Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Cabo Verde

Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Cabo Verde

2015 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2015, Cabo Verde made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government adopted a National List of Dangerous Work for Children and Adolescents and amended the Penal Code to criminalize child trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation. The Government funded several social programs that address child labor, including awareness campaigns. However, children in Cabo Verde are engaged in child labor, including in agriculture and domestic work. Law enforcement data on labor inspections and criminal investigations is not widely available. In addition, social programs do not target all sectors in which children work.

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Children in Cabo Verde are engaged in child labor, including in agriculture and domestic work.(1-5) A child labor study conducted in 2012 found that the majority of working children are male and work in rural areas.(4) Table 1 provides key indicators on children’s work and education in Cabo Verde.

Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education

Working children, ages 10 to 14 (% and population):

3.2 (2,392)

Working children by sector, ages 5 to 14 (%):

 

Agriculture

79.2

Industry

7.2

Services

13.7

School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):

90.1

Children combining work and school, ages 10 to 14 (%):

1.7

Primary completion rate (%):

99.8

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2014, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(6)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children’s Work Project’s Analysis of Statistics from Inquérito as Despesas e Receitas Familiares, 2001–2002.(7)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children’s work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children’s Work by Sector and Activity

Sector/Industry

Activity

Agriculture

Farming, activities unknown (2-4, 8)

Raising livestock (2, 4, 5)

Fishing, activities unknown (2, 4, 8)

Industry

Treating water* (4)

Construction, including extracting sand*† (9)

Services

Domestic work (1-5)

Street work, including vending,† garbage scavenging,† car washing, and begging (1-3, 5)

Working in hotels and restaurants* (4)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking* (2, 3, 10)

Use in illicit activities,* including drug trafficking* (2, 11)

* Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.
† Determined by national law or regulation as hazardous and, as such, relevant to Article 3(d) of ILO C. 182.
‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a)–(c) of ILO C. 182.

The commercial sexual exploitation of both boys and girls, including in the tourism industry, occurs in Cabo Verde. Evidence indicates that children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Santa Maria, Praia, and Mindelo.(2, 3, 10) Children are trafficked for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation within Cabo Verde and to Guinea.(3) Children begging and vending goods on the street are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking.(12)

Cabo Verde has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor

Convention

Ratification

ILO C. 138, Minimum Age

ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor

UN CRC

UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict

UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

 

The Government has established laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor

Standard

Yes/No

Age

Related Legislation

Minimum Age for Work

Yes

15

Article 261 of the Labor Code (13)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Article 264 of the Labor Code; Article 133 of the Civil Code (13, 14)

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children

Yes

 

Articles 264 and 267 of the Labor Code; National List of Dangerous Work for Children and Adolescents (13, 15)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Article 14 of Chapter 1 of the Labor Code; Articles 149, 271, and 271-A of the Penal Code (13, 16, 17)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Articles 149 and 271-A of the Penal Code (16, 17)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Articles 144, 145, 148–150, and 271-A of the Penal Code (16, 17)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

Yes

 

Article 8 of the Drug Trafficking Law (18)

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

Yes

18

Article 2 of the Legislative Decree on Military Service (19, 20)

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

Yes

17

Article 31 of the Legislative Decree on Military Service (19, 21)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

15‡

Articles 13 and 20 of the Education Law (22)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Article 14 of the Education Law (22)

‡ Age calculated based on available information (22)

In July 2015, the Government approved the National List of Dangerous Work for Children and Adolescents, which prohibits children from engaging in 48 activities in agriculture, fishing, mining, manufacturing, construction, domestic work, and services.(5, 15) In November 2015, the Government amended the Penal Code to criminalize child trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation, as well as commercial sexual exploitation of children.(17)

The law’s minimum age protections do not apply to children who are self-employed or engaged in unpaid work.(13, 23) Article 262 of the Labor Code provides for an exception to the minimum age provisions for children under age 15 who are engaged in light household chores, agricultural work, or other types of labor that contribute to their physical and mental development, organizational skills, and self-discipline; however, the law does not establish a minimum age for light work, prescribe the number of hours per week permissible for light work, or specify the conditions under which light work may be undertaken.(13, 23)

Laws related to forced labor are insufficient because debt bondage is not criminally prohibited.(16)

The Education Law states that children begin primary school at age 6, and that education is compulsory until grade 10.(22) Thus, education is compulsory until age 15.

