Panama – Codigo de la Familia

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Constitution of the Republic of Panama
Extracts : Articles 87 and 88.
Article 87. Every person has the right to education and the responsibility of educating himself, the State organizes and directs the public service of national education and guarantees the parents of families the right to participate in the educational process of their children. Education is based on science, and uses its methods, promotes its growth and spread and applies its results to ensure development of the human person and of the family and affirmation and strengthening of the Panamanian nation as a cultural and political community. Education is democratic and founded on principles of human solidarity and social justice.

Article 88. Education must serve the complete and harmonious development of the student within society, in its physical, intellectual, moral, aesthetic and civic aspects, and must seek to provide skills for useful work in the interest of one’s self and for collective benefit.


LAW NO. 3 05/17/94
Articles regarding persons with disabilities
Art. 620.
The State shall promote, encourage and provide vocational orientation and training to minors and persons with disabilities, for work.

Art. 621.
The State shall provide technical assistance and training to low income groups in order that they have more opportunities for paying jobs, according to the labor necessities of the country.

Art. 622.
In institutions where professional training is provided to minors with disabilities, the latter shall have the right to receive an economic incentive when they perform work of manufacturing products for sale on the market.

Art. 623.
All state institutions that have programs for families and minors shall organize a rotating job pool that allows for creation of an employment service for unemployed adults and for minors over the age of fourteen (14), during school vacation periods. They shall, as well, guarantee protected work for persons with disabilities in order to achieve their integration into the workforce of the country.

Art. 517.
A person with disabilities is understood as a person who suffers any restriction or impediment to performing an activity, caused by deficiency in form or within the area considered normal for a human being; the State is responsible for establishing inter-sectorial and inter-institutional coordination that guarantees their full development and integration into society.
Disabilities are classified as:
1. Intellectual deficiencies and other psychological deficiencies (mental retardation, emotional disturbances and the mentally ill);
2. Language deficiencies;
3. Deficiencies of the hearing organ;
4. Deficiencies of the vision organ;
5. Deficiencies of skeletal muscles; and
6. Deficiencies due to disfigurement.

Art. 518.
Persons with disabilities have the same rights that the Constitution, this Code, and the other laws, give to citizens, and to application of the provisions of international conventions or treaties for their best interests.

Art. 519.
Parents, guardians, and in generally anyone who has guardianship or custody of persons with disabilities must obtain appropriate care, job training and rehabilitation through existing specialized institutions.
Caring for minors with disabilities is primarily the function of the family, and complementarily, of public and social institutions. The State is responsible for:
1. Providing specialized institutions as well as acquiring, repairing and maintaining technical aids required for rehabilitation and training of the minor with disabilities.
2. Developing programs directed at prevention through educational and preventive campaigns as well as those directed at persons with disabilities by way of creation of appropriate training centers, or for integration in the system of education; as well as to promote their participation in recreational and competitive events for purposes at full rehabilitation;
3. Making inter-institutional and inter-sectorial coordination effective for the purpose of facilitating access to medical and educational services that are required for reaching the objectives stated herein, guaranteeing that such care be given not only in the health center but also in the educational institution closest to their community, with the necessary orientation of the Panamanian Special Training Institute (IPHE);
4. Guaranteeing the person with disabilities the right to useful and productive work; and
5. To ensure, through the competent authorities and institutions, that the family fulfills its obligations as to achieving rehabilitation and training of the minor with disabilities, with full respect for his human dignity.

Art. 520.
This Code protects the person with disabilities from any exploitation, abuse or degrading treatment as well as from public exhibition in circumstances damaging to his or her dignity, and in general from any violation of his or her inherent rights, including the right to receive treatment in accordance with his/her disability, respect for his/her rights as a human, and the legal guarantees of the Code, in any legal process in which he/she is involved.

iii) Reform Labor Code

Chapter II. Work Placement and Employment Service.

The State has the duty to develop a national employment policy, intervening in the placement of all people who wish to work, ensuring job preservation and creating the sources of employment that are necessary.

The employment service, unlike the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, shall have the function, along with the other entities created for this purpose by the State or Municipalities, of job placement for all workers wishing to find employment.

The Employment Service shall give special attention to partially disabled workers and to minors, seeking appropriate occupations for them.

In order to attend to the needs of employers, unemployed workers shall be considered in the order of their registration in the Service.