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Cablegate: Response to Request for Information On Child Labor

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUL #1347 1900007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080007Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY SEOUL
TO RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0760

UNCLAS SEOUL 001347

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DOL/ILAB FOR RACHEL RIGBY
DRL/ILCSR FOR MARK MITTELHAUSER
G/TIP FOR STEVE STEINER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB ECON ETRD PGOV KS
SUBJECT: RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON CHILD LABOR

REF: SECSTATE 43120

1. (SBU) Per reftel request, Post was unable to find any new
media or NGO reports about child labor in South Korea, nor do
there seem to have been any high-profile cases involving
child labor. According to Ministry of Labor statistics, in
2007 there were 551 violations against child labor laws. Of
those violations, 470 businesses took corrective actions
based on complaints and 81 were subjected to judicial
proceedings.

2. (SBU) In 2007, the Ministry of Education reported the
school enrollment for elementary, middle, and high school at
99.3 percent, 96 percent, and 91.3 percent respectively.
With enrollment rates this high, it is clear that a child
labor problem, if present, would have to be within a very
small minority. Further, awareness-raising efforts are in
place. Ministry of Labor officials have carried out programs
to distribute "Standard Labor Contracts for Youth" and
leaflets containing "ten major selective labor law related
regulations which employers should know about." A mobile
counseling center, "1350#" has also been put in place to
protect young workers.
VERSHBOW

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