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Cablegate: Zimbabwe Child Labor Information Update for Trade

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

050854Z Oct 01


UNCLASSIFIED PTQ1632

PAGE 01 HARARE 02971 01 OF 03 060629Z
ACTION LAB-01

INFO LOG-00 AF-00 AID-00 CA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00 DODE-00
SRPP-00 EB-00 UTED-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
L-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OCS-03 OIC-02 PRS-00 P-00
SP-00 SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 SAS-00 /011W
------------------2ABF0E 060630Z /75
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9894
DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO USMISSION GENEVA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 002971

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ILAB/CHRIS CAMILLO, DRL/IL ERIC BARBORIAK USDOC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE CHILD LABOR INFORMATION UPDATE FOR TRADE
AND DEVELOPMENT ACT (GSP)

REF: STATE 139746

1. SUMMARY: THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR, SUCH AS CHILD
SWEATSHOPS AND CHILD PROSTITUTION, ARE NOT WIDELY PRACTICED
IN ZIMBABWE. STRONG LAWS, MOST INCLUDED IN THE CHILD
ADOPTION AND PROTECTION BILL, PROTECT CHILDREN BELOW THE AGE
OF 18 FROM HARSH WORK AND EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS. A DRAFT
AMENDMENT, THAT WOULD EXPAND AND TOUGHEN THE PROSCRIPTIONS OF
THE CHILD PROTECTION BILL, HAS BEEN IN THE WORKS SINCE 1999.
LEGISLATORS TELL US THAT THE AMENDED BILL MAY SEE MOVEMENT IN
THE PARLIAMENT LATE THIS YEAR OR EARLY NEXT, AND THAT THE
PROBLEM IS THAT IT HAS BEEN SEEN AS A WORK IN PROGRESS WITH
NONE WILLING TO FINALIZE THE DRAFT. ZIMBABWE IS A SIGNATORY
TO ILO CONVENTION 138, BUT CONVENTION 182, WHILE RATIFIED BY
PARLIAMENT, IS NOT YET LAW. THE NATIONAL CHILD LABOR SURVEY
CONDUCTED IN 2000 REVEALED THAT ABOUT 25 PERCENT OF CHILDREN
IN ZIMBABWE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 5 AND 17 WERE INVOLVED IN
SOME FORM OF CHILD LABOR AT VARIOUS TIMES DURING THE YEAR.
THE MAJOR CAUSE OF CHILD LABOR IS THE NEED TO SUPPLEMENT
HOUSEHOLD INCOMES PRIMARILY CAUSED BY POVERTY DUE TO THE
WORSENING MACRO ECONOMIC SITUATION, FAMILY BREAKDOWN, AND
HIV/AIDS. BASED ON INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE SURVEY, GOZ
OFFICIALS AND KEY STAKEHOLDERS HAVE CONCLUDED THERE IS NO
EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR ARE
BEING CONDUCTED IN ZIMBABWE. END SUMMARY.

2. WE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF A RECENT SADC MEETING HELD SEPTEMBER
17-21 IN HARARE OF EXPERTS ON CHILD LABOR TO COME UP TO SPEED
ON THE CHILD LABOR ISSUE IN ZIMBABWE. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE
MEETING WAS TO EXAMINE REGIONAL SADC COMPLIANCE WITH ILO
CONVENTIONS 138 AND 182 ON CHILD LABOR, AND THE ROLE OF LABOR
INSPECTIONS. GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) LABOR OFFICIALS
FROM THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOR AND SOCIAL
WELFARE, THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND CHILD WELFARE, TRADE
UNION OFFICIALS, AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE ILO AND SEVERAL
NGOS ATTENDED THE MEETING. THE INFORMATION IN THIS MESSAGE
WAS DRAWN FROM POST DISCUSSIONS WITH THE FOLLOWING CONTACTS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 02971 01 OF 03 060629Z
AND LABOR OFFICIALS (MANY OF WHOM ATTENDED THE SADC MEETING
HELD IN HARARE):

--- DR. JACKSON NKURLU, SENIOR SPECIALIST, WORKING
CONDITIONS AND ENVIRONMENT, ILO/SAMAT;
-- MR. POEM MUDYAWABIKWA, PRINCIPAL LABOR RELATIONS OFFICER,
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS DESK, MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SERVICE,
LABOR AND SOCIAL WELFARE;
-- VARIOUS UNICEF OFFICIALS;
-- GEBRE GEBREMARIAM, REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, AMERICAN
CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL LABOR SOLIDARITY.

-----------------------
CHILD LABOR IN ZIMBABWE
-----------------------

3. THE ZIMBABWE LABOR RELATIONS ACT OF 1985, THE CHILD
PROTECTION AND ADOPTION ACT OF 1972(AMENDED BY ACT 26 OF
1989) AND A NUMBER OF OTHER ACTS PERTAINING TO CHILD LABOR
PROTECT CHILDREN IN ZIMBABWE AND PROHIBIT VARIOUS FORMS OF
IT. THESE LAWS BAN THE FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN
UNDER THE AGE OF 15, AND RESTRICT EMPLOYMENT OF THOSE BETWEEN
THE AGES OF 12 AND 17 TO LIGHT WORK DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
FOR PERIODS NOT EXCEEDING SIX HOURS PER DAY. LIGHT WORK IS
DEFINED AS WORK NOT LIKELY TO PREJUDICE A CHILD'S EDUCATION,
HEALTH, SAFETY, REST, OR SOCIAL, PHYSICAL, OR MENTAL
DEVELOPMENT. ALL HAZARDOUS EMPLOYMENT, OVERTIME, AND NIGHT
SHIFT WORK IS BANNED FOR THOSE UNDER THE AGE OF 18. HOWEVER,
ENFORCEMENT OF THESE LAWS IS NOT STRONG, THOUGH MISSION
EXPERIENCE AND OBSERVATION INCLUDING FEEDBACK FROM FSNS
INDICATES THAT, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE HIGH ADULT, FORMAL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 02971 01 OF 03 060629Z
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF 65 PERCENT PLUS, VIOLATIONS ARE LIKELY
TO BE FEW. ALTHOUGH SCHOOLING IS NOT COMPULSORY, OVER 90
PERCENT OF CHILDREN ATTEND SCHOOL THROUGH GRADE 5.

4. NEVERTHELESS, CHILD LABOR IS FAIRLY COMMON. CHILDREN
WORK IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR, AND THERE ARE REPORTS THAT
CHILDREN WORK AS DOMESTICS. CHILDREN, PLYING AS CAR-WATCHERS
ON THE STREET, ARE A COMMON SIGHT. CHILD LABOR IN THE FORMAL
AGRICULTURAL SECTOR, SUCH AS ON TEA AND COFFEE PLANTATIONS,
INVOLVES CHILDREN WORKING IN THE FIELDS AFTER SCHOOL DURING
THE PLANTING AND HARVESTING SEASONS AND FULL-TIME DURING
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS. OFTEN THE CHILDREN INVOLVED IN THIS TYPE OF
ACTIVITY COME FROM ADJOINING COMMUNAL LANDS THAT LACK
SCHOOLS, AND IN EXCHANGE ATTEND THE PLANTATION OR FARM
SCHOOL. LONG HOURS AT SOME ESTATES ARE REPORTEