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2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Equatorial Guinea

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 7 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2001 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Equatorial Guinea, 7 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8c9ca3c.html [accessed 31 August 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.

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

In May 2000, the Government of Equatorial Guinea requested assistance from the ILO regional office to improve the country's adherence to international labor standards, including those related to child labor.[903] The country also has government-sponsored and private programs to provide education for vulnerable children.[904]

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 1999, the ILO estimated that 32 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 14 in Equatorial Guinea were working.[905] Children primarily work in the informal sector, on family farms, and in street vending.[906] There is evidence that some children engage in prostitution, particularly in urban areas.[907]

Education is free and compulsory until the age of 14.[908] In 1993, the gross primary enrollment rate was 149.7 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 83.4 percent.[909] Late entry into the school system and high dropout rates are common, and girls are more likely than boys to drop out of school.[910]

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The minimum age for employment is set at 14 years, but children as young as 13 can work in light jobs on the condition that these do not affect their health, growth, or school attendance. In addition, children who are 12 years old may work in agriculture or craft making.[911] Children under 16 years are prohibited from work that might harm their health, safety or morals.[912] Forced or bonded labor by children is prohibited.[913] The Ministry of Labor corps of 50 national labor inspectors enforces labor laws.[914] Equatorial Guinea ratified ILO Convention 138 on June 12, 1985 and ILO Convention 182 on August 13, 2001.[915]


[903] The ILO Representative has reported that progress is being made in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor. See U.S. Embassy-Yaounde, unclassified telegram no. 3123, July 2000 [hereinafter unclassified telegram 3123].

[904] Unclassified telegram 3123.

[905] World Development Indicators 2001 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2001) [hereinafter World Development Indicators 2001] [CD-ROM].

[906] Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 – Equatorial Guinea(Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2001) [hereinafter Country Reports 2000], Section 6d, at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/af/index.cfm?docid=777.

[907] UN Commission on Human Rights, Question of the Violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Any Part of the World: Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Submitted by Mr. Alejandro Artucio, Special Rapporteur of the Commission, Pursuant to Commission Resolution 1998/71, 1999/41, E/CN.4/1999/41 (Geneva, 1999). See also "Child Labour Increasing in Equatorial Guinea," November 21, 2000, at http://www.afrol.com/news/eqg023_child_labour.htm, and "Prostitution Booms in Equatorial Guinea As Education Sector Folds Up," October 12, 2000, at http:www.afrol.com/News/eqg013_prostitution.htm on 10/4/01.

[908] According to the State Department, this measure is not enforced. See Country Reports 2000 at Section 5. See also Republic of Equatorial Guinea, "Quick Facts," at http://www.orgitecture.com/guinea/information1387/information.htm on 1/10/01.

[909] World Development Indicators 2001.

[910] The higher dropout rate for girls is attributable in part to early pregnancies. In 1999, only a small percentage of Equatorial Guinea's budget was earmarked for education (1.8 percent). See UN Commission on Human Rights, Question of the Violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Any Part of the World: Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Submitted by the Special Representative of the Commission, Mr. Gustavo Gallon, Pursuant to Commission Resolution 2000/19, E/CN.4/2001/38 (Geneva, 1999).

[911] For a 12-year-old to work, professional organizations of workers and authorities within the Ministry of Labor must be consulted in advance. These regulations are found in unspecified government labor laws. See unclassified telegram 3123.

[912] Unclassified telegram 3123.

[913] Country Reports 2000 at Section 6c.

[914] Unclassified telegram 3123.

[915] ILOLEX database: Equatorial Guinea at http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/english/ on 10/4/01.

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