Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2017, 12:01 GMT

2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Equatorial Guinea

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 10 September 2009
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Equatorial Guinea, 10 September 2009, available at: [accessed 24 November 2017]
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 Labor
Population, children, 5-14 years:
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:13
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2005:122.0
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2003:87.0
School attendance, children 5-14 years (%):
Survival rate to grade 5 (%), 2001:33.0
ILO Convention 138:6/12/1985
ILO Convention 182:8/13/2001
ILO-IPEC participating country:No

** In practice, must pay for various school expenses

** Accession

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In Equatorial Guinea, children work in subsistence agriculture and auto mechanic workshops, and sometimes as street or market vendors and car washers. In the past, children from Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, and Gabon were trafficked to the cities of Malabo and Bata for forced labor, sometimes for commercial sexual exploitation; it is unclear whether such trafficking continues in significant numbers.

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The Labor Law sets the minimum age for employment at 14 years but allows children 13 years to perform light work. Children under 16 years are specifically prohibited from work that might harm their health, safety, or morals. A Government decree on child trafficking establishes that minors are specifically protected from child labor in street vending and other jobs in the informal and formal sectors during school and night hours. The criminal penalty for employing children under this decree is 1 year in prison and a fine.

Another Government decree bans all children under 17 years of age from being on the streets after 11 p.m. The decree forbids parents or tutors from exploiting children for 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. From April 2007 through March 2008, the most recent period such information is available, USDOS reported that the Government of Equatorial Guinea regularly enforced these laws through street-level police patrols, who fined individuals employing child workers, especially in markets.

Forced or compulsory child labor is forbidden. The law prohibits trafficking in persons and stipulates a penalty of 10 to 15 years' imprisonment and a fine for trafficking offenses. 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. 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.

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. 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.

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

The Government of Equatorial Guinea continues to train military and police officials on human trafficking issues through MPRI, a U.S. security training contractor. The Government also distributes wallet cards to security officials to help them identify and care for trafficking victims. The Government continues to collaborate with UNICEF to raise public awareness about human trafficking.

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