Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde
2021 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2021, Cabo Verde made moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government amended the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure to increase penalties for sexual crimes committed against children, notably those between the ages of 14 and 16. These amendments also increase penalties by one-third in situations involving family relationships or guardianships, and attribute accountability not only to perpetrators but also to those who assist in the victimization of children. In addition, the Cabo Verdean Institute for Children and Adolescents launched a program to ensure that children remain in school and stay off the streets. Furthermore, a National Plan to Prevent and Combat Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents, along with a National Communications Strategy for the Prevention and Combat of Sexual Violence were approved. In 2021, Maio Island recorded zero cases of child labor after having recorded the highest number of cases in the country during the previous reporting period, due to extensive awareness-raising efforts conducted throughout the island and increased collaboration between relevant agencies. However, children in Cabo Verde are subjected to the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also perform dangerous tasks in agriculture. Laws prohibiting forced labor are not sufficient as they do not criminalize practices similar to slavery or debt bondage and forced or compulsory labor. In addition, communication among law enforcement agencies is limited and social programs to assist children involved in agriculture and domestic work are not sufficient to address the scope of the problem.

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