Juigalpa is the capital city of the Chontales Department located in the Juigalpa municipality. Juigalpa is in the central region of Nicaragua, in the Amerrisque Mountains, and has a population of 61,246.
According to the World Bank, in Nicaragua 59% of the urban population lives in slums. Women and children are trafficked for commercial sex exploitation within Nicaragua and surrounding countries.
Since 1981, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Juigalpa.
Trafficking victims are recruited, transported, transferred, harbored, or hosted for the purpose of exploitation.
Families facing financial hardship in Juigalpa receive job offers from traffickers as sex workers, domestic workers, or farm workers in cities and tourist centers in Nicaragua or across the border.
Women and children are at risk of exploitation by traffickers due to financial constraints. Children, who have to support the family income, or those who have to fend for themselves are particularly at risk.
In Nicaragua, the minimum age to work is 14 years. In addition, there is no minimum age requirement for light work.
Reports indicate that children in rural areas mainly work and therefore often do not attend school. While 69% of boys are employed in agriculture, 53% of girls work in the service sector.
The majority of children do not receive wages; they work as unpaid family helpers for up to 40 hours per week. Children from families facing financial hardships are thus more likely to be engage in child labour, as they contribute to the family income through their work.