Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Cameroon

Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Cameroon

2015 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2015, Cameroon made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government convicted two individuals under Law N° 2011/024 Relating to the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery, updated its National Plan of Action to Combat Child Labor and Trafficking in Children to include a protective policy framework on child labor in domestic work, and announced a National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Cameroon with combatting child trafficking as a major focus. However, children in Cameroon are engaged in child labor, including in the production of cocoa, and in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation. The Government has not ratified the UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, nor has it prohibited the use of children in illicit activities, including the production and trafficking of drugs.

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Children in Cameroon are engaged in child labor, including in the production of cocoa. Children are also engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation.(1-7) Table 1 provides key indicators on children’s work and education in Cameroon.

Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education

Working children, ages 5 to 14 (%):

56.2

School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%):

79.7

Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%):

52.7

Primary completion rate (%):

72.2

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2014, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(8)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children’s Work Project’s analysis of statistics from Enquête Démographique et de Santé et à Indicateurs Multiples, 2011.(9)

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

Production of cocoa, bananas,* coffee,* onions,* palm oil,* rubber,* and tea,* including handling pesticides,* machetes,* clearing fields,* and lifting heavy loads* (1, 4-7, 10-14)

Hunting* and raising livestock* (1, 7)

Fishing, including smoking* or selling* fish (1, 7, 15)

Industry

Working in artisanal gold mines† and gravel quarries,*† transporting heavy loads of sand or gravel,* breaking stones,* and digging or standing in stagnant water to extract minerals* (1, 13, 15, 16)

Construction,* including carrying heavy loads of water,* concrete,* cement* and bricks* (1, 13)

Services

Domestic work (1, 7, 13)

Working in transportation* (1, 13)

Street work, including carrying heavy luggage,* vending, and begging* (1, 12, 13, 17-19)

Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡

Commercial sexual exploitation,* sometimes as a result of human trafficking (1-3, 5, 18, 20-23)

Use in armed conflict, sometimes as a result of forced recruitment, including as suicide bombers (21, 24-32)

Forced labor in agriculture in the production of cocoa, tea, cotton, and onions, fishing, livestock raising, domestic work, in artisanal gold mines and gravel quarries, street vending, and construction, each sometimes as a result of human trafficking* (1, 2, 5, 21, 23)

Forced begging* (4, 18, 21, 33)

* 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 Article3 (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

Cameroon is a source, transit, and destination country for child trafficking from neighboring countries in Central and West Africa, and it is increasingly becoming a source country for human trafficking victims sent to Persian Gulf countries.(1, 13, 21, 34) Improved public awareness about child trafficking has reduced the number of parents who willingly give their children to intermediaries promising education or a better life in urban cities. As a result, reports of children being kidnapped for human trafficking purposes have increased, including in Yaoundé.(21, 35) Enforcement officials are becoming more vigilant about requiring parental authorization for children travelling without their parents. Immigration points at land borders, seaports, and airports are also increasingly well monitored, particularly at the borders of Nigeria and the Central African Republic.(21) Child trafficking also occurs internally for the purposes of hereditary slavery in the Northwest Region and three northern regions, though this practice has declined.(2, 5, 21, 36) In the three northern regions, it is a tradition to send boys, or talibés, to Koranic teachers to receive education. While some talibés receive lessons, others are forced by their teachers to beg or perform other work and to surrender the money that they earn.(4, 13, 33, 37) Additionally, the traditional practice of confiage, which involves sending a child to a relative or friend to attend school in a larger town or city, may place children at risk of exploitation by internal human trafficking.(21, 23, 35, 38)

Decree N° 2001/041 on the Organization of Public Schools guarantees free education in Cameroon and the Government has called on schools to stop collecting parent-teacher association fees in accordance with this law.(39, 40) However, due to the late or inadequate disbursement of government funds to schools, families were required to pay for uniforms, books, and other school-related fees.(12, 35, 40-43) During the reporting period, the Government implemented a series of actions to improve access to education, including building schools and classrooms, and recruiting teachers.(35, 40) Girls were also subject to sexual harassment at schools and often dropped out due to early pregnancy or domestic responsibilities.(37) A lack of schools in rural areas and birth registration requirements further hindered access to education as many children are not born in formal health facilities, which issue the declarations necessary to obtain birth certificates.(17, 21, 35, 41) This is particularly true in the Extreme North Region, where UNICEF estimates that approximately 65 percent of children do not have birth certificates.(44) Additionally, children in refugee camps in eastern Cameroon have difficulty accessing education due to a lack of schooling, teachers, and resources to pay for school-related expenses.(26, 45, 46)

