Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports
In 2022, Guinea made moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government substantially increased the budget of the labor inspectorate compared to the previous year. In addition, the government opened shelters for trafficking survivors, including child survivors, in Conakry and N’Zérékoré, and initiated a new trafficking in persons program with the International Organization for Migration. However, children in Guinea are subjected to the worst forms of child labor, including forced labor in artisanal mining and forced begging. Laws related to the minimum age for work do not meet international standards because they do not include children working outside of a formal employment relationship or children who are self-employed. The government also lacks a coordinating mechanism and national policy to address all relevant worst forms of child labor, and social programs do not address the extent of the child labor problem.
Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Guinea. Data on some of these indicators are not available from the sources used in this report.
|Working (% and population)||5 to 14||31.2 (Unavailable)|
|Attending School (%)||5 to 14||54.2|
|Combining Work and School (%)||7 to 14||17.3|
|Primary Completion Rate (%)||59.4|
Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2020, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2023. (1)
Source for all other data: International Labor Organization's analysis of statistics from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 5 (MICS5), 2016. (2)
Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.
|Agriculture||Farming cashews, cocoa, coffee, rubber, and palm oil (3-5)|
|Herding livestock (3,6)|
|Capturing and processing fish, sometimes with exposure to inclement weather, dangerous water surfaces, dangerous equipment, poor sanitation, and lack of fresh food and water (3,6)|
|Industry||Mining† granite, gold, and diamonds, including handling toxic chemicals, and quarrying gravel (3,6-13)|
|Manufacturing, including soapmaking and dyeing, sometimes working with hazardous chemicals (6,7)|
|Construction,† including carrying heavy loads, operating machinery, and fabricating construction materials, such as bricks (7,13-17)|
|Services||Street work, including vending, begging, shoe shining, and carrying heavy loads as porters in the transportation sector (6,7,18-21)|
|Working in restaurants (6)|
|Domestic work (3,6,7,22)|
|Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡||Forced labor in street vending, domestic work, artisanal mining, herding, fishing, and farming (3,6,14,23)|
|Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (3,6,23,24)|
|Forced begging (14,21,25)|
|Use in illicit activities, including in the production and trafficking of drugs (7)|
† 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.
Guinea is a source, destination, and transit country for child trafficking. Guinean girls are often subjected to domestic work and commercial sexual exploitation in various West African, Middle Eastern, and European countries, while Guinean boys are subjected to forced labor in gold and diamond mines. (3,23,26,27) Within Guinea, children are subjected to forced labor and hazardous conditions in the artisanal gold and diamond mining sectors, including frequent collapses of open pit mines, and the use of dangerous chemicals. (6,7,10,18,23,26,27) Research indicated that during the COVID-19 pandemic, more children and families moved to the gold mining regions, and a rising number of children have been subjected to forced labor in artisanal gold mining. (28) In addition, the commercial sexual exploitation of children is common in the capital city of Conakry and in the mining regions. (14,26)
Through the system of confiage, parents who are unable to care for their children send them to relatives or strangers, who are expected to provide food, shelter, and schooling for the children in exchange for housework. However, in many cases children are subjected to abuse, sexual violence, and forced labor in domestic work. (9,25) In addition, children in Guinea are sometimes subjected to forced begging, and research indicates that albino children are particularly vulnerable. In certain cases, traffickers promised to enroll the children in school, but instead they subjected the children to forced begging in Conakry. (6,14,21,26,29)
Significant factors hinder access to education and therefore leave children vulnerable to child labor. A third of children in Guinea receive less than 6 years of schooling. (21) Barriers to education include the limited number of public schools, poor school infrastructure and sanitation, lack of transportation, the lack of teachers (particularly in rural areas), and violence in schools. (6,7,14,30) Guinean families must pay school fees and other indirect costs, which can be prohibitively expensive. (6,18) Girls face particular barriers to school attendance and completion, and sometimes leave school early due to cultural barriers, pregnancy, and sexual harassment at school. (21,30) Finally, since children are required to have birth registration to attend school, some unregistered children are unable to access education. (31,32) Since the passage of the revised Children's Code in March 2020, the government has carried out multiple birth registration campaigns to provide documentation to children. (6) During the reporting period, the Guinean government also worked with UNICEF to streamline birth registration procedures. (33)
Guinea has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).
