Last Updated: Friday, 26 December 2014, 13:50 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Cape Verde

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 - Cape Verde, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa46437.html [accessed 28 December 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 Labor641
Working children, 10-14 years (%), 2001-2002:3.2
Working boys, 10-14 years (%), 2001-2002:3.8
Working girls, 10-14 years (%), 2001-2002:2.6
Working children by sector, 10-14 years (%), 2001-2002:
     – Agriculture79.2
     – Manufacturing1.0
     – Services13.7
     – Other6.2
Minimum age for work:15
Compulsory education age:11
Free public education:Yes
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:108
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:90
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%), 2001-2002:90.1
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2004:93
ILO-IPEC participating country:No

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children in urban areas of Cape Verde, including Mindelo, Praia, and Sal, work primarily in carpentry, auto mechanic workshops, and small shops. They also work as car washers and street vendors.642 Children in rural areas work in agriculture and animal husbandry and perform domestic work.643 Reports indicate that some children are exploited in prostitution, particularly on the island of Sal and in other tourist destinations.644 A recent Government-sponsored study found that children in Cape Verde are used in the sale of illicit substances.645

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

In October 2007, Cape Verde adopted a supplement to the existing labor law that states the minimum age for employment is 15 years or upon the completion of compulsory education.646 The minimum age for apprentice contracts is 14 years, and only businesses that have not been convicted of specific child labor violations may take on an apprentice, unless pardoned by the Director-General for Labor. Employment contracts entered into by children under 18 years can be invalidated at the request of the parents or legal representatives.647 The normal working hours for youths under 18 years may not exceed 38 hours per week and 7 hours a day, and minors are entitled to a period of 12 hours of uninterrupted rest daily.648 Minors between 16 and 18 years may work overtime, not exceeding 2 hours daily and 30 hours annually.649

The law prohibits children under 16 years from working in enterprises that produce toxic products or in maritime-related activities. Youths under18 years are allowed to work at night only when it is essential to their professional development and when authorized by the Director-General for Labor.650 The law specifies that minors may work in movies, dance, and music if parents or legal representatives ensure that the education and physical, mental, and moral development of the child are uninterrupted. Minors may engage in domestic and agricultural work if it contributes to their subsistence or moral and physical development.651 The law specifies that parents who exploit their children for labor or abuse the dependence of a minor are subject to a fine equivalent to a year's salary of an adult worker.652 The legal remedies for violating child labor laws include compensation for victims and criminal penalties from 9 to 19 years of imprisonment if the victim is under 14 years, and 2 to 8 years if the victim is 14 to 16 years.653

The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor.654 The compulsory recruitment age for military service is 18 years, but 17-year-olds may volunteer with parental consent.655 The trafficking of youths under 18 years is illegal, and sentences for trafficking in children have ranged from 2 to 16 years of imprisonment.656 Trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation is penalized by 12 to 16 years imprisonment.657 The Government monitors potential trafficking cases; however, efforts are hindered by inadequate funding of enforcement agencies.658 The law prohibits the facilitation and procurement of children under 16 years for the purpose of prostitution, a crime that is punishable by 2 to 8 years imprisonment.659 However, according to the U.S. Department of State (USDOS), laws against prostitution are rarely enforced.660 Criminal penalties are increased in cases where the perpetrator exploits a victim's economic hardship, uses violence, or abuses a position of authority. More severe penalties are also imposed in cases of procurement that involve pregnancy, the transmission of disease, and suicide or death.661

The Ministries of Justice and Labor, specifically the offices of the Director General and Inspector General for Labor, are responsible for enforcing child labor laws; however, according to the USDOS, such laws are seldom enforced.662

Cape Verde 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.663 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.664

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

The Government of Cape Verde sponsored a study on child labor and publicly released the results of the survey in 2007.665 The purpose of the study was to raise public awareness and create a plan of action to prevent child labor and its worst forms.666


641 For statistical data not cited here, please see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC membership, please see the Executive Summary. For minimum age for admission to work, age to which education is compulsory, and free public education, see Government of Cape Verde, Boletim Oficial Suplemento, 5/2007, (October 16, 2007), article 261. See also U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, December 14, 2007. See also U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, November 30, 2007, para 4d. See also U.S. Department of State, "Cape Verde," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices2007, Washington, DC March 11, 2008, section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100471.htm. See also Government of Cape Verde, The Constitution of the Republic of Cape Verde, 1/V/99, (November 23, 1999), article 73; available from http://www.stj.cv/constituicao.html#. See also U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, November 30, 2007, para 4d.