Ongoing insecurity along Cameroon’s borders with the Central African Republic and Nigeria has displaced many Cameroonians and strained the Government’s resources for addressing child labor.(21, 43, 47, 48) Boko Haram has attacked numerous villages around the Lake Chad region, burning buildings, killing villagers, and kidnapping children.(24, 31, 32, 49) Boko Haram has repeatedly used children as soldiers and suicide bombers in these attacks, including children as young as age 13.(21, 31, 32) These attacks have forced an estimated 1,100 schools to close in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. At least 170 of these schools are in Cameroon, affecting approximately 70,000 students, and putting an estimated 29,000 students at risk of losing an entire school year.(26, 28, 31, 32, 45, 47, 49-53) Teachers have left their posts as a result of the conflict and displaced students place an additional strain on existing schools.(19, 26, 45) Refugees and internally displaced children are particularly vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor, including child trafficking.(5, 21, 25, 50, 54)

Cameroon has ratified most 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

14

Section 86 of the Labor Code (55)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Yes

18

Articles 9–23 of Order N° 017 on Child Labor; Section 86 of the Labor Code (55, 56)

Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations and/or Activities for Children

Yes

 

Articles 9–23 of the Order on Child Labor (56)

Prohibition of Forced Labor

Yes

 

Sections 1–6 of the Law Relating to the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery; Articles 11, 292, 293, 342, 352, and 353 of the Penal Code; Section 2 of the Labor Code (55, 57, 58)

Prohibition of Child Trafficking

Yes

 

Sections 1–6 of the Law Relating to the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery; Articles 11, 352, and 353 of the Penal Code (57, 58)

Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Yes

 

Articles 265 and 343–347 of the Penal Code; Articles 76, 81, and 82 of the Law on Cybersecurity and Cybercriminality (57, 59)

Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities

No

 

 

Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment

N/A*

 

 

Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service

Yes

18

Article 2 of the Decree Fixing the Conditions and Recruitment and Admission to Military Schools (60)

Compulsory Education Age

Yes

12‡

Preamble of the Constitution; Articles 9 and 16 of the Law Orienting the Education System (35, 38, 61, 62)

Free Public Education

Yes

 

Articles 46 (2), 47, and 48 of the Decree on the Organization of Public Schools (39)

* No conscription (60, 63)
‡ Age calculated based on available information (40)

Articles 20 and 21 of the Order on Child Labor prohibit hazardous activities for children under age 18, with two exceptions for those age 16 and over. This means that children ages 16 and 17 can legally be employed in hazardous tasks such as operating horizontal winches or pulleys, servicing steam valves, and working on scaffolding without receiving adequate training or ensuring their health, safety, and morals are protected.(56) The Government has acknowledged the need to update the hazardous work prohibitions and is planning to incorporate updates into a revision of the Labor Code.(12) As part of this effort, the National Labor Advisory Commission met in 2015 in order to review and update the list of hazardous activities prohibited to children.(40) Additionally, the prohibitions against child trafficking are insufficient because they require threats, the use of force, or coercion to be established for the crime of child trafficking. In addition, the Law Relating to the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery doubles the penalty if the victim is under 15; thus children ages 16 to 18 are not adequately protected under the law.(57, 58) The Government, with the help of an NGO, national, and international experts, drafted amendments to the Law Relating to the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery in 2012 to bring the law into conformity with international standards. However, the draft is still under consideration.(14)

The Law Orienting the Education System makes education compulsory through primary school, but it does not specifically establish a compulsory education age.(38) Children typically begin education at age 6 and most students complete primary education at age 12.(40) The lack of a clear compulsory education age makes children ages 12 and 13 particularly vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor, as they are not required to be in school and are below the minimum age for work.(35, 38, 55)

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

Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MINTSS)

Lead efforts to enforce child labor laws, promote decent working conditions, and fight against child trafficking in cooperation with other government bodies, including the ministries of Social Affairs, Employment and Vocational Training, Justice, Women’s Empowerment and Family, Territorial Administration and Decentralization, and Tourism.(12, 21) Primarily concerned with the welfare of vulnerable groups, including women, children, and indigenous groups. Advocate on behalf of victims, present complaints to court, and provide social services to victims of child labor.(43)