The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency

Role

Inspector General for Labor (IGT)

Monitor and enforce child labor laws, work closely with the Ministry of Justice and the Cabo Verdean Institute for Children and Adolescents (ICCA).(24, 25)

Ministry of Justice, including the Judicial Police and the National Police

The Judicial Police conduct criminal investigations and the National Police make arrests related to the worst forms of child labor, including human trafficking.(25, 26)

 

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2015, labor law enforcement agencies in Cabo Verde took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor

Overview of Labor law Enforcement

2014

2015

Labor Inspectorate Funding

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Labor Inspectors

14 (8)

14 (5)

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

Yes (8)

Yes (27)

Training for Labor Inspectors

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Unknown

Yes (5)

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

Unknow

Yes (5)

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (28)

Yes (5)

Number of Labor Inspections

1,482 (20)

Unknown (5)

Number Conducted at Worksite

Unknown

Unknown

Number Conducted by Desk Reviews

Unknown

Unknown

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

0 (8)

Unknown

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

N/A

Unknown

Number of Penalties Imposed That Were Collected

N/A

Unknown

Routine Inspections Conducted

Yes (8)

Yes (5)

Routine Inspections Targeted

Unknown

Yes (5)

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (20)

Yes (5)

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Unknown

Yes (5)

Complaint Mechanism Exists

Yes (8)

Yes (5)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (9)

Yes (5)

 

According to the Government, labor inspectors have adequate office facilities, transportation, fuel, and other resources to adequately carry out inspections; however, the Inspector General for Labor (IGT) does not have national coverage because the office only has representation on Sal, Santiago, and São Vicente Islands.(5)

When IGT inspectors find a case of child labor, they inform the Cabo Verdean Institute for Children and Adolescents (ICCA) of the case and ICCA reports it to the Ministry of Justice for judicial procedures.(5) In 2015, ICCA provided social services to 37 victims of child labor, 2 of which were referred by the Government’s national hotline, Disque Denuncia.(29)

Criminal Law Enforcement

Research did not find information on whether criminal law enforcement agencies in Cabo Verde took actions to combat the worst forms of child labor (Table 7).

Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement

2014

2015

Training for Investigators

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Unknown

No (5)

Training on New Laws Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Unknown

No (5)

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (25)

Unknown (5)

Number of Investigations

0 (8)

Unknown (5)

Number of Violations Found

N/A

Unknown (5)

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

0 (8)

Unknown (5)

Number of Convictions

0 (8)

0 (5)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Yes (25)

Yes (5)

The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body

Role & Description

National Committee for Child Labor Prevention and Eradication in Cabo Verde (CNPETI)

Coordinate the execution of the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor, ensure that national laws comply with international conventions on child labor, and produce yearly reports on child labor issues for the National Assembly. Comprises representatives from 30 institutions, including government agencies, civil society groups, unions, the ILO, and UNICEF.(26, 30) Supervised by ICCA, meets four times a year with other collaborating institutions to discuss implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor.(5, 31)

Children and Adolescent Committee to Prevent and Combat Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Contribute to the prevention and elimination of child sexual exploitation by coordinating the activities of member organizations and public and private services. Committee members meet yearly.(26) Comprises representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Institute for Gender and Equality, the Association of Cabo Verdean Journalists, the Solidarity Foundation, the National Commission for Human Rights and Citizenship, and NGOs.(25)

ICCA’s National Unit for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labor

Promote child’s rights, coordinate and monitor the implementation of all national programs and activities to prevent and combat child labor.(31, 32) ICCA delegates are in certain municipalities on the islands of Santiago, Fogo, Sal, São Vicente, and Santo Antão.(30)

Municipal Committee for the Defense of Rights of Children and Adolescents (CMDDCA)

Assist and monitor vulnerable children and their families in municipalities in which no ICCA delegate is present.(1, 30) Seventeen CMDDCAs operate under municipal jurisdictions; they include representatives from the Ministry of Education and Sports, municipalities, health departments, the National Police, courts, and other offices.(1)

The Government of Cabo Verde has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 9).

