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2013-10-08

AMERICA/COLOMBIA - A New Hope for street children

Pereira (Agenzia Fides) - In recent years the abuse of child labor in Pereira, the Colombian city 250 kilometers west of Bogotá, has greatly diminished thanks to some programs aimed at restoring the human rights of every child and adolescent in the city. One of these initiatives, called Acogida y Desarrollo, is supported by the NGO Mundos Hermanos together with the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare. In the last 4 years, thanks to this program, over 126 children have been reintegrated into society. Teenagers were exploited, they had to carry the bags of people who shopped in the streets, or in some cases for the sale of hallucinogenic drugs. The majority of children who beg at traffic lights is concentrated in the city, "encouraged" by those who give them a few coins. Among these young children, 122 have been removed from the streets. Another serious problem that plagues the area is sex tourism. Currently the NGO Mundos Hermanos Pereira assists 212 children and adolescents. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 08/10/2013)

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