Ministry of Justice (MOJ)

Contribute to investigations through police and gendarmes, and through the prosecution of offenders as appropriate.(43, 64)

Ministry of Social Affairs (MINAS)

Lead Government efforts to combat human trafficking, including by raising awareness.(21) Provide social services and protection to victims of child trafficking, including education, vocational training, and shelter.(12, 65, 66) Maintain a hotline for reporting child trafficking cases or child labor complaints as part of the National Referral System.(40) Coordinate repatriation for victims of human trafficking in cooperation with the Ministry of External Relations.(44) In the case of the Directorate of Social Protection of the Child, oversee 10 regional delegations; the Operational Technical Unit provides social services and maintains Centers for Social Action.(65) In the case of the Minors Brigade, work within the public security sections of local police stations to investigate reports of child trafficking and the use of children in hazardous work.(4, 64, 67)

Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Family (MINPROFF)

Enforce criminal laws against forced child labor, commercial sexual exploitation, and the use of children in illicit activities. Promote the protection of children’s rights.(12, 67)

Ministry of Defense’s National Gendarmerie (SED)

Enforce criminal laws against child trafficking and investigate violations of child labor laws throughout the country in both rural and urban areas.(1, 43)

General Delegate for National Security (DGSN)

Enforce laws against the worst forms of child labor and investigate violations in urban areas.(1, 43) In the case of the DGSN’s Special Vice Squad, a technical department within INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau, investigate cases of human trafficking, child soldiering, and commercial sexual exploitation of women and children through regional and international police cooperation. Refer cases to the MOJ or the Ministry of Defense for further investigation or prosecution.(1)

Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization

Enforce child labor laws at the regional level. Local representatives may settle child labor disputes amicably or refer the case to the SED, DGSN, or MOJ for further investigation and prosecution.(43)

National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms

Promote and protect human rights and investigate human rights abuses.(64, 67) Report wrongdoing, advocate for victims, and assist victims of human trafficking with settling lawsuits.(43)

Joint Mobile Brigade

Work to prevent and combat the phenomenon of street children in Yaoundé and Douala by identifying street children, providing temporary shelter, reintegrating them into their families, and educating families whose children have returned home on the root causes of the phenomenon to prevent these children from returning to the streets.(4, 43, 68)

Ministry of External Relations

Provide assistance in repatriating victims of child trafficking in cooperation with MINAS.(43)

 

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2015, labor law enforcement agencies in Cameroon 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* (67)

Unknown* (1)

Number of Labor Inspectors

74 (67)

79 (1)

Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties

Yes (55)

Yes (55)

Training for Labor Inspectors

 

 

Initial Training for New Employees

Yes (67)

Yes (1)

Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor

N/A

N/A

Refresher Courses Provided

No (67)

No (1)

Number of Labor Inspections

Unknown* (67)

Unknown* (1)

Number Conducted at Worksite

Unknown* (67)

Unknown* (1)

Number Conducted by Desk Reviews

Unknown* (67)

Unknown* (1)

Number of Child Labor Violations Found

Unknown* (67)

Unknown* (1)

Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed

Unknown* (67)

Unknown* (1)

Number of Penalties Imposed That Were Collected

Unknown* (67)

Unknown* (1)

Routine Inspections Conducted

Unknown* (67)

Yes (1)

Routine Inspections Targeted

Unknown* (67)

No (1)

Unannounced Inspections Permitted

Yes (55)

Yes (55)

Unannounced Inspections Conducted

Yes (67)

Yes (1)

Complaint Mechanism Exists

No (67)

Yes (1, 40)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services

Yes (69, 70)

Yes (40, 69)

* The Government does not make this information publicly available.

According to the ILO’s recommendation of 1 inspector for every 15,000 workers in industrializing economies, Cameroon should employ roughly 607 inspectors in order to adequately enforce labor laws throughout the country.(71, 72) Moreover, some reports indicate that funding for labor inspectorates throughout the country was not equal. Most labor brigades reported having inadequate resources to conduct inspections as these are funded from the agency’s general appropriations rather than a dedicated budget line item.(1, 73) In addition, because existing legislation does not explicitly extend to the informal sector, inspections are generally limited to the formal sector.(1, 73) The ILO CEACR has also expressed concern that the inspectors are not sufficiently familiar with labor laws.(74)

