2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Western Sahara

There is limited information regarding the extent and nature of child labor and the quality and provision of education in non-independent countries and territories eligible for GSP, AGOA, and CBTPA benefits. These countries and territories generally are not eligible to become members of the ILO, so ILO Conventions 138 and 182 do not apply to any of them.[4357] Territories are subject to laws of the sovereign country.

Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in Western Sahara are unavailable, and child labor does not seem to be a problem.[4432] Residents of Western Sahara are subject to Moroccan labor laws that set the minimum age for employment at 15 years.[4433] Forced labor is prohibited under Moroccan law, and a new law was passed in 2003 that imposes fines and prison terms against those involved in trafficking in persons.[4434] Education is compulsory for 8 years.[4435] Information regarding government policies and programs to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in Western Sahara is unavailable.

[4357] ILO official, electronic communication to USDOL official, January 31, 2002. Most of the areas covered in this summary report are considered by the ILO to be non-metropolitan territories and therefore, are ineligible to become members of the ILO. An ILO member can submit a declaration to the ILO requesting that these conventions apply to their non-metropolitan territories. See Constitution; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/about/iloconst.htm.

[4432] ILO, LABORSTAT. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2003: Western Sahara, Washington, D.C., February 25, 2004; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27941.htm.

[4433] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2003: Western Sahara. See also Lawrence Connell, electronic communication to USDOL official, January 29, 2002.

[4434] U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2003: Western Sahara.

[4435] UNESCO Institute for Statistics, National Education Systems.


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