trafficking, the TIP report also issues praise for localities that have adopted "best practices" in their strides to prevent trafficking, provide for victims or prosecute traffickers themselves. Panama has passed a law that requires businesses in the tourist industry to inform travelers about laws against child pornography and sex tourism. The city of Madrid has taken strides to reduce both prostitution and trafficking by targeting the customers of these illicit endeavors, while at the same time engaging in prevention and victim assistance efforts.

*** ARCHIVES ***

UNICEF and Casa Alianza join efforts against violence

UNICEF Press centre, Press release, Panama City, 6 September 2004

www.unicef.org/media/media_23426.html

[accessed 15 December 2010]

Assistance to street children and the search for alternative lifestyles, as opposed to the stigma against adolescents produced by the phenomenon of gangs or “maras” constitute a key part of the work of UNICEF and Casa Alianza. Both organizations share the idea that the solution to the social problems that affect children and adolescents should come through public policies in education, health, housing, employment and protection, that is to say, through the creation of opportunities. The response of the state, faced with this type of problem, is to punish the children who live in conditions of poverty.

Project DESTINO to Combat Child Labor in Panama [PDF]

Creative Associates International, WASHINGTON, News Release, September 30, 2004

www.creativeworldwide.com//CAIIStaff/Dashboard_GIROAdminCAIIStaff/Dashboard_CAIIAdminDatabase

     /publications/Press_release_pg1.pdf

[accessed 10 September 2011]

Many of Panama’s poor and indigenous children must help their families by working on farms, limiting their educational development and lifelong opportunities. To combat these effects, three Panamanian organizations—Casa Esperanza, FUNDAMUJER and Fundacion Tierra Nueva—are teaming up to provide nonformal and flexible education opportunities for 7,100 child laborers.

The three-part collaboration stems from a newly launched project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) called Disminuyendo y Erradicando el Trabajo Infantil para Nuevas Oportunidades (DESTINO). DESTINO will target poor and indigenous children in the central Panamanian provinces of Chiriquí, Coclé, Veraguas, Herrera, Los Santos, Darién and Comarca Gnobe Bugle, who are working on family or commercial farms to help their parents make ends meet. Due to long work hours and seasonal harvests, these children miss school, making it difficult for them to keep up with schoolwork, and prompting many to drop out.

Despite Panama’s compulsory-education laws, tens of thousands of children—nearly 58,000 in 2002—between ages 5 and 17 were working. Of this group, only 42 percent attended school.

Nations Make Progress Against Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Finds

Charlene Porter, Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, 14 June 2004

www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0406/S00181/nations-make-progress-against-trafficking-people.htm

[accessed 7 October 2013]

The world's most comprehensive report on trafficking in persons shows governments are making some progress in their responses to this form of organized criminal activity -- often called modern-day slavery -- with stronger laws, increased convictions and greater protections for victims.

Consistent with its objective of inspiring action against human trafficking, the TIP report also issues praise for localities that have adopted "best practices" in their strides to prevent trafficking, provide for victims or prosecute traffickers themselves. Panama has passed a law that requires businesses in the tourist industry to inform travelers about laws against child pornography and sex tourism. The city of Madrid has taken strides to reduce both prostitution and trafficking by targeting the customers of these illicit endeavors, while at the same time engaging in prevention and victim assistance efforts.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2004/panama.htm

[accessed 15 December 2010]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children in Panama also work as domestic servants.  Panama is a transit and destination country for girls, primarily from Colombia and the Dominican Republic, trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.  Children are also trafficked within Panama for sexual exploitation, and are involved in child pornography.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61736.htm

[accessed 15 December 2010]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The country was a destination point for trafficked women. There was evidence that rural children were trafficked internally to work as domestic servants in urban areas. Colombia remained the primary country of origin for trafficked women, followed by the Dominican Republic. Although many Colombians and Dominicans came willingly to the country, apparently intending to become prostitutes, anecdotal evidence suggested that some were forced to continue as prostitutes after they wanted to end involvement.

The country was a transit point for Colombian sex workers to other Central American countries and the United States. Although some of these women were assumed to be trafficking victims, the government could not verify numbers. Alien smuggling remained a widespread problem, with most aliens coming from Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, China, and India, and transiting the country by means of smuggling networks enroute to the United States. Some were trafficked for debt bondage, including Chinese debt bondage within the country.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 4 June 2004

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/panama2004.html

[accessed 15 December 2010]

[37] The Committee welcomes the ratification of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Inter-country Adoption of 1993 but is concerned that there is still a need for more effective measures to guarantee adoption procedures respectful of the rights of the child and to prevent the abuse of adoption, e.g. for trafficking of children.

[58] The Committee welcomes the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. It remains concerned that sexual exploitation and abuse continue to be serious problems and that the victims of sexual exploitation do not have access to appropriate recovery and assistance services. The Committee also remains concerned about the lack of data to determine the real dimension of the problem of child abuse and sexual exploitation and about the insufficient measures to prevent and combat trafficking of children.

The Protection Project – Panama [PDF]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

www.protectionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Panama.pdf

[accessed 24 February 2016]

A Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 1   Civil Liberties: 2   Status: Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/panama

[accessed 27 June 2012]

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

www.hrw.org/americas/panama

[accessed 15 December 2010]

U.S. Library of Congress - Country Study

Library of Congress Call Number F1563 .P323 1989

lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/patoc.html

[accessed 15 December 2010]

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Torture in  [Panama]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Panama]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Panama]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Panama]  [other countries]