Although there are no comprehensive statistics on child labor law violations, human rights organizations reported that at least five cases were resolved outside the court system during the reporting period, with perpetrators providing some compensation to victims.(1, 14) There is no formal referral mechanism; however, authorities worked together to ensure that victims of child labor received social services.(40)

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2015, criminal law enforcement agencies in Cameroon 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 (67)

Yes (1)

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

N/A

N/A

Refresher Courses Provided

Yes (44)

No (1, 21)

Number of Investigations

Unknown* (67)

17 (21, 40)

Number of Violations Found

25 (44, 67)

Unknown* (1)

Number of Prosecutions Initiated

11 (44, 67)

20 (5, 21, 40)

Number of Convictions

8 (44, 67)

2 (21)

Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services

Yes (70)

Yes (1, 18, 23)

* The Government does not make this information publicly available.

It is unclear how many investigators the Government employed in 2015, although officers from the National Police and National Gendarmerie, Special Vice Squad, and Cameroon Border Police all worked to enforce criminal laws related to the worst forms of child labor. In general, agencies do not receive adequate funding to investigate the worst forms of child labor.(1, 21) The Ministry of Social Affairs (MINAS), the police, and INTERPOL each maintain a hotline where individuals can report cases of child labor violations or other worst forms of child labor, including child trafficking. However, it is not known how many cases of child labor were identified as a result of complaints made to these lines.(40) Two NGOs provided assistance to at least 43 victims of child trafficking during the reporting period.(21) There are also some reports that the Government holds young boys in detention for prolonged periods due to suspicion of being affiliated with Boko Haram elements.(31, 32, 54)

Although there are no comprehensive statistics on criminal child labor law violations, at least 20 prosecutions were initiated and an unknown number of victims received remediation and restitution from trafficking offenders outside the judicial system.(5, 21, 40) Of the 20 prosecutions, 2 individuals were convicted under the Law Relating to the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery.(21) The offenders reportedly gave money to the parents of the child trafficking victims in order to avoid a legal case. As a result, the parents did not cooperate with the authorities and each perpetrator received a sentence significantly below the maximum allowed by law.(21)

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 to Combat Child Labor (CNLCTE)

Coordinate government efforts to combat child labor, propose measures to harmonize Cameroon’s legal framework to international standards, and implement the National Plan of Action to Combat Child Labor and Trafficking in Children (PANETEC).(1, 15, 75, 76) Led by MINTSS.(75) In 2015, updated statistical data on child labor with the National Institute of Statistics, reviewed proposed hazardous work list revisions, drafted a media plan in coordination with the Ministry of Communication, and revised PANETEC to include the protective policy framework on child labor in domestic work.(1, 11, 77, 78)

Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC)

Coordinate government efforts to combat trafficking in persons, including by training stakeholders, proposing legislation, and ratifying international instruments. The Secretary General of the Office of the Prime Minister chairs the Committee, which includes members of eight ministries, law enforcement personnel, civil society organizations, and NGOs active in anti-trafficking work.(21, 69) Oversee three Regional Taskforces on Trafficking in Persons that carry out the Government’s anti-trafficking efforts at the local level in Northwest, Southwest, and Littoral provinces.(14, 44) In 2015, only the Southwest and Northwest Regional Taskforces were active, raising awareness of child trafficking issues through radio broadcasts.(14, 21)

 

In 2015, the Prime Minister issued Order N° 083/PM to amend the membership of the National Committee to Combat Child Labor, extending membership to additional stakeholders and adding representatives from MINAS and the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training as Deputy Chairpersons.(1) The Inter-Ministerial Committee did not carry out any meaningful activities in 2015 and its ability to coordinate among stakeholders and provide oversight to the Regional Taskforces on Trafficking in Persons was limited.(40, 43) In addition, a lack of resources and a clear mandate limited the effectiveness of the Taskforces.(21)

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

Table 9. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy

Description

PANETEC (2014–2016)

Aims to eradicate the worst forms of child labor by 2016 while reinforcing a long-term institutional framework for the abolition of child labor. Aims to harmonize national laws with international standards, provide quality universal primary education, and allocate additional resources to the labor inspectorate.(1, 12, 23, 73, 79) Establishes responsible agencies, actions to be taken, timelines, and concrete measures related to preventing child labor and child trafficking.(44) In 2015, assisted member institutions with developing individual action plans in support of PANETEC and launched an initiative to recruit 385 jobless youth in the Far North Region as an attempt to prevent youth from enlisting in Boko Haram.(21, 77)

