AMERICA/BOLIVIA - More than 3,500 children and adolescents work to support families

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

La Paz (Agenzia Fides) - The Bolivian families of low income force many children to work as a shoeshine, peddlers, window washers, carters. According to the recent survey "Infancia sin derechos", carried out by the Observatorio Infanto Juvenil, by the University Gabriel Rene Moreno and by the founding of Projects and Study Services and Analysis (SEPA), approximately 3,500 children and adolescents work on the streets of Santa Cruz Montero, Camiri, San Ignacio de Velasco and El Torno. Among these children, 40% do not attend school and only 35% live with their parents. In addition to not having any health insurance at work, they are excluded from medical care, and 4 out of 10 are mistreated at work, school and family. SEPA, given the seriousness of the situation, has called for greater investment and protection of fundamental rights for children and adolescents. In the study on the state of so-called gangs or gang neighborhood were also published. There are 170 groups where 6,633 young people are involved. Among these gangs 12 may be included in the field of crime run by adults who exploit children for drugs and weapons. These groups are formed because they is lack of support to families, regardless of income. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 30/11/2011)