RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHDK #0256 0610701
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 020701Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY DAKAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1957
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE UNCLAS DAKAR 000256
STATE FOR INL, DRL, AF/W, AF/RSA, INR/AA
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: GUINEA BISSAU: WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR REPORT
REF: 2008 SECSTATE 127448
1. SUMMARY: There are no specific laws that protect children from
exploitation in the workplace, and child labor occurred during the
reporting period. A lack of resources and political instability
hampered the GOGB's response to the problem. END SUMMARY
2. There are no specific laws that protect children from
exploitation in the workplace, and child labor occurred. The legal
minimum age is 14 years for general factory labor and 18 years for
heavy or dangerous labor, including labor in mines and the armed
forces. The small formal sector generally adhered to these minimum
age requirements; however, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry
of Civil Service and Labor did not enforce these requirements in
3. The Institute of Women and Children and the ministries of labor
and justice are responsible for protecting children from labor
exploitation; however, there was no effective enforcement due to
insufficient protective statutes, and capacity constraints in the
police and judiciary.
4. Most child labor occurred in the informal sector. The incidence
of children working in street trading in cities increased during the
year. In rural communities, children did domestic and field work
without pay to support families or because of a lack of educational
opportunities. Some children were partially or completely withdrawn
from school to work in the fields during the annual cashew harvest.
The government had not taken action to combat such practices by
year's end. Children were trafficked for purposes of labor
exploitation, working as domestic servants, shining shoes in urban
areas, and selling street food such as bananas and peanuts.
5. Throughout the reporting period, the GOGB made little progress in
combating child labor. Following the dissolution of the government
and National Assembly in early August, 2008, officials were focused
on the November 16 legislative elections, and distracted by
attempted coups in August and November. A new government was
installed in January 2009 and pledged to unveil its legislative and
budgetary program by the end of February.
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