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Cablegate: Ukraine: Incidence of Forced/Child Labor in The

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #0953/01 1411105
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201105Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5621
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0121

UNCLAS KYIV 000953

SIPDIS

DEPT OF LABOR FOR DOL/ILAB - RACHEL RIGBY
STATE FOR DRL/ILCSR (MMITTELHAUSER), G/TIP (SSTEINER), AND
EUR/UMB (RBMARCUS)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: INCIDENCE OF FORCED/CHILD LABOR IN THE
PRODUCTION OF GOODS NOT SIGNIFICANT

REFS: A) STATE 41381
B) 2007 KYIV 2925

1. Summary: Cases of adult forced labor are extremely rare
in Ukraine, and child labor, while still in existence, is
not prevalent. The GOU has adopted standards on child
labor in line with international norms and has made some
progress in recent years in tackling the problem. Most
child labor is involved in the service sector, particularly
petty commerce, and illegal activities, like prostitution
and pornography. Child labor is also used at some
unsanctioned coal mines, but the effect on Ukraine's total
production of coal is insignificant. Some children are
likewise found working on small, family farms, but in most
cases such work does not constitute exploitative child
labor as defined by ILO Convention 182, and regardless has
no significant impact on the national production of any
particular agricultural commodities. End Summary.

2. Post recently provided detailed information on child
labor in Ukraine as part of last year's Trade and
Development Act (TDA) reporting requirement (ref B). As
requested by ref A, below Post provides updated information
on child labor and forced labor issues.

3. Post will also send this information via email to USDOL
POC Rachel Rigby. Post's POC is Christian Yarnell,
Economic Officer - Email: yarnellc@state.gov; Phone: 011-
380-44-490-4276; Fax: 011-380-44-490-4277).

Overview: Forced/Child Labor Not Endemic in Ukraine
--------------------------------------------- ------

4. Conditions of slavery or practices similar to slavery
are essentially nonexistent in Ukraine. Cases of adult
forced labor within the country are also extremely rare.
(Note: Ukraine is, however, a source country and transit
route for international trafficking-in-persons. End note.)
In addition, as established by the Constitution of Ukraine,
child labor is also formally prohibited.

5. Yet despite the formal prohibition, child labor was an
integral part of the Soviet educational system, considered
valuable experience in preparing children for the
workplace, and has continued in independent Ukraine. The
collapse of the Ukrainian economy in the early 1990s
fostered the emergence of a large shadow economy in which
child labor became widely used. Ukraine's Law "On
Childhood Protection," however, provides the primary legal
framework for combating child labor in line with
International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 182,
ratified by Ukraine in 2000. The government investigates
complaints and attempts to address violations, and has made
significant progress in combating child labor in recent
years.

6. Through 563 spot inspections held during one month of
2007, the State Labor Inspectorate, which enforces child
labor laws in the formal sector, found 1500 cases in which
adolescents under 18 years old were working. Inspectors
passed 62 cases to law enforcement bodies to pursue
criminal prosecution. Authorities filed administrative
charges with the courts in 257 cases. Information on how
these cases concluded is not available. Fifteen employers
faced administrative liability for refusal to cooperate
with labor inspectors.

Sectors Involving Child Labor
-----------------------------

7. Petty commerce appears to be the most common occupation
in which children are engaged, with approximately one third
of working children selling products on the streets or in
unofficial markets. Indeed, child labor in Ukraine exists
most often in the informal sector, and frequently where the
activities children are engaged in are illegal. Common
examples include sex services and pornography, although
there is no reliable data as to the extent of child abuse
in these areas.

Coal
----

8. One sector where child labor could result in the
production of legal goods is unsanctioned coal mining.
Experts suspect that unsanctioned coal mines continue to

employee children, and, indeed, in 2007 Ukrainian police
announced an investigation in the eastern oblast of Donetsk
of a boarding school for disabled children that allowed a
group of underage orphans to sift and load coal for a
nearby company. Recent surveys conducted by the ILO
indicate that enhanced GOU enforcement efforts have at
least eliminated child labor underground at unsanctioned
coal mines, although children continued to work on the
surface at such mines.

9. Because child labor is limited to unsanctioned coal
mines, and because none of the 165 legitimate mines
operating in Ukraine are believed to use child labor, the
incidence of child labor in the production of coal in
Ukraine is not significant. Coal extracted from
unsanctioned coal mines likely accounts for only a very
small portion of the national total.

Agriculture
-----------

10. Child labor continues to be used on some small, family
farms throughout Ukraine as well. Children working in the
agricultural sector are typically engaged in weeding,
working as shepherds, fruit picking, caring for domestic
livestock, working with fertilizers, and repairing
agricultural equipment. Ukrainian law, however, permits
underage children from 14 years old to do some forms of
agricultural work on a short-term basis, with the consent
of one parent, meaning that such work would not be
considered exploitative child labor as defined by ILO
Convention 182. In addition, the incidence of any child
labor, legal or otherwise, is likely insignificant in terms
of Ukraine's total agricultural production. It is also
unlikely that child labor is used to produce any particular
agricultural commodities, since working children tend to be
found on family farms, not specialized agricultural
enterprises.

TAYLOR

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