Table 9. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

National Action Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor

Prioritizes the eradication of child labor. Outlines specific objectives, including data collection, institutional capacity building, and enhancement of measures to prevent, protect, and remove children from involvement in child labor.(1, 30) Aims to engage multiple stakeholders, such as government agencies, workers’ organizations, and child workers and their families, in efforts to achieve these goals.(1, 30)

Regional Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labor

Aims to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in West Africa by 2015.(33, 34)

The Code of Ethics Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents

Guides and governs all agencies involved in the tourism sector in Cabo Verde.(35) Approved in July 2014 during a workshop organized by the Ministry of Youth, Employment, and Development of Human Resources and the Chamber of Commerce of Leeward Islands, in partnership with the ILO.(25) Allows the tourism sector to play a prominent role in the fight against the exploitation of children and adolescents, particularly sexual exploitation.(25, 35)

Poverty Reduction and Growth Plan III (2012–2016)

Identifies strategies to reduce poverty, foster economic development, and bolster education to reduce child labor.(31, 36) Includes plans to develop educational materials on child labor and the sexual exploitation of children.(30)

National Action Plan for Human and Citizenship Rights

Proposes the development of mechanisms to identify cases of child labor involving children under age 14, as well as programs and necessary measures to end these situations. Also plans to develop and increase programs that combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children.(30)

In 2015, the Government of Cabo Verde funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms (Table 10).

Table 10. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program

Description

Child Labor Awareness Campaigns

Government program implemented by ICCA and the National Committee for Child Labor Prevention and Eradication that conducts national awareness campaigns on the worst forms of child labor. In 2015, ICCA released 4,600 copies of a “Stop Child Labor” comic book to students on Santiago island, and published the third edition of the Educational Guide on Violence and Sexual Abuse against Children and Adolescents.(37)

Help for At-Risk Children†

Government program implemented by ICCA that provides education, health services, and professional training to vulnerable children and their families. Eight day centers for street children vulnerable to sexual and labor exploitation operate on Boa Vista, Fogo, Sal, Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Vicente islands.(38) In 2015, assisted 297 vulnerable children.(37)

Child Emergency Centers and Social Protection and Reintegration Centers†

ICCA-run program that operates emergency centers for child victims of abuse and sexual exploitation on Santiago and São Vicente Islands.(3, 26, 30) In August 2015, the Government opened another emergency center on Santo Antão island.(38) The Government also operates five social protection and reintegration centers that provide support and educational integration services to children who have experienced long-term trauma.(3, 5, 26, 38)

Study on Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and Adolescents

Government program in collaboration with UNICEF that analyzes the causes and socio-cultural factors behind child sexual abuse and exploitation. The 2015 report includes a legal and institutional framework analysis to help develop effective policies to combat the problem.(35, 39)

Government Efforts to Increase Access to Education†

Government program supported WFP and UNICEF, led by the Cabo Verdean Foundation for School and Social Support, that ensures school access for disadvantaged children by paying for school fees, school materials, and meals.(27) Secondary education is free for children whose families earn less than $1,670 annually.(2)

† Program is funded by the Government of Cabo Verde.

Although Cabo Verde has programs that target street children, research found no evidence that the Government has programs to assist children involved in agriculture, fishing, and domestic work.

Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Cabo Verde (Table 11).

Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Ensure that all children are protected by law, including children who are self-employed or engaged in unpaid work.

2015

Establish a minimum age for light work and prescribe the number of hours per week and conditions under which light work may be undertaken.

2015

Ensure that laws criminally prohibit debt bondage.

2015

Enforcement

Make law enforcement data publicly available, including information on the labor inspectorate’s funding, number and type of labor inspections conducted, and training for investigators, as well as the number of criminal investigations undertaken, violations found, prosecutions initiated, and convictions achieved.

2011 – 2015

Ensure that initial training is provided to new investigators and that all investigators receive training on new laws related to the worst forms of child labor.

2015

Ensure that the IGT receives adequate funding to conduct labor inspections on all islands.

2014 – 2015

Social Programs

Conduct research to determine specific activities related to children’s work in agriculture and fishing, in order to inform policies and programs.

2013 – 2015

Institute programs to address child labor in agriculture, fishing, and domestic work.

2010 – 2015

1.         ILO-IPEC, and CPLP. Estudo sobre a aplicação das Convenções n.° 138 e n.° 182 da OIT e suas recomendações na legislação nacional dos países da CPLP; 2012. http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/download.do?type=document&id=23178.

2.         U.S. Department of State. "Cabo Verde," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2014. Washington, DC; June 25, 2015; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/236548.pdf.

3.         U.S. Department of State. "Cabo Verde," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2015. Washington, DC; July 27, 2015; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/243558.pdf.

4.         Instituto Nacional de Estatística, Instituto Cabo-verdiano da Criança e do Adolescente, and ILO. Inquérito Multi-objectivo Contínuo 2013: O Trabalho Infantil em Cabo Verde. Praia; June 25, 2015. http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/download.do?type=document&id=27356.