Trafficking in Persons Action Plan

Outlines efforts to prosecute and convict human trafficking offenders, educate law enforcement personnel and social workers, develop and enact legislation prohibiting the trafficking of adults, and train enforcement personnel on how to use the human trafficking database.(80)

National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Cameroon (2015–2019)†

Addresses all forms of human rights, including children’s rights. Aims to combat child trafficking by disseminating standard operating procedures for the National Referral System, raises awareness about how to identify and report cases of child trafficking, establishes a collaboration mechanism on human trafficking, increases punishments for offenders, builds the capacity of labor inspectors, and accelerates the ratification of relevant ILO conventions.(1, 21) Additionally, addresses gaps in the education sector, including the shortage of teachers and classrooms, a lack of legal framework to regulate parent-teacher associations, and a low rate of educational attainment for girls.(1)

Decent Work Country Program (2014–2017)

Incorporates child labor concerns into the strategy for work.(6)

PRSP (2010–2020)*

Includes the overall goals of poverty reduction; increased access to health and social services; and improved infrastructures, such as education.(81)

Country Program Action Plan (2013–2017)*

UNICEF and government-implemented program that addresses the full development of young children and builds on the previous Country Program Action Plan. Aims to improve access to quality education, expand employment opportunities, and promote active participation of youth in society.(4, 43, 69)

National Gender Policy Document (2011–2020)*†

Coordinated and managed by the IMC, aims to promote access to education for girls, increase access to training for adults and youth, improve access to health services, and strengthen the institutional framework for gender promotion.(1, 21, 82, 83) Specifies responsible agencies and actions to be taken within the timeframe.(83)

* Child labor elimination and prevention strategies do not appear to have been integrated into this policy.
† Policy was approved during the reporting period.

Although the National Plan of Action to Combat Child Labor and Trafficking in Children (PANETEC) was endorsed by stakeholders in 2014, it has yet to be formally endorsed by the Government.(40, 78) However, the Government of Cameroon, with support from the ILO, provided trainings and held a series of consultations for PANETEC stakeholders during the reporting period, with the goal of effectively implementing PANETEC. As a result, many agencies included funding for activities in support of PANETEC in their 2016 budgets, including the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MINTSS), which budgeted approximately $46,000 for an extensive awareness-raising campaign.(1, 78) The Government also officially released the National Gender Policy Document in 2015, which had been in draft form since 2011.(1, 40)

In 2015, the Government of Cameroon 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

Global Action Program on Child Labor Issues (GAP)

USDOL-funded project implemented by the ILO in approximately 40 countries to support the priorities of the Roadmap for Achieving the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor by 2016 established by The Hague Global Child Labor Conference in 2010. In Cameroon, aims to build the capacity of the National Government to develop strategic policies to address the elimination of child labor and forced labor, and to strengthen legal protections and social services delivery for child domestic workers.(77, 84) In 2015, included a protective policy framework document on the elimination of child labor in domestic work and the protection of domestic workers of legal age in a revised PANETEC.(77, 78)

National Referral System†

MINAS project with IOM support that implemented standard operating procedures to provide assistance to vulnerable children and victims of exploitation. Provides shelter, medical care, psychological support, and reintegration services.(5, 21) In 2015, removed at least 20 children from living on the street and placed them in government-funded shelters.(1)

Project to Fight the Phenomenon of Street Children†

MINAS-funded program that gathers information on street children and offers health care, education, and psychosocial care. In 2015, identified 120 street children and reunited 72 of them with their families.(1)

Centers for Children in Need†

MINAS- and MINPROFF-operated shelters for women and children in need. MINAS-run shelters are located in four regions of Cameroon and MINPROFF operates at least one shelter in every region that provides vocational and educational training for girls and women.(18, 43, 85) Victims of child trafficking are placed in MINAS-run shelters and are given lodging, food, health care, psychological care, education, vocational training, and family tracing as appropriate.(18, 21)

Country Program Action Plan (2013–2017)†

UNICEF- and MINAS-implemented program aiming to improve social protection, ensure access to primary education, and improve preventative health care.(1, 86) Aims to improve conditions in refugee camps in the East Region by providing education, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, vaccinations, and by building child-friendly spaces.(67) In 2015, focused on the delivery of essential services in refugee camps, such as education and child protection, including the risk of recruitment into Boko Haram.(1)

