Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 12:56 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Guinea

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 27 August 2008
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Guinea, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa47337.html [accessed 18 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor1494
Working children, 5-14 years (%):
Working boys, 5-14 years (%):
Working girls, 5-14 years (%):
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:16
Compulsory education age:12
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:86
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:69
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2004:76
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes
* Must pay miscellaneous school expenses.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

The majority of working children in Guinea are found in agriculture and domestic work. Children work in subsistence farming, herding, and fishing.1495 Girls as young as 5 perform domestic labor in urban areas, and some report beatings, sexual exploitation, carrying heavy loads, and not being paid for the work they perform.1496 The practice of sending boys to Koranic teachers to receive education is a tradition in various countries, including Guinea.1497 Some of these children end up working in agriculture and animal husbandry,1498 while others perform domestic activities, sell water or shine shoes on the streets in exchange for school instruction and room and board from Koranic teachers. Children are also found in the informal sector, carrying out activities such as small-scale commerce, transportation, and mining.1499

In Upper and Lower Guinea, many children work in gold and diamond mines and quarries breaking granite, extracting gravel, transporting material, and selling water and other items. More boys than girls work in the mines, though girls also push water through sieves.1500 Many of the children work between 12 to 18 hours per day and do not wear protective gear. Children working in mines and quarries suffer accidents and illness, including respiratory and dermatological conditions.1501

Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficking in children. Children are trafficked internally, largely from Upper and Middle Guinea, and to Conakry.1502 Boys are trafficked for forced labor as street vendors, beggars, shoe shiners, miners and for agricultural work; and girls are trafficked for forced domestic labor and sexual exploitation. Girls trafficked to Guinea come from Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Senegal, and Guinea-Bissau.1503 Some Guinean children are trafficked to Sierra Leone for work in diamond mines and for domestic work.1504

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for admission to work is 16 years. Children under the age of 16 can work with consent from authorities. The law sets the minimum age for apprenticeship at 14 years, though the age for apprenticeship can be reduced to 12 years with approval by a labor inspector for certain activities such as agriculture.1505 Workers less than 18 years are not permitted to work at night or for more than 10 consecutive hours per day.1506

The law prohibits forced or bonded labor as well as hazardous work for children less than 18 years. Children are also prohibited from working in unhealthy or dangerous establishments.

Violations of these laws are punishable by fines and sentences of 8 days to 2 months in prison.1507 The official age for voluntary recruitment or conscription into the armed forces is 18 years.

Trafficking in persons is prohibited by law, as is procurement or solicitation for the purposes of prostitution. Violation of the procurement or solicitation law can result in 2 to 5 years imprisonment when the crime involves a minor less than 18 years. The penalty for labor trafficking of children and adults is 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and the confiscation of money or property received through trafficking activities.1509

Guinea was 1 of 24 countries to adopt the Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Joint Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central African Regions.1510 As part of the Multilateral Cooperation Agreement, the governments agreed to use the child trafficking monitoring system developed by the USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC LUTRENA project; to assist each other in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of trafficking offenders; and to protect, rehabilitate, and reintegrate trafficking victims.1511

The Government has created a police squad to investigate child protection, child trafficking, and other crimes. While they are understaffed, the police squad has been able to bring cases to court.1512 The Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons was also able to bring trafficking cases to court. In January 2007, the Government arrested and sent a man to prison for attempting to sell his 5-year old daughter. In July of the same year, the Government arrested and charged four women for attempting to traffic 10 children into Sierra Leone.1513

Current Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

In June 2007, the Government participated in the commencement of a nationwide network to combat child trafficking, entitled the Constitutive Assembly of the NGO Coalition to Combat Trafficking in Persons.1514 The Government of Guinea also continued to work with NGOs to place trafficked children in foster homes1515 and participates in IOM's program for the return and reintegration of children being trafficked into and out of Guinea.1516 The Government also continued to support a 24-hour victim's hotline.1517

The Government continued its awareness-raising activities with UNICEF, including a national media campaign to combat trafficking.1518 In 2007, the Government integrated trafficking issues into its primary school curriculum.1519

The Government of Guinea takes part in a 4-year USDOL-funded USD 4.4 million child labor education initiative, targeting 1,200 children for withdrawal and 3,600 children for prevention from exploitive labor.1520 The Government also participated in a regional ILO-IPEC project funded by Denmark at USD 325,378 that ended in December 2007, which focused on combating child trafficking for labor exploitation.1521 The Ministry of Labor and ILO have also created an inspection circular for child labor on plantations to provide personnel with instruction on how to monitor child labor activities.1522 The Government also participates in a project funded by USAID in Guinea that sensitizes families throughout 15 villages about child traffickers.1523


1494 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC membership, see the Executive Summary. For minimum age for admission to work, age to which education is compulsory, and free public education, see Government of Guinea, Code du travail de la République de Guinée, (1988), article 5. See also UNESCO, EFA Global Monitoring Report 2008: Education for All by 2015 Will We Make it?, France, 2007, 282; available from http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=49591&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html. See also U.S. Department of State, "Guinea," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/c25283.htm.