642 Gabriel Fernandes, Jose Pina Delgado, Liriam Tiujo Delgado, and Orlando Borja, Criança e Trabalho em Cabo Verde: Um Estudo Jurídico e Sociológico, Government of Cape Verde – Ministry of Labor, Family and Solidarity, Cape Verdian Institute of Child and the Adolescent, Praia, July 2007, 28. See also U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, November 30, 2007, para 6. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Cape Verde."

643 Gabriel Fernandes, Jose Pina Delgado, Liriam Tiujo Delgado, and Orlando Borja, Criança e Trabalho em Cabo Verde, 28. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Cape Verde," section 6d.

644 ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request, Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Cape Verde (ratification: 2001), [online] 2007 [cited November 21, 2007]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newcountryframeE.htm. See also Gabriel Fernandes, Jose Pina Delgado, Liriam Tiujo Delgado, and Orlando Borja, Criança e Trabalho em Cabo Verde, 52. See also International Regional Information Networks, "Cape Verde: Sex tourism on the rise?" IRINnews.org, [online], August 8, 2007 [cited November 23, 2007]; available from http://www.irinnews.org/printreport.aspx?reportId=73637.

645 Gabriel Fernandes, Jose Pina Delgado, Liriam Tiujo Delgado, and Orlando Borja, Criança e Trabalho em Cabo Verde, 53.

646 Government of Cape Verde, Boletim Oficial Suplemento, article 249, 261. See also U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, November 30, 2007, para 2a. See also U.S. Department of State official, E-mail communication, December 14, 2007.

647 Government of Cape Verde, Boletim Oficial Suplemento, article 27, 249, 252. See also Library of Congress, Letter to USDOL official, March 13, 2008, section II.

648 Government of Cape Verde, Boletim Oficial Suplemento, article 266.

649 Ibid., article 268.

650 Ibid., article 238, 267. See also Library of Congress, Letter, March 13, 2008, section II.

651 Government of Cape Verde, Boletim Oficial Suplemento, articles 261a and 262.

652 Ibid., article 408.

653 U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, November 30, 2007, para 3b. See also U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, September 27, 2007, para 4a.

654 Government of Cape Verde, Boletim Oficial Suplemento, article 14. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Cape Verde," section 6c. See also ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request C182: Cape Verde.

655 ILO Committee of Experts, Direct Request C182: Cape Verde. See also U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, November 30, 2007, para 2a.

656 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Cape Verde," section 5.

657 U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, February 29, 2008.

658 Ibid.

659 Library of Congress, Letter, March 13, 2008, section III. See also International Regional Information Networks, "Cape Verde: Sex tourism".

660 U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, February 29, 2008.

661 The Protection Project, "Cape Verde," in 2005 Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children: A Country-by-Country Report on a Contemporary Form of Slavery, Washington, DC, 2007; available from http://www.protectionproject.org/pub.htm. See also Library of Congress, Letter, March 13, 2008, section III.

662 Government of Cape Verde, Boletim Oficial Suplemento, article 394. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Cape Verde," section 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – Praia, reporting, November 30, 2007, para 1b, 3b.

663 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.

664 ECOWAS and ECCAS, Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa, Abuja, July 7, 2006. See also ILO-IPEC, Combating the Trafficking of Children for Labour Exploitation in West and Central Africa (LUTRENA), Technical progress Report, 10-11, ECOWAS and ECCAS, Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons in West and Central Africa.

665 Government of Cape Verde, Written Communication, submitted in response to U.S. Department of Labor Federal Register Notice (November 8, 2007) "Request for Information on Efforts by Certain Countries to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor", Washington, DC, January 25, 2008. See also Government of Cape Verde, MTFS realiza Workshop Nacional sobre Combate ao Trabalho Infantil e suas piores formas Press Release, November 19, 2007; available from http://www.governo.cv/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=527&Itemid=1. See also Vozdipovo On-line, "Governo e Parceiros Analisam Plano de Acção de Combate ao Trabalho Infantil", [online], November 20, 2007 [cited November 29, 2007]; available from http://www.vozdipovoonline.com/conteudos/sociedade/governo_e_parceiros_analisam_plano_de_accao_de_combate_ao_trabalho_infantil /.

666 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Cape Verde," section 6d.

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