School Feeding Programs†

Programs funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture, WFP, and the Ministry of Education that provide meals to help improve the educational goals of girls in targeted geographic zones.(4, 42) Feeding programs funded by WFP and the Ministry of Education benefit an average of 55,366 girls annually in the Extreme North, North, and Adamaoua Regions.(42) The U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé and the USDA fund Food for Education, which operates in the North Region and promotes the use of school gardens to improve food security. Since the program began in 2013, it has provided breakfast and lunch to 95,867 primary school students and financed the construction of 497 school buildings and 12 wells.(40)

Direct Cash Transfer†

Government program that provides limited direct cash transfers to street children on an ad hoc basis.(42)

Emergency Fund for the Far North†

$133 million government-funded program that will finance 94 development projects in order to alleviate unemployment and generate income in border communities that have been affected by insecurity.(25)

† Program is funded by the Government of Cameroon.

In 2013, MINTSS evaluated the programs that had been implemented to prevent and combat child labor since 2003, but the results of the study have yet to be released.(4, 43, 69) Although the Government has implemented programs to assist victims of child trafficking and children engaged in street work and in domestic work, the scope of these programs are insufficient and do not fully address the extent of the problem; funding was reduced during the reporting period.(1) Additionally, research did not find evidence of programs to specifically address child labor in agriculture, mining, and quarrying.

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

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

Area

Suggested Action

Year(s) Suggested

Legal Framework

Ratify the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

2013 – 2015

Criminally prohibit the use of children for illicit activities, including the production and trafficking of drugs.

2014 – 2015

Ensure that all hazardous activities are prohibited for children under age 18.

2014 – 2015

Ensure that laws prohibiting child trafficking do not require threats, the use of force, or coercion to be considered child trafficking and that all children under age 18 are protected.

2015

Ensure that there is not a gap between the age for compulsory education and the established minimum age for work.

2009 – 2015

Enforcement

 

 

 

 

 

Collect and make publically available comprehensive statistics on enforcement efforts, including the amount of funding allocated to the labor inspectorate, the total number and type of inspections conducted, violations found, and penalties imposed.

2009 – 2015

Ensure that labor inspectorates and criminal law enforcement agencies receive an adequate amount of funding with which to conduct inspections and investigations.

2009 – 2015

Strengthen the labor inspectorate by initiating targeted inspections based on analysis of data related to at-risk sectors and patterns of serious incidents, including in the informal sector.

2013 – 2015

Ensure that labor inspectors are familiar with all laws related to child labor by providing regular refresher course on child labor issues.

2013 – 2015

Establish a mechanism to log all calls to the child protection hotline and track cases of child labor for referral to law enforcement or social services providers.

2015

Ensure that young boys are not held in detention without reasonable evidence of wrongdoing.

2015

Coordination

Ensure that existing coordinating mechanisms carry out their mandates.

2014 – 2015

Government Policies

Integrate child labor elimination and prevention strategies into existing policies.

2010 – 2015

Social Programs

 

Ensure that all children, regardless of birth registration or refugee status, have access to education by eliminating school-related fees, eliminating sexual harassment of girls, and ensuring an adequate number of schools throughout the country.

2009 – 2015

Expand existing programs to address the scope of the child labor problem in Cameroon and institute programs to address child labor in agriculture, mining, and quarrying.

2009 – 2015

1.         U.S. Embassy- Yaounde. reporting, January 15, 2016.

2.         Ndienla, Y. "Cameroon: Haven for Child Trafficking." voices.yahoo.com [online] January 19, 2011 [cited November 2, 2012]; http://rustybee.com/cameroon-haven-for-child-trafficking/.

3.         Republic of Cameroon. Etude Pilote sur L'Exploitation Sexuelle Commerciale des Enfants au Cameroun en 2010. Yaoundé, Institut National de la Statistique; 2010. http://www.statistics-cameroon.org/downloads/CSEC/Note_synthese_Rapport_CSEC.pdf.

4.         U.S. Embassy- Yaounde official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. February 21, 2014.

5.         U.S. Department of State. "Cameroon," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2015. Washington, DC; July 27, 2015; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2015/index.htm.

6.         Equipe d’Appui Technique au Travail Décent pour l’Afrique Centrale et Bureau Pays pour le Cameroun. Programme Pays pour le Travail Décent (PPTD) 2014 - 2017. Geneva, ILO; 2014. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/program/dwcp/download/cameroun.pdf.

