Last Updated: Friday, 11 July 2014, 13:14 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Equatorial 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 - Equatorial Guinea, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa46e32.html [accessed 13 July 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 Labor1200
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:14
Compulsory education age:11
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:122
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2003:87
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2001:33
ILO-IPEC participating country:No
* Must pay for miscellaneous school expenses

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In Equatorial Guinea, working children can be found primarily on family farms, in auto mechanic workshops, and sometimes in the informal sector as street vendors, market vendors, and car washers.1201 Reports on the nature and incidence of child trafficking are conflicting. While in the past, children from Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, and Gabon were trafficked predominantly to the cities of Malabo and Bata, sometimes for commercial sexual exploitation, it is unclear whether such trafficking continues.1202 West African children were most vulnerable to trafficking by relatives or family acquaintances who required them to work in domestic service or in the informal, agricultural, and commercial sectors.1203 Recent reports have questioned the extent of trafficking in Equatorial Guinea and noted a reduction in trafficking in past years.1204

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

Child labor laws in Equatorial Guinea are contradictory. The Labor Law sets the minimum age for employment at 14 years.1205 Children under 16 years are specifically prohibited from work that might harm their health, safety, or morals.1206 According to the labor law, children over 13 years can perform light work.1207 A Government decree on child trafficking establishes that children under 10 years are specifically protected from child labor in street vending and other jobs in the informal and formal sectors during school and night hours.1208 The criminal penalty for employing children under this law is a year in prison and a fine.1209 USDOS notes that during the reporting period, this law was enforced and parents of children working in occupations covered by the law were subject to fines.1210

Another Government decree bans all children under the age of 17 years from being on the streets after 11 p.m.1211 The decree forbids parents or tutors from exploiting children in labor such as street vending, car washing, or working in bars or restaurants. Under the decree, youth found in the above situations will be automatically arrested, and businesses that employ minors, including family businesses, are subject to a fine or may be closed.1212 USDOS reports that the Government of Equatorial Guinea regularly enforced these laws through street-level police patrols who fine individuals employing child workers, especially in markets.1213

Forced or compulsory child labor is forbidden.1214 The law prohibits the smuggling of migrants or trafficking in persons, and the law stipulates a penalty of 10 to 15 years imprisonment and a fine for trafficking offenses.1215 The Government has provided training on trafficking in persons to over 160 military and police officials on trafficking in persons through a Government-funded local NGO.1216 The Government also began distributing procedural manuals for police and military outposts that include measures for processing suspected traffickers and provides wallet cards to help identify and care for trafficking victims.1217 During the reporting period the Government of Equatorial Guinea increased the monitoring of trans-border movement of minors and has regularly patrolled open-air markets to deter child labor and identify potential child trafficking victims.1218 However, USDOS reports that Government efforts to combat trafficking have seldom resulted in prosecutions and convictions.1219

Equatorial Guinea was 1 of 24 countries to adopt the Multilateral Cooperative 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.1220 As part of the Multilateral Cooperative 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.1221

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

The Government of Equatorial Guinea is currently implementing its 5-year National Plan of Action to Combat Child Trafficking.1222 Under this National Plan the Government has conducted activities to raise awareness, including public workshops and media campaigns about the trafficking law and trafficking issues.1223 The Government also provides funding to a local NGO that trains military and police officials on trafficking in persons and security issues.1224


1200 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 Equatorial Guinea and UNICEF, El Tráfico y la Explotación de los Niños Están Prohibidos, [hard copy on file]. See also Government of Equatorial Guinea, Plan de Acción de Lucha Contra el Tráfico y la Trata de Niños 2005-2009, 2005, 14. See also Government of Equatorial Guinea, Constitution of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, (1991), article 23; available from http://www.ceiba-guinea-ecuatorial.org/guineeangl/indexbienv1.htm. See also Government of Equatorial Guinea, Reformado el Decreto – Ley sobre Educación General en Guinea Ecuatorial, (January 9, 1995), article 3.

1201 U.S. Department of State, "Equatorial Guinea," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100479.htm. See also European Union Fund for Development official, Interview with USDOL consultant, May 22, 2007. See also Ministry of Labor and Social Security official, "La Explotación Laboral y Sexual de la Niña" (paper presented at the Conferencia Nacional sobre la Situación de la Mujer y la Niña en Guinea Ecuatorial, Bata, February 7-8, 2005).

1202 U.S. Department of State, "Equatorial Guinea (Tier 3)," in Trafficking in Persons Report-2007, Washington, DC, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/82805.htm. See also Government of Equatorial Guinea, Plan de Acción Contra el Tráfico, 10. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Equatorial Guinea," section 5.

1203 Government of Equatorial Guinea, Plan de Acción Contra el Tráfico, 10-11.

1204 U.S. Embassy – Malabo, reporting, March 5, 2008, para 1a. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Equatorial Guinea," section 5.

1205 U.S Department of State official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, July 14, 2008.

1206 Government of Equatorial Guinea, Ordenamiento General del Trabajo, 2/1990, (January 4, 1990), article 11.

1207 Ibid.

1208 Government of Equatorial Guinea, Sobre el Tráfico Ilícito de Migrantes y la Trata de Personas, 1/2004, (September 14, 2004), article 4. See also Alicia Campos Serrano and Plácio Micó Abogo, Labor and Trade Union Freedom in Equatorial Guinea, Fundación Paz y Solidaridad Serafín Aliaga de Comisiones Obreras, Madrid, 2006, 48.

1209 Government of Equatorial Guinea, Tráfico Ilícito de Migrantes y la Trata de Personas, article 5.

1210 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Equatorial Guinea," section 6d.

1211 Government of Equatorial Guinea, Regulación Sobre la Circulación de Menores de Edad Durante Determinadas Horas Nocturnas, así como su Explotación para Actividades con Fines Lucrativos, 4/2005, (June 20, 2005), article 1.

1212 Ibid., articles 2-3.

1213 U.S. Embassy – Malabo, reporting, March 5, 2008, para 2a,e.

1214 Government of Equatorial Guinea, Ordenamiento General del Trabajo, article 3.

1215 Government of Equatorial Guinea, Tráfico Ilícito de Migrantes y la Trata de Personas, article 3. See also U.S. Embassy – Malabo, reporting, March 5, 2008, para 2a.

1216 U.S. Embassy – Malabo, reporting, March 5, 2008, para 2g.

1217 Ibid., para 3d.

1218 U.S. Embassy – Malabo, reporting, September 27, 2007. See also U.S. Embassy – Malabo, reporting, March 5, 2008, para 2a.

1219 U.S. Embassy – Malabo, reporting, March 5, 2008.

1220 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, Washington, DC, September 1, 2006, 2.

1221 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, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), Technical progress Report, 10-11.

1222 Government of Equatorial Guinea, Plan de Acción Contra el Tráfico, 2.

1223 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2007: Equatorial Guinea." See also Ministry of Labor and Social Security official, "La Explotacion Laboral". See also Government of Equatorial Guinea, Plan de Acción Contra el Tráfico, 19-40. See also U.S. Embassy – Malabo, reporting, March 5, 2008, para 2g.

1224 U.S. Embassy – Malabo, reporting, March 5, 2008, para 4g.

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