1495 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Guinea," section 6d. See also ILO, Etude de Base sur le Travail de Enfants en Guinee, Rapport d'analyse des resultats Conakry, October 2006, 40-41. See also Republic of Guinea and UNICEF, Etude sur les "Enfants Travaillant dans les Mines et Carrieres", Conakry, 2006, 41. See also Action Against the Exploitaion of Children and Women, Etude sur le trafic et travail domestique des enfant en Guinee, Anti Slavery International, Conakry, November, 2005, 26; available from http://www.crin.org/docs/ACEEF_Trafic_Enfants_Guinée.doc.

1496 Human Rights Watch, Bottom of the Ladder: Exploitation and Abuse of Girl Domestic Workers, New York, June 2007, 27; available from http://hrw.org/reports/2007/guinea0607/. See also Human Rights Watch, Legal, Policy and Programmatic Responses to Protect Child Domestic Workers, [online] 2006 [cited December 5, 2007]; available from http://hrw.org/reports/2007/guinea0607/10.htm. See also Action Against the Exploitaion of Children and Women, Etude sur le trafic et travail domestique, 24 and 27. See also ILO, Rapport d'analyse des resultats, 40-42.

1497 Peter Easton et al., Research Studies Series no. 8, International Working Group on Nonformal Education of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, May 1997; available from http://www.adeanet.org/wgnfe/publications/abel/abel2.html. See also Peter Easton, "Education and Koranic Literacy in West Africa," IK Notes no. 11 (August 1999), 1, 3; available from http://www.worldbank.org/afr/ik/iknt11.pdf.

1498 Save the Children-U.S. official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, April 9, 2008.

1499 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Guinea," section 6d. See also ILO, Rapport d'analyse des resultats, 40-41. See also Republic of Guinea and UNICEF, Etude sur les "Enfants Travaillant dans les Mines et Carrieres", 41. See also Action Against the Exploitaion of Children and Women, Etude sur le trafic et travail domestique, 26.

1500 Republic of Guinea and UNICEF, Etude sur les "Enfants Travaillant dans les Mines et Carrieres", 2, 16-19, 23, 26, and 31.

1501 Ibid.

1502 U.S. Department of State, "Guinea (Tier 2)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, June 12, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/82805.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – Conakry, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 2.a.

1503 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Guinea." See also U.S. Embassy – Conakry, reporting, February 29, 2008, para 2.a.

1504 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Guinea," section 5.

1505 Government of Guinea, Code du travail, 1988, articles 5 and 31. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No.138) Guinea (ratification: 2003) [online] 2007 [cited December 3, 2007], articles 6 and 7; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newcountryframeE.htm.

1506 Government of Guinea, Code du travail, 1988, articles 145 and 148.

1507 Ibid., articles 2, 186, 187, and 205.

1508 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Child Soldiers Global Report 2004," London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/home.

1509 Government of Guinea, Penal Code; available from http://www.protectionproject.org [hard copy on file].

1510 Catholic Relief Services official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, October 2, 2006. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), Technical Progress Report, Geneva, September 1, 2006, 2.

1511 ECOWAS and ECCAS, Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa, Abuja, July 7, 2006, 5-7. See also ILO-IPEC, LUTRENA, Technical Progress Report, 10-11.

1512 Human Rights Watch, Legal, Policy and Programmatic Responses. See also Human Rights Watch, Exploitation and Abuse of Girl Domestic Workers, 99.

1513 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Guinea," section 5.

1514 U.S. Embassy – Conakry, reporting, July 20, 2007, para 5.

1515 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Guinea."

1516 Human Rights Watch, Legal, Policy and Programmatic Responses.

1517 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Guinea."

1518 Ibid.

1519 Ibid.

1520 Save the Children-U.S., Combating Child Labor and Exploitation in Guinea (CCLEE), Project Document, Westport, November 6, 2006, 1 and 14.

1521 ILO-IPEC Geneva official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, February 27, 2008.

1522 Human Rights Watch, Legal, Policy and Programmatic Responses.

1523 U.S. Embassy – Bamako, reporting, December 3, 2007, para 8.

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