7.         UCW. Cameroun: Comprendre le travail des enfants et l’emploi des jeunes. Rome, Understanding Children’s Work (UCW) Programme; June 2012.

8.         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.

9.         UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Enquête Démographique et de Santé et à Indicateurs Multiples, 2011. 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.

10.       Thorson, DD. Children Working in Commercial Agriculture: Evidence from West and Central Africa. Briefing Paper n.2. New York, UNICEF; April 2012. http://www.unicef.org/wcaro/english/Briefing_paper_No_2_-_children_working_in_commercial_agriculture.pdf.

11.       Nyingchuo, H. "Report Indicts High Gov’t Officials as Child Labour and Trafficking Perpetrators." cameroonjournal.com [online] June 22, 2015 [cited November 13, 2015]; http://cameroonjournal.com/breaking-news/report-indicts-high-govt-officials-as-child-labour-and-trafficking-perpetrators/.

12.       Government of Cameroon. Plan d'Action National pour l'Elimination des Pires Formes de Travail des Enfants au Cameroun (PANETEC) (2014-2016). Yaoundé, Ministere du Travail et de la Securite Sociale (MINTSS); 2014.

13.       ILO Committee of Experts. Provisional Record: Report of the Committee on the Application of Standards. Geneva, ILO; June 2015. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_375764.pdf.

14.       U.S. Embassy- Yaounde official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. May 23, 2016.

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16.       Radio Netherlands Worldwide. "Cameroon: The Hard Knock Life of the Child Quarry Worker." rnw.nl [online] August 5, 2011 [cited February 21, 2013]; http://allafrica.com/stories/201108051191.html.

17.       Government of Cameroon. Troisieme Edition du Tableau de Bord Social sur la Situation des Enfants et des Femmes au Cameroun (TBS 3). Yaounde; December 2009. http://www.statistics-cameroon.org/downloads/Rapport_TBS3.pdf.

18.       ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Cameroon (ratification: 2002) Published: 2015; accessed November 13, 2015; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3184659.

19.       Kindzeka Moki, E. "Cameroon Teachers Celebrate Teachers Day Amid Growing Challenges." VOA, Yaoundé, October 05, 2015; Africa. http://www.voanews.com/content/teachers-celebrate-teachers-day-amid-growing-challenges/2991709.html.

20.       Republique du Cameroun. Pires Formes de Travail des Enfants: Enquete Pilote sur l'Exploitation Sexuelle Comerciale des Enfants au Cameroun. Yaoundé, Institut National de la Statistique; December 2011. http://www.statistics-cameroon.org/news.php?id=134.

21.       U.S. Embassy- Yaounde. reporting, January 29, 2016.

22.       Ondoua Owona, JJ. Cameroun: Exploitation sexuelle des enfants, Camer.be, [online] August 27, 2015 [cited November 13, 2015]; http://www.camer.be/44877/11:1/cameroun-exploitation-sexuelle-des-enfants-cameroon.html.

23.       ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Cameroon (ratification: 2002) Published: 2015; accessed November 13, 2015; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3184662.

24.       "Cameroun: 1500 enfants kidnappés par Boko Haram." lapresse.ca [online] June 4, 2015 [cited November 13, 2015]; http://www.lapresse.ca/international/afrique/201506/04/01-4875310-cameroun-1500-enfants-kidnappes-par-boko-haram.php.

25.       Kingsley Nfor, M. "No shortage of recruits for Boko Haram in Cameroon’s Far North." IRIN, Far North, March 5, 2015. http://www.irinnews.org/report/101198/no-shortage-of-recruits-for-boko-haram-in-cameroon-s-far-north.

26.       "Nigeria conflict forces more than 1 million children from school." UNICEF, Dakar, December 22, 2015. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_86621.html.

27.       Abubakar, A, R Ellis. "Teen girl bomber kills 20 in Cameroon." CNN, July 25, 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/25/world/cameroon-suicide-bombing/.

28.       Bhutia, J. "Cameroon: 7 killed in twin female suicide bombings in Dabanga." IBI Times, November 29, 2015. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/cameroon-7-killed-dabanga-suicide-bombing-1530980.

29.       Petesch, C. "Boko Haram stages suicide bombings in Cameroon, Chad." Yahoo News, Dakar, October 11, 2015. http://news.yahoo.com/cameroon-blames-boko-haram-suicide-bombings-kill-9-131448279.html.

30.       Umar, H, E Kindzeka Moki. "Suicide Attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon Kill 12 Plus 5 Bombers." Maiduguri, November 23, 2015. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/dea7b853bf51454da89ccb12f4e7fa56/suicide-attacks-nigeria-cameroon-kill-12-plus-5-bombers.

31.       Amnesty International. Human Rights Under Fire: Attacks And Violations In Cameroon's Struggle With Boko Haram. London; 2015 September 15,. https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr17/1991/2015/en/.

32.       Amnesty International. Amnesty International Report 2015/16: The State Of The World's Human Rights. London; 2016 February 23,. https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/pol10/2552/2016/en/.

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34.       U.S. Department of State. "Cameroon," in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2014. Washington, DC; June 2014; http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2014/226694.htm.

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39.       Government of Cameroon. Décret N° 2001/041 portant organisation des établissements scolaires publics et attributions des responsables de l'administration scolaire, enacted 2001. http://www.spm.gov.cm/fr/documentation/textes-legislatifs-et-reglementaires/article/decret-n-2001041-portant-organisation-des-etablissements-scolaires-publics-et-attributions-des-res.html.

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46.       Kindzeka Moki, E. "CAR Refugees Face Difficult Living Conditions in Cameroon." VOAnews.com [online] August 17, 2015 [cited March 23, 2016]; http://www.voanews.com/content/difficult-living-conditions-for-car-refugees-in-cameroon/2921047.html.

47.       Obaji Jr., P. "Cameroon schools closed down after Boko Haram raids from Nigeria." A World at School, December 2, 2014. http://www.aworldatschool.org/news/entry/cameroon-schools-shut-by-Boko-Haram-raids-1378.

48.       Killian Chimtom, N. "Cameroon in for long fight as its youth join Boko Haram." CNN, March 3, 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/03/africa/boko-haram-recruiting-cameroon/.

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50.       Kindzeka Moki, E, M Faul. "Boko Haram Shoot, Burn To Death Dozens Of Civilians In Cameroon." Huffington Post, Yaoundé, February 5, 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/05/boko-haram-cameroon_n_6621180.html.

51.       "Boko Haram destroyed more than 1,000 schools this year, UN says." Al Jazeera, November 16, 2015; International. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/11/16/boko-haram-destroyed-more-than-1000-schools-this-year-un.html.

52.       Kindzeka Moki, E. "Thousands March Against Boko Haram in Cameroon." VOA, Yaoundé, February 28, 2015. http://www.voanews.com/content/thousand-march-against-boko-haram-in-cameroon/2662766.html.

53.       Kindzeka Moki, E. "Internally Displaced Refugees in Cameroon Ask for Help." VOA, Mora, April 08, 2015. http://www.voanews.com/content/internally-displaced-refugees-in-cameroon-ask-for-help/2711378.html.

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57.       Government of Cameroon. Code Penal N° 67/LF/1 du 12 Juin 1967, enacted June 12, 1967. http://www.vertic.org/media/National%20Legislation/Cameroon/CM_Code_Penal_Cameroun.pdf.

58.       Government of Cameroon. Law N°2011 / 024 of 14 December 2011 Relating to the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery, N°2011 enacted December 14, 2011. http://www.justiceandpeacebamenda.org/attachments/article/24/THE+LAW+AGAINST+TRAFFICKING+IN+PERSONS+AND+SLAVERY.pdf.

59.       Republique du Cameroun. Loi N°2010/012 Relative A La Cybersecurite Et La Cybercriminalite Au Cameroun enacted December 21, 2010. https://www.unodc.org/res/cld/document/cmr/2010/loi_sur_la_cybersecurite_et_la_cybercriminalite_html/Loi_2010-012_cybersecurite_cybercriminalite.pdf.

60.       Government of Cameroon. Ratification with Declaration on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict on March 4, 2013, enacted 2013. https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/No%20Volume/27531/A-27531-Cameroon-0800000280351c59.pdf.

61.       Government of Cameroon. Law N° 96-06 of 18 January 1996 to amend the Constitution of 2 June 1972, enacted January 18, 1996. http://www.icla.up.ac.za/images/constitutions/cameroon_constitution.pdf.

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63.       Child Soldiers International. Louder Than Words: An Agenda for Action to End State Use of Child Soldiers. London; October 16, 2012. http://www.child-soldiers.org/global_report_reader.php?id=562.

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