5.         U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, January 19, 2016.

6.         UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total. [accessed December 16, 2015]; http://data.uis.unesco.org/. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. This ratio is the total number of new entrants in the last grade of primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population at the theoretical entrance age to the last grade of primary. A high ratio indicates a high degree of current primary education completion. Because the calculation includes all new entrants to last grade (regardless of age), the ratio can exceed 100 percent, due to over-aged and under-aged children who enter primary school late/early and/or repeat grades. For more information, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

7.         UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Inquérito as Despesas e Receitas Familiares, 2012. Analysis received December 18, 2015. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children’s work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor.  For more information on sources used, the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.

8.         U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, January 15, 2015.

9.         Government of Cabo Verde official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 13, 2015.

10.       U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, November 25, 2015.

11.       U.S. Department of State. "Cabo Verde," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2014. Washington, DC; June 20, 2014; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2014/index.htm.

12.       U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, January 26, 2016.

13.       Government of Cabo Verde. Código Laboral Cabo-verdiano, 5/2007, enacted October 16, 2007. [source on file].

14.       Government of Cabo Verde. Código Civil, enacted September 30, 1997. http://www.africanchildforum.org/clr/Legislation%20Per%20Country/cape%20verde/capeverde_civilcode_1997_pr.pdf.

15.       Government of Cabo Verde. National List of Dangerous Work for Children; 2015. [hardcopy on file].

16.       Government of Cabo Verde. Código Penal de Cabo Verde, 4/2003, enacted 2004. http://www.mj.gov.cv/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=59&Itemid=66.

17.       Government of Cabo Verde. Código Penal, enacted November 11, 2015. [hardcopy on file].

18.       Government of Cabo Verde. Lei No. 78/IV/93, enacted July 12, 1993.

19.       Child Soldiers International. "Appendix II: Data Summary on Recruitment Ages of National Armies," in Louder Than Words: An Agenda for Action to End State Use of Child Soldiers. London; 2012; http://www.child-soldiers.org/global_report_reader.php?id=562.

20.       U.S. Embassy- Praia official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. April 17, 2015.

21.       United Nations Treaty Collection Database. United Nations Treaty Collection: Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict; accessed April 10, 2014; http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11-b&chapter=4&lang=en.

22.       Government of Cabo Verde. Bases do Sistema Educativo, 2/2010, enacted May 7, 2010.

23.       ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Cabo Verde (ratification: 2011) Published: 2015; accessed November 9, 2015; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3185688:NO.

24.       U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, January 17, 2014.

25.       U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, February 13, 2015.

26.       Government of Cabo Verde. Informações solicitadas pelo Departamento do Trabalho do EUA Sobre o Trabalho Infantil; 2014. [hardcopy on file].

27.       ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Cabo Verde (ratification: 2001); accessed November 9, 2015; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3185771:NO.

28.       U.S. Embassy- Praia official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 1, 2016.

29.       Instituto Cabo-verdiano da Criança e do Adolescente (ICCA). Dados de Atendimentos e Acompanhamento de Crianças e Adolescentes Vítimas do Trabalho Infantil Ano 2015; 2015.

30.       Government of Cabo Verde. Plano de acção de prevenção e erradicação do trabalho infantil-PANPETI, Resolução n° 43/2014, do B.O. I Série, n° 36, enacted June 2, 2014. [source on file].

31.       U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, February 15, 2013.

32.       U.S. Embassy- Praia official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 20, 2013.

33.       ILO-IPEC. ECOWAS Ministers of labour and social welfare adopt a regional action plan on child labour, specially its worst forms. Press Release. Dakar; December 11, 2012. http://www.ilo.org/ipec/Events/WCMS_195519/lang--en/index.htm.

34.       Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and ILO. ECOWAS Regional Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labour especially the worst forms; 2013. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---africa/documents/publication/wcms_227737.pdf.

35.       Government of Cabo Verde. Código de Conduta Ética do Turismo Contra a Exploração Sexual da Criança e do Adolescente, enacted April 2, 2014.

36.       Government of Cabo Verde official. Letter to USDOL official. December 19, 2011.

37.       U.S. Embassy- Praia official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. May 10, 2016.

38.       Instituto Cabo-verdiano da Criança e do Adolescente (ICCA). Acções de Promoção e Protecção dos Direitos das Crianças em Cabo Verde 2014/2015; 2015.

39.       Instituto Cabo-verdiano da Criança e do Adolescente (ICCA). Estudo sobre Abuso e Exploração Sexual de Crianças e Adolescentes. April 9, 2015

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