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Cablegate: Child Labor in Zimbabwe

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2804

PAGE 01 HARARE 03348 01 OF 02 210915Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 AID-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 COME-00 CTME-00
INL-01 DODE-00 ITCE-00 WHA-00 SRPP-00 EAP-00 EB-00
ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00 E-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00
HHS-01 H-01 SSA-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01
LAB-01 L-00 AC-01 NEA-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OES-01
OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00
SSO-00 SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 SA-00 PRM-01
DRL-02 G-00 SAS-00 /017W
------------------6534B0 210916Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6357
DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
INFO CHILD LABOR COLLECTIVE
USMISSION GENEVA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003348

SIPDIS

AF/EPS FOR TONY HOLMES

EB/TPP/BTA FOR VLAD SAMBAIEW

DRL/IL FOR CHRIS CAMILLO

DOL/ILAB FOR MAUREEN JAFFE AND MARCIA EUGENIO

GENEVA FOR USTR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 03348 01 OF 02 210915Z

DEPT PASS USTR FOR OAA AND TD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI ZI
SUBJECT: CHILD LABOR IN ZIMBABWE

REF: (A) STATE 117330
(B) STATE 100081
(C) 99 HARARE 06372
(D) 99 HARARE 06786

1. (U) REFTELS (A) AND (B) REQUESTED POST'S RESPONSE TO
QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO CHILD LABOR PRACTICES IN
ZIMBABWE. THIS CABLE, IN CONJUNCTION WITH REFTELS (C)
AND (D) FROM OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1999, DISCUSSES
ZIMBABWEAN CHILD LABOR PRACTICES IN DETAIL AND PROVIDE
ANSWERS TO DEPARTMENT'S QUESTIONS. REFTELS (C) AND (D)
PRESENTED EVIDENCE IN FAVOR OF REMOVING ZIMBABWE FROM
THE DEPARTMENT'S LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT PRODUCE GOODS
THROUGH FORCED CHILD LABOR. THE FACTS AND ARGUMENTS
PRESENTED IN THOSE MESSAGES REMAIN VALID TODAY, I.E.,
CHILD LABOR IS VERY COMMON IN ZIMBABWE (PARTICULARLY IN
THE COMMUNAL AND COMMERCIAL FARMING SECTORS), BUT
"FORCED CHILD LABOR" AND "WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR" AS
DEFINED BY THE ILO ARE NOT COMMON OCCURRENCES.

2. (U) TO RESPOND TO THE REMAINDER OF DEPARTMENT'S
QUESTIONS IN REFTELS (A) AND (B), ZIMBABWE IS A
SIGNATORY TO BOTH THE ILO'S INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM ON THE
ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOR (IPEC), AND ILO CONVENTION
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 03348 01 OF 02 210915Z
182 ON THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR. TWO PIECES OF
ZIMBABWEAN LEGISLATION PROHIBIT CHILD LABOR: (1) THE
LABOR RELATIONS ACT (LRA), CHAPTER 28, STATUTORY
INSTRUMENT 72, WHICH SETS THE MINIMUM AGE OF EMPLOYMENT
IN ZIMBABWE AT 16; AND (2) THE CHILD ADOPTION AND
PROTECTION ACT, WHICH INCORPORATES ILO CONVENTION 182
AND PROHIBITS "WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR."

3. (U) DESPITE THE LAWS ON THE BOOKS, THE GOVERNMENT OF
ZIMBABWE HAS DONE LITTLE IN RECENT YEARS TO STOP THE
PRACTICE OF CHILD LABOR, WHICH OCCURS FREQUENTLY ON
FARMS (BOTH SMALL-SCALE AND COMMERCIAL) AND IN CITIES
WHERE CHILDREN OFTEN WORK AS DOMESTIC SERVANTS OR IN THE
INFORMAL TRADING SECTOR. AS MORE ADULT ZIMBABWEANS ARE
LOST TO HIV/AIDS (AN ESTIMATED 25 PERCENT OF THE
COUNTRY'S ADULT POPULATION IS HIV-POSITIVE), THE PROBLEM
OF CHILD LABOR IS GROWING, AS CIRCUMSTANCES FORCE MORE
CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL AND INTO JOBS TO SUPPORT
THEMSELVES AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS. THE ILO FUNDED A
STUDY IN LATE 1999 BY THE GOZ'S CENTRAL STATISTICAL
OFFICE ON CHILD LABOR PRACTICES. THE GOZ SENT ITS
PRELIMINARY RESULTS TO GENEVA FOR COMMENT AND, ACCORDING
TO THE ILO OFFICE IN HARARE, INTENDS TO HOLD A WORKSHOP
TO RELEASE THE OFFICIAL RESULTS IN AUGUST 2000. (THE GOZ
AND ILO DECLINED TO MAKE A COPY OF THE PRELIMINARY
REPORT AVAILABLE TO THE EMBASSY PRIOR TO ITS OFFICIAL
RELEASE.)