|ILO C. 138, Minimum Age||✓|
|ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor||✓|
|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 (Table 4). However, gaps exist in Guinea's legal framework to adequately protect children from the worst forms of child labor, including the minimum age for work.
|Standard||Meets International Standards||Age||Legislation|
|Minimum Age for Work||No||16||Articles 121.4 and 137.5 of the Labor Code; Article 919 of the Children's Code (34,35)|
|Minimum Age for Hazardous Work||Yes||18||Articles 2–4 of Order 2791 Working Conditions for Employees Aged Under 18 Years; Article 137.4 of the Labor Code; Articles 922 and 925 of the Children's Code (34-36)|
|Identification of Hazardous Occupations or Activities Prohibited for Children||Yes||Articles 2 and 4 of Order 2791 Working Conditions for Employees Aged Under 18 Years; Article 135 of the Mining Code; Article 137.6 of the Labor Code; Articles 909–936 of the Children's Code (34-37)|
|Prohibition of Forced Labor||Yes||Articles 6, 893–901, 902–905, 912–915, and 922–923 of the revised Children's Code; Articles 194, 195 and 323–329 of the Penal Code; Articles 2, 4, and 137.6–7 of the Revised Labor Code (2014) (34,35,38)|
|Prohibition of Child Trafficking||Yes||Articles 195, 323, and 324 of the Penal Code; Articles 893–901 and 912 of the Children's Code (34,38)|
|Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children||Yes||Articles 346–348 and 355 of the Penal Code; Articles 820 and 852–856 of the Children's Code (34,38)|
|Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities||Yes||Article 137.6 of the Labor Code; Article 890 of the Children's Code; Article 344 of the Penal Code (34,35,38)|
|Minimum Age for Voluntary State Military Recruitment||Yes||18||Article 941 of the Children's Code (34)|
|Prohibition of Compulsory Recruitment of Children by (State) Military||N/A*|
|Prohibition of Military Recruitment by Non-state Armed Groups||Yes||Article 792.7 of the Penal Code; Article 941 of the Children's Code (34,38)|
|Compulsory Education Age||Yes||16||Article 6, Title 1 of Education Decree (39)|
|Free Public Education||No|
* Country has no conscription (40)
The revised Children's Code of 2019 and the Labor Code allow children between the ages of 12 and 14 to perform light work, which does not meet international standards as it applies to children under the age of 13. (34,35) In addition, these laws do not prescribe the number of hours per week permitted for light work, nor do they specify the conditions under which light work may be done. Moreover, these laws only apply to workers with written employment contracts, leaving self-employed children and children working outside of formal employment relationships vulnerable to exploitation. (34,35,41) While Guinea's former Constitution stipulated free education up to the age of 16 under conditions provided by the law, the government did not enact legislation to institute free basic education standards within Guinea's legal framework, and during the September 2021 coup d'état, the transitional government dissolved the Constitution. (28,42,43) On September 27, 2021, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya released the Transition Charter, which supersedes the Constitution and law until a new Constitution is promulgated. Guinea’s penal and civil codes remain in force. (40,43)
The government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor (Table 5). However, gaps exist within the operations of enforcement agencies that may hinder adequate enforcement of their child labor laws.
