Nelly Torres, activist at Manthoc


Nelly Torres, Peruvian by birth and social sciences teacher by training, works here, in Belgium, for the BelgicaNNATs association. This is a European solidarity committee linked to the global movement of working children.

Nelly Torres has been part of a dynamic of activism since her early adolescence. Coming from a working-class, Christian family, Nelly quickly became aware of the social issues surrounding her and quickly joined local solidarity organizations.

She began working for MANTHOC, the movement of adolescent and child workers, sons of Christian workers.

Can you introduce your organization MANTHOC?

MANTHOC, has become the first recognized organization in Latin America of working children, sons and daughters of Christian workers. In addition, in 1996, a more regional and inclusive movement, the MNNATSOP, was set up, allowing clearer regional coordination (Latin America) of movements relating to child and adolescent labor.

Today, Nelly aims to promote this movement in Europe, starting with Belgium where she wishes to give visibility to her solidarity projects.

Nelly Torres observes today a massive awareness in Latin America, with an evolution in the fate reserved for many young people from the working class. If everything is not perfect, a concrete awakening of consciences should be highlighted.

What are the results of these projects?

Associations defending working children are calling for a change in international legislation so that the social rights of these children are protected (negotiation, participation, etc.). The International Labor Organization is very reluctant to this idea. The associations want the work to be recognized and their poverty situation to be taken into account. 400 million children work worldwide. The Western vision denies this reality. BelgicaNNATS wants young people to be recognized as protagonists of society. For some children, working allows them to go to school.

Do you see your project as an alternative to the dominant economic model?

Do you have any advice to give to citizens who want to take action?


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