2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Guinea

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor
Percent of children 5-14 estimated as working:Unavailable1872
Minimum age for admission to work:161873
Age to which education is compulsory:7-141874
Free public education:Yes1875*
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2004:79%1876
Net primary enrollment rate in 2004:64%1877
Percent of children 5-14 attending school:Unavailable1878
As of 2003, percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:82%1879
Ratified Convention 138:6/6/20031880
Ratified Convention 182:6/6/20031881
ILO-IPEC Participating Country:Yes, associated1882
* In practice, must pay for school fees.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

The majority of working children in Guinea are found in the informal sector, carrying out activities such as subsistence farming, small-scale commerce, and mining.1883 Children also work in granite and sand quarries as well as apprentices to mechanics, electricians, and plumbers.1884 Girls younger than 14 years old are exploited in prostitution.1885

Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficking in persons. Children are trafficked for forced labor in agriculture, mining, begging, and domestic work.1886 Girls are also trafficked for sexual exploitation.1887 The majority of girls trafficked to Guinea are from Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Some also come from Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, and Senegal.1888

Displacement of civilians occurred after many years of conflict in neighboring countries. Guinean children in the forest regions of the country who have been displaced are especially vulnerable to sexual and economic exploitation. UNICEF discovered several unaccompanied minors from Sierra Leone and Liberia, who were being forced to work in plantations, mines, and private homes, in N'Zerekore and Kissidougou.1889

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age for employment at 16 years, except with the consent of authorities,1890 and excludes anyone under 14 years from being apprenticed.1891 Workers less than 18 years are not permitted to work at night or for more than 10 consecutive hours per day. The law prohibits forced or bonded labor and hazardous work by children under 18 years. Hazardous work is defined as any work likely to endanger the health, safety, or morals of children. The Ministry of Labor determines which jobs are considered hazardous. Violations of these laws are punishable by fines and sentences of 8 days to 2 months in prison.1892

Trafficking in persons is prohibited by law, as is procurement or solicitation for the purposes of prostitution. Violation of the procurement or solicitation law can result in imprisonment for 2 to 5 years when the crime involves a minor less than 18 years. The U.S. Department of State reports that the government has not actively monitored child or adult prostitution or taken action when the prostitution of minors was brought to its attention.1893 The penalty for trafficking is 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and the confiscation of money or property received through trafficking activities. However, according to the U.S. Department of State, the Guinean courts have not yet been known to prosecute a trafficking case.1894 The official age for voluntary recruitment or conscription into the armed forces is 18 years.1895

While the government spoke out against child labor, according to the U.S. Department of State, it lacked the financial and legislative resources to combat it.1896

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

In July 2006, Guinea was 1 of 24 countries to adopt the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, in West and Central Africa and the Joint Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children in the West and Central African Regions. As part of the Multilateral Cooperative Agreement, the governments agreed to put into place the child trafficking monitoring system developed by the USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC LUTRENA project; to ensure that birth certificates and travel identity documents cannot easily be falsified or altered; to provide assistance to each other in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of trafficking offenders; to protect, rehabilitate, and reintegrate trafficking victims; and to improve educational systems, vocational training and apprenticeships.1897 Guinea also has a national action plan to combat trafficking and, as part of this, has launched a national information campaign.1898 Sixteen ministries are involved in the fight against trafficking, coordinating via a National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The Ministry of Social Affairs and the Promotion of Women and Children heads this committee, which has limited effectiveness because of severe resource constraints.1899

Between 2002 and 2006, Guinea participated in a USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC regional project to combat hazardous and exploitative child labor in the cocoa sector, West Africa Cocoa/Commercial Agriculture Programme (WACAP), in which 799 children in Guinea were withdrawn and prevented from exploitive labor through the provision of education or training opportunities.1900 The government also takes part in a 4-year USD 4 million USDOL-funded education initiative, which targets the withdrawal and prevention from exploitive labor of 4,800 children.1901

1872 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, October 7, 2005.

1873 Government of Guinea, Code du travail de la République de Guinée, 1988, Article 5.

1874 UNESCO, "Regional Overview: Sub-Saharan Africa," in Global Monitoring Report 2003/4: Gender and Education for All, Paris, 2004; available from http://www.unesco.org/education/efa_report/zoom_regions_pdf/ssafrica.pdf.

1875 U.S. Department of State, "Guinea," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78738.htm.

1876 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross Enrolment Ratio. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

1877 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Net Enrolment Rate. Primary. Total, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

1878 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Survival Rate to Grade 5. Total, accessed December 18, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

1879 Ibid.

1880 ILO, Ratifications by Country, accessed October 23, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/ratifce.pl?Guinea_.

1881 Ibid.

1882 ILO-IPEC, IPEC Action Against Child Labor – Highlights 2006, Geneva, 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20070228_Implementati….

1883 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Guinea," Section 6d, UNICEF, Situation des enfants et des femmes, programme de coopération 2002-2006, République de Guinée, Conakry, 2000, p 83-84.

1884 UNICEF, Situation Des Enfants et Des Femmes, p 84.

1885 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Guinea," Section 5.

1886 Ibid.

1887 U.S. Department of State, "Guinea," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/65988.htm.

1888 U.S. Embassy – Conakry, reporting, March 2, 2007, para 1b.

1889 U.S. Embassy – Conakry official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, August 11, 2006.

1890 Government of Guinea, Code du travail, 1988, Article 5.

1891 Ibid., Article 31.

1892 Ibid., Articles 2, 186, 187, and 205.

1893 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Guinea," Section 5. See also Government of Guinea, Penal Code, [previously online], Article 289; available from http://www.protectionproject.org.

1894 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Guinea," Section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Conakry, reporting, November 14, 2005.

1895 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Guinea," London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=777.

1896 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Guinea," Section 6d.

1897 ECOWAS and ECASS, 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, Washington, DC, September 1, 2006.

1898 U.S. Embassy – Conakry, reporting, March 2, 2007, para 2C.

1899 Ibid., para 2B.

1900 ILO-IPEC, West Africa Cocoa/Commercial Agriculture Programme to Combat Hazardous and Exploitative Child Labour (WACAP) Final Technical Progress Report, Annex 4, technical progress report, Geneva, June 2006.

1901 Save the Children, Combating Exploitive Child Labor through Education (CCLEE), technical progress report, Washington, DC September 28, 2006.


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