|Organization/Agency||Role & Activities|
|Ministry of Labor and Public Services||Enforces all labor laws, including those related to child labor, through its General Labor Inspectorate. (6,18,35)|
|Ministry of Security and Ministry of Defense||The Ministry of Security's Office for the Protection of Gender, Children, and Morals (OPROGEM) investigates criminal cases related to the protection of minors, including the worst forms of child labor. (3,6,15,26,40) There is an OPROGEM representative in each of the 33 central police stations of the country who specializes in issues related to the trafficking of women and children. (26,44) The Ministry of Defense's Central Service for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons (SCPPV) investigates criminal cases related to the protection of minors, including the worst forms of child labor, in rural areas where there is less police presence. SCPPV was formed in January 2020, with the aim of reducing pressure on OPROGEM and allowing OPROGEM to focus on urban areas. (40)|
|Ministry of Justice||Delivers judgements through its Juvenile Court on all cases involving children, including child labor cases. (6) The Juvenile Court also collaborates and monitors cases with MOJ's National Directorate of Supervised Education and Judicial Youth Protection, which is the supervising body of public social services centers. (6,7,14,15)|
Labor Law Enforcement
In 2022, labor law enforcement agencies in Guinea took actions to address child labor (Table 6). However, gaps exist within the operations of the Ministry of Labor that may hinder adequate labor law enforcement, including insufficient human and material resources.
|Overview of Labor Law Enforcement||2021||2022|
|Labor Inspectorate Funding||$11,500 (6)||$174,182 (7)|
|Number of Labor Inspectors||167 (6)||159 (7)|
|Mechanism to Assess Civil Penalties||Yes (35)||Yes (35)|
|Training for Labor Inspectors Provided||Yes (6)||Yes (7)|
|Number of Labor Inspections Conducted at Worksite||120 (6)||441 (7)|
|Number of Child Labor Violations Found||0 (6)||Unknown (7)|
|Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed||N/A (6)||Unknown (7)|
|Number of Child Labor Penalties Imposed that Were Collected||N/A (6)||Unknown (7)|
|Routine Inspections Conducted||Yes (6)||Yes (7)|
|Routine Inspections Targeted||Yes (6)||Yes (7)|
|Unannounced Inspections Permitted||Yes (35)||Yes (7,35)|
|Unannounced Inspections Conducted||Yes (6)||Yes (7)|
|Complaint Mechanism Exists||Yes (6)||Yes (7)|
|Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services||No (6)||Yes (7,28,45)|
The government significantly increased the budget for labor inspections in 2022, to over 15 times the 2021 budget. However, the labor inspectorate continued to maintain only a single vehicle, and provided insufficient resources for fuel, restricting the labor inspectorate's ability to conduct labor inspections. (7,14,15,46,47)
Reporting suggests that in 2022, 25 labor inspectors received training on trafficking in persons, including the responsibility of labor inspectors to refer children identified during their field inspections to social services. (7,28) In addition, a new referral mechanism was developed and implemented by the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking and Similar Practices, with standard operating procedures for any individual or agency to identify and refer potential cases to the relevant specialized body or services. (28,45) In 2022, the labor inspectorate conducted inspections in Conakry, Boke in Lower Guinea, and Siguiri in Upper Guinea, and sectors inspected included mining, education, health, and auto garages. Research did not identify evidence that the government conducted inspections in the agriculture sector, in which child labor is known to be present. (7) The government did not provide full law enforcement data for inclusion in this report, including the number of child labor violations found, penalties imposed, and penalties collected. (7)
Criminal Law Enforcement
In 2022, criminal law enforcement agencies in Guinea took actions to address child labor (Table 7). However, gaps exist within the operations of the enforcement agencies that may hinder adequate criminal law enforcement, including the insufficient allocation of financial resources.
|Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement||2021||2022|
|Training for Criminal Investigators Provided||Yes (24)||Yes (48)|
|Number of Investigations||Unknown (6)||Unknown (7)|
|Number of Prosecutions Initiated||Unknown (6)||Unknown (7)|
|Number of Convictions||Unknown (6)||Unknown (7)|
|Imposed Penalties for Violations Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor||Unknown (6)||Unknown (7)|
|Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services||Unknown (6)||Yes (7,28,45)|
The Government of Guinea did not provide complete data on criminal law enforcement efforts for use in this report, including data on the number of investigations, prosecutions initiated, convictions, and penalties imposed. (7,28) During the reporting period, judicial sector officials in Guinea received training on trafficking in persons, funded by the European Union and the Government of Germany, at the request of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Similar Practices. Guinea's 2022 National Development Budget also financed some trafficking in persons training for National Police and National Gendarmerie officials. (48) Office for the Protection of Gender, Children, and Morals (OPROGEM) staff also received training on trafficking in persons during the reporting period, funded by Expertise France. (48) In December 2022, the government purchased 41 motorbikes in order to help OPROGEM investigators access remote areas of the country to reach victims of gender-based violence. (7,28) However, research has indicated that the OPROGEM Special Police Unit was underfunded and lacked sufficient office supplies, transportation, or fuel to enforce laws related to the worst forms of child labor. (3,6,15,28,49)
The government has established a key mechanism to coordinate its efforts to address child labor (Table 8). However, gaps exist that hinder the effective coordination of efforts to address child labor, including a lack of efforts to address all forms of child labor.
|Coordinating Body||Role & Activities|
|National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Similar Practices (CNLTPPA)||Coordinates anti-trafficking efforts. Led by the Ministry of Social Action and Vulnerable People, includes representatives from OPROGEM, the Ministry of Labor and Public Service, and other ministries. (23,50) Coordinates with civil society and foreign donors. Organizes awareness campaigns for human trafficking prevention. (23,50) During the reporting period, the committee met regularly, and was allocated funds by the government for equipment, supplies, and communications budget costs. (23,48) It also issued new standard operating procedures for detecting, reporting, and providing assistance to potential trafficking victims. (28,45) However, the CNLTPPA lacked authority to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts effectively. (23)|
Although the government has established coordination mechanisms on child protection and human trafficking, research found no evidence of a mechanism that coordinates the government's efforts to address all forms of child labor. (26,28)
The government has established policies related to child labor (Table 9). However, policy gaps exist that hinder efforts to address child labor, including covering all worst forms of child labor.
|Policy||Description & Activities|
|National Action Plan for Trafficking in Persons (2020–2022)||Focused on strategies to address child trafficking, including strengthening the legal framework, reinforcing prevention devices, promoting assistance and support of survivors, strengthening cooperative partnerships, and improving monitoring and evaluation. (23,26,52) Implemented by CNLTPPA. (7) Although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), held a technical workshop during the reporting period to develop an action plan, the National Action Plan expired at the end of 2022, with no known replacement plan in place. (7,48,53)|
|Ten-Year National Education Plan for Guinea (2020–2029)||Launched under the third tier of the National Economic and Social Development Policy. Sets the goal of progressively providing free primary education in Guinea, and makes provisions to ensure that vulnerable students, such as orphans and disabled and albino students, have access to education. (54) Implemented by the Ministry of National Education and Literacy at the primary school level and covers the 10-year period from 2020 to 2029. (21,54) Has received over $60 million in funding from the Global Partnership for Education, the French Development Agency, and UNICEF. The plan was active during the reporting year, but research was unable to determine what specific activities were undertaken during this time. (7,55)|
Although Guinea has a policy that addresses child trafficking, research found no evidence of a policy on other worst forms of child labor. (15,47)
In 2022, the government participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor (Table 10). However, gaps exist in these social programs, including inadequate efforts to address child labor in all sectors.
|Program||Description & Activities|
|Temporary Reception and Child Protection Centers for Trafficking Victims||In 2022, the government opened shelters for trafficking survivors, including child survivors, as part of the National Action Plan for Trafficking in Persons, with funding from the EU and technical assistance from Expertise France. (7,56-58) The newly inaugurated children's shelter in the N’Zérékoré administrative region identified and sheltered child trafficking survivors during the reporting period. The OCPH CARITAS Guinea Sonfonia reception center in Conakry has capacity to shelter up to 66 trafficking survivors. (48,57) The centers were established through a partnership with CNLTPPA and the Ministry of Women's Promotion, Children, and Vulnerable People, as part of an EU project entitled "Support the Fight Against Human Trafficking in the States of the Gulf of Guinea," which aims to prevent human trafficking in six countries in the Gulf of Guinea. (7,56,59,60) In addition to the newly inaugurated shelters, SCPPV runs a shelter in Conakry, with accommodations for child trafficking victims. (48)|
|Guinea Project for Results in Early Childhood and Basic Education (2019–2024)||$50 million World Bank-funded project implemented by the Ministry of Pre-University Education and Literacy that aims to increase access to quality early childhood and basic education, and strengthen the overall capacity of the education system. (61) After a pause in 2021 due to political unrest, the project was relaunched in March 2022. During the reporting period the project resumed planning and took steps toward teacher recruitment and digital device acquisition. (28,62,63)|
|IOM Trafficking in Persons Program*||New trafficking in persons program initiated in 2022 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with IOM, which includes a focus on the collection, analysis, centralization, and observation of data on trafficking in persons. In addition, one component of the program is a Financial Support Fund to provide financing and training for trafficking survivors returning to Guinea. (48)|
For information about USDOL’s projects to address child labor around the world, visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab/ilab-project-page-search
* Program was launched during the reporting period.
Although Guinea has established a trafficking in persons program and inaugurated new shelters for trafficking survivors, research found that the scope of programs implemented by the government is insufficient for the extent of the problem, including the need to address children engaged in agriculture, domestic work, forced begging, mining, and street work. (21,66,67)
Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor in Guinea (Table 11).
|Area||Suggested Action||Year(s) Suggested|
|Legal Framework||Raise the minimum age for light work to age 13 to comply with international standards; ensure that the law’s light work provisions specify the conditions in which light work may be undertaken and the number of hours that are permitted for children engaged in light work.||2015 – 2022|
|Ensure that all children are protected by the minimum age for work laws, including children working outside of a formal employment relationship and children who are self-employed.||2009 – 2022|
|Establish by law free basic education.||2019 – 2022|
|Enforcement||Ensure that the government conducts an adequate number of labor inspections.||2021 – 2022|
|Conduct labor inspections in the agricultural sector.||2021 – 2022|
|Ensure that labor inspectors and criminal law enforcement officers, including the Special Police Unit of the Office for the Protection of Gender, Children, and Morals, receive adequate human and material resources to enforce labor laws, including office supplies, fuel, and vehicles.||2020 – 2022|
|Publish data on labor law enforcement, including the number of labor violations found and penalties imposed and collected.||2022|
|Publish data on criminal law enforcement efforts to address the worst forms of child labor, including the numbers of investigations, violations found, prosecutions initiated, convictions, and penalties imposed.||2011 – 2022|
|Coordination||Ensure that the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Similar Practices has the authority to coordinate all anti-trafficking efforts in Guinea.||2022|
|Establish a coordinating mechanism to prevent and eliminate all forms child labor.||2021 – 2022|
|Government Policies||Adopt a policy that addresses all relevant worst forms of child labor.||2014 – 2022|
|Ensure that a new national action plan is created and implemented to continue addressing child trafficking.||2022|
|Ensure that activities are undertaken to implement the Ten-Year Education Program for Guinea and make information about implementation measures publicly available.||2021 – 2022|
|Social Programs||Enhance efforts to make education accessible for all children by eliminating fees and associated costs, improving school infrastructure and sanitation, providing transportation, protecting students from violence and sexual harassment in schools, ensuring that pregnant students may continue their studies, and increasing school and teacher availability.||2010 – 2022|
|Provide all children with access to birth registration.||2020 – 2022|
|Institute programs to address the worst forms of child labor, including in agriculture, domestic work, forced begging, mining, and street work.||2010 – 2022|
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education, both sexes (%). Accessed March 15, 2023. For more information, please see “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
- ILO. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 5 (MICS5), 2016. Analysis received March 2023. Please see “Children’s Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
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https://www.africaguinee.com/sonfonia-l-union-europeenne-inaugure-le-centre-d-accueil-des-victimes-de-traite/#:~:text=CONAKRY- Dénommé "Centre d
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