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Sunday, Apr 18, 2021
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Mayra Inés Silvera, directora de la Senniaf.

Senniaf close eight shelters amid child abuse allegations

Eight shelters out of 51 identified have been closed in Panama due to improper handling, reported Mayra Inés Silvera, director of the National Secretariat for Children, Adolescents and the Family (Senniaf).
This was made known during an inspection of the Aldeas SOS Children's Attention Center. Five other shelters in the metropolitan area were also inspected, while the different regional offices carried out inspections at the national level.

The entity indicated that it only manages one of the 50 shelters that operate in the country, which is located in the district of Soná, province of Veraguas.

The rest of the shelters, according to Senniaf, are run by non-governmental organizations and each of these private organizations make their own decisions regarding the population they receive and serve.

Of the total number of private organizations, 40 receive a subsidy from the state through the Ministry of Social Development (Mides), Silvera said.

She announced that this Wednesday at 8:00 am, she will hold a meeting with the Attorney General, Eduardo Ulloa, to address the complaints of physical and psychological abuse of minors who reside in shelters.

"Once we have the information we will present the complaint, whoever falls, because we are dismayed by everything that happens" she said.

Yesterday, a group of deputies who are part of the Commission for Women, Children, Youth and the Family of the National Assembly (AN), handed over to the attorney Ulloa the report that exposes the cases of mistreatment and abuse of minors in more out of 14 state-funded shelters and filed a complaint for these events.

This Tuesday, the Board of Directors of Senniaf requested the immediate closure of shelters in Panama that have incurred very serious offenses in accordance with supervision regulations.
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