4. (U) IN A JUNE 19 CONVERSATION WITH LABOFF, MS. NELLY
DHLEMBEU, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL WELFARE AT THE
MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOR, AND SOCIAL WELFARE,
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 03348 01 OF 02 210915Z
COULD NOT IDENTIFY ANY SPECIFIC GOZ PROGRAMS CURRENTLY
IN OPERATION THAT PROMOTE BETTER ACCESS TO PRIMARY
SCHOOLING. AS MS. DHLEMBEU EXPLAINED, THE GOZ'S
EDUCATION AND SOCIAL WELFARE BUDGETS ARE ALREADY
STRETCHED TOO THIN. THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO HIRE
ENOUGH TEACHERS TO FILL DEMANDING POSITIONS IN PRIMARY
AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN REMOTE RURAL AREAS (A
CONTINUOUS PROBLEM FOR THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION). THE
GOZ OFTEN LACKS FUNDS TO MAINTAIN THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF
PUBLIC SCHOOLS (PARTICULARLY IN THE RURAL AREAS), MANY
OF WHICH SUFFER FROM A LACK OF WATER, ELECTRICITY,
BOOKS, SCHOOL SUPPLIES, AND OTHER BASIC NEEDS. AS A
RESULT, SAID DHLEMBEU, THE GOZ HAS LITTLE LEFT TO FUND
ADDITIONAL CHILDREN'S EDUCATION PROGRAMS. (COMMENT:
ZIMBABWE'S ECONOMY HAS BEEN IN A TAILSPIN SINCE 1998 AND
CONTINUES TO WORSEN. THE GOZ IS OPERATING ON A
SHOESTRING, WITH ALL BUT ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND PROGRAMS
ON HOLD INDEFINITELY. WE DO NOT EXPECT TO SEE ANY GOZ
FUNDING FOR ADDITIONAL CHILDREN'S EDUCATION OR CHILD
LABOR PROGRAMS ANY TIME SOON, UNLESS THE ILO IS THE SOLE
CONTRIBUTOR. END COMMENT.)

5. (U) SEVERAL NGOS CONTINUE THEIR WORK TO PROMOTE
BETTER ACCESS TO EDUCATION AND STEER FAMILIES AWAY FROM
CHILD LABOR, BUT THEIR BUDGETS ARE MEAGER AND THEIR
SUCCESS LIMITED, PARTICULARLY GIVEN THE FACT THAT CHILD

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2799

PAGE 01 HARARE 03348 02 OF 02 210915Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 AID-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 SMEC-00 COME-00 CTME-00
DODE-00 ITCE-00 WHA-00 SRPP-00 EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01
EXME-00 EUR-00 E-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01
H-01 SSA-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 ITC-01 LAB-01
L-00 AC-01 NEA-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OES-01 OIC-02
OMB-01 OPIC-01 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00
SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 SA-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 SAS-00 /016W
------------------65349E 210915Z /38
R 210920Z JUN 00
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6358
DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
INFO CHILD LABOR COLLECTIVE
USMISSION GENEVA

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003348

SIPDIS

AF/EPS FOR TONY HOLMES

EB/TPP/BTA FOR VLAD SAMBAIEW

DRL/IL FOR CHRIS CAMILLO

DOL/ILAB FOR MAUREEN JAFFE AND MARCIA EUGENIO

GENEVA FOR USTR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 03348 02 OF 02 210915Z

DEPT PASS USTR FOR OAA AND TD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI ZI
SUBJECT: CHILD LABOR IN ZIMBABWE

LABOR IN ZIMBABWE IS A LONGSTANDING, WIDELY ACCEPTED
OCCURRENCE. GROUPS SUCH AS SAVE THE CHILDREN U.K.,
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES, FARM ORPHANS' SUPPORT TRUST --
AS WELL AS SEVERAL FARMERS' UNIONS -- HAVE PROGRAMS IN
SOME CITIES AND COMMERCIAL FARMING AREAS. THEIR
INFLUENCE IS LIMITED, THOUGH, AND THERE IS RELATIVELY
LITTLE INTERACTION BETWEEN THESE GROUPS AND RELATED
GOVERNMENT OFFICES (ALTHOUGH THE NGOS' RELATIONS WITH
THE GOZ ARE USUALLY QUITE GOOD).

MCDONALD

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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