PANAMA PROTECTORA CONSULTS CHILDREN ON THEIR RIGHTS
Panama, August 31, 2022 - Within the framework of the Panama Protectora Project executed by Save the Children, with the support of the European Union, multiple consultation sessions were held with children and adolescents about their rights. The objective was to discuss and exchange opinions on what these rights are and how they are applied in Panama, which opened a conversation about the importance of the rights of children emphasizing the right to live in a family.
During the sessions more than 100 girls, boys and adolescents, between 4 and 18 years old, from communities in the provinces of Panama, Panama West and Colon such as: El Chorrillo, San Felipe, Juan Diaz, San Carlos and Nuevo Mexico.
These spaces were opened through the generation of alliances with various organizations dedicated to work for the protection of Panamanian children and adolescents, with the support of the City of Knowledge Foundation.
The Girls' Collective linked to Espacio Encuentro de Mujeres, the New Generation Movement, the Enlaces program of the Creative Space Foundation, the organization Fútbol Con Corazón and the Advisory Council of the National Secretariat for Children, Adolescents and Family, were the participating organizations.
As part of the discussions, José, 15 years old, said, "I think the family is very important for society, because it teaches you many things, maybe not a perfect family, but they teach you things for life, such as values. In the workshop they gave us today, it went very well. I liked it a lot, it was super fun, we talked a lot, there was a lot of laughter and learning."
"I consider that rights are important because they give us an identity. For example, without my right to freedom of expression, I would not be able to speak to other people. Without my right to education I would practically not be able to be someone in the future, as I would not have a stable education. Without the right to life, none of us would be alive right now, we would be nobody," said Julian, a 14-year-old girl.
In each of these sessions, Save the Children's rights and advocacy specialists provided safe spaces for children and adolescents to deepen their understanding of the importance of fulfilling their rights and their relevance as part of society.
"We all have an important role in guaranteeing that Panamanian children and adolescents have all their rights recognized, especially that they grow up under the protection and care of a family, which constitutes a safe place for them," said Karla Pinder, Manager of Save the Children's Panama Protectora Project.
These sessions were carried out during five days in spaces of approximately 2-4 hours. The dynamics consisted in the implementation of playful activities such as the creation of games, drawings, music and art, where they could apply their creativity working as a team and thus be able to contribute different points of view and express themselves freely.