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UNICEF chief praises and calls for more progress for disadvantaged children in Bolivia

LA PAZ, Bolivia, 2 May 2014 - UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake travelled to Bolivia this week to meet with children, families and government officials, to advocate for further progress in overcoming Bolivia's historic inequities.
On the three-day mission, Mr. Lake visited Potosí governorate in south west Bolivia where he met with Potosí Departmental Governor, Mr. Félix Gonzáles. The Governor and he spoke with children and families who live and work in the dangerous conditions of the Cerro Rico mine, to hear about the challenges they face. Mr. Lake also met with children and adolescents who are being helped to overcome the effects of sexual abuse.
‘‘Young children working in life-threatening conditions instead of going to school to earn just enough money to scrape by is a tragedy. Bolivia has developed policies that mean children can learn in a safe, healthy and protective environment. This investment  in the future of this country’s children must not go to waste,” Mr. Lake said. "The miners at Cerro Rico are working for treasures. The most important treasure to be developed was in the school on the side of the mountain: the children."
Mr. Lake met with the Plurinational State of Bolivia Minister of Foreign Affairs David Choquehuanca, to discuss the government’s commitment to protecting the rights and well-being of vulnerable children and adolescents.
Bolivia aims to universalize access to basic social services and eradicate extreme poverty through the 2025 Patriotic Agenda, and increase social investments that will help bridge deep-rooted equity gaps.
On the final day of the mission, UNICEF announced Juan Carlos “Chavo” Salvatierra as a National Goodwill Ambassador.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
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