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Child Labour in Panama

Despite concerted efforts by the authorities to crack down on child labour, an estimated 4% of Panamanian children continue to be in work. Children are most frequently employed in the informal agricultural sector, creating legal and reputational risks for businesses sourcing agricultural products from the country. Child labour has also been reported in other industries including domestic service, fishing and construction. As Verisk Maplecroft’s Child Labour in Panama map shows, the prevalence of child labour varies significantly at the subnational level. Children are most likely to be in work in provinces on Panama’s Atlantic coast where poverty rates are high, including the Ngobe-Bugle and Kuna Yala indigenous comarcas (territories). This means that firms with operations in these areas face heightened risks of exposure to child labour. It also creates opportunities for partnership with government and civil society initiatives aimed at reducing child labour and re-inserting working children into the educational system.