Life, Work and Dignity: Voices of Experience - Esther Díaz Gonzáles [Editor]

Instituto de Formación de Adolescentes y Niños Trabajadores, “Nagayama Norio” – INFANT

Esther Díaz Gonzáles [Editor]


The first discussion group, entitled “ Life, Work and Dignity: Voices of experience”, was held on June 25, 2010 in Lima, Peru, ten years after the creation of the Working Children's Training Institute (INFANT) “Nagayama Norio”, to provide an opportunity for dialogue and reflection through discussion. The young people who took part in the discussion had belonged to working children's organisations and shared their experience. Those who were NATs very early in their lives were able to have a dynamic, open and frank discussion of the experience, conduct a retrospective analysis and rethink the role of children and of their own contribution to society.

To commemorate an event is to remember it, and to remember it is to return to the memory of what is at the heart of the reason why we are here together, and to think about how the fact of why being a working child did not lead to a private life with dignity and nobility. Nor indeed to joy or happiness.

For this reason, the aim of this first discussion group was fundamentally a chance to meet, think and rethink this experience with those who were directly involved and were the first to defend their rights.

This first discussion group was a major milestone because of its political significance in a world in which private interests come first and the life of the community is undermined. Organised working children have helped to renew hope in solidarity and in politics. Their story has revealed their great ability for looking beyond their own interests and achievements and putting these at the service of the needs and expectations of all children. INFANT's relationship with the children is based on affection and mutual learning and has led us to believe in them, because of their ability to transform their lives and our own.

This link is about developing solidarity and social and political responsibility. Children do not want to be just the object of adult responsibility. They want to share the responsibility. We cannot forget these lives because their stories have taught us to recognise forms of resilience in the face of difficulties which they have been obliged to – and continue to - surmount.

We hope to guarantee a second discussion group on “Life, Work and Dignity”, to continue offering new generations of NNATs a new vision, the strength of hope and confidence in themselves.

Esther Díaz


Children’s Rights European Academic Network (CREAN)
c/o Centre for Children’s Rights Studies
University of Geneva, Valais Campus
Chemin de l’Institut 18
CH – 1967 Bramois (Sion)
Tel. +41 (0)27 205 73 06