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Cablegate: Embassy Nairobi

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #1043 1091050
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181050Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5541
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 4405
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS NAIROBI 001043

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E, AF/RSA, AF/EPS, EEB/TPA/MTA/MST AND DRL/IL
DEPT ALSO PASS TO USTR FOR JESSICA STEINBERG AND BILL JACKSON
DEPT ALSO PASS TO DEPT OF LABOR FOR SUDHA HALEY, PATRICK WHITE AND
MAUREEN PETTIS


SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB ETRD AGOA ECON PHUM KE
SUBJECT:GSP QUERY; NO CHILD LABOR IN KENYAN CARPET INDUSTRY

REF: USTR E-MAIL OF 3/28/08

1. Please see below response to ref e-mail concerning the Kenya
Child Labor Review of certain handmade carpets eligible for benefits
under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The purpose of
the Child Labor Review is to identify information about the use of
the worst forms of child labor in each of the 21 countries, among
them Kenya, from which the U.S. has imported these carpets under GSP
and whether each country is taking steps to eliminate such worst
forms of child labor in the production of these types of carpets.

Nature of the Handmade Carpet Industry
-------------------------------------
2. The Kenyan handmade carpet industry is made up of hundreds of
handloom weavers, mostly families with one or two employees. Some
have workshops, while others work at home. Some subcontract
weaving/spinning to women's groups in the slums. There is also a
large group of weavers who are disabled. There is no evidence these
weavers export their products. It is likely the $3,825 of carpets
imported from Kenya in 2005 were not actually produced in Kenya.
There are no statistics on the carpet sector, but it appears to be
in decline. Kenya Weaver Bird used to employ about 300 people, but
has cut down to 15 employees.

Use of Child Labor in Carpet Production
----------------------------------------
3. LabAtt has followed child labor issues carefully for the last 32
months, and has never encountered an allegation of child labor in
the carpet and rug sector. No one in the NGO Network for Child
Labor and Trafficking was aware of any such problem. Gloria Ndekei,
National Program Coordinator, ILO-Women Entrepreneurship Development
and Gender Equality Program said ILO has not witnessed any child
labor among the handloom weavers association members with whom they
have worked for 10 years. Kenya Weaver Bird, which participated in
the USAID-supported Export Promotion Council exports to East African
Community countries, stated that all its employees are adults.
ANPPCAN Child Labor Program Manager Samuel Munyuwiny said there has
been no child labor in the carpet sector.

Measures to Eliminate Child Labor in Carpet Industry
--------------------------------------------- -------
4. Kenya has no special program to address child labor in the carpet
sector, but has outlawed child labor and is in the final stages of
developing its national strategy and action plan. The USDoL-funded
ILO/IPEC program to fight child labor has worked with unions and
employers to eliminate child labor in agriculture and other sectors,
but there was no need to address the carpet sector.

RANNEBERGER

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