Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Gabon

Gabon
2019 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Minimal Advancement – Efforts Made but Continued Practice that Delayed Advancement

In 2019, Gabon made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government convicted two individuals of child trafficking and successfully extradited from the Republic of Congo a prominent businessman and parliamentarian accused of trafficking children for commercial sexual exploitation. However, despite new initiatives to address child labor, Gabon is receiving an assessment of minimal advancement because it continued a regression in practice that delayed advancement to eliminate child labor. The government failed to provide evidence it conducted worksite inspections during the reporting period. Labor inspections are a key tool for identifying child labor violations, and their absence makes children more vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor. Children in Gabon engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Children also engage in child labor in domestic work. Gabonese law lacks prohibitions against the use of children in illicit activities and the minimum age for work provisions only apply to children in formal employment relationships, which does not conform to international standards that require all children to be protected by the minimum age for work. In addition, labor inspectors do not have the authority to assess penalties, and they lack the basic resources necessary to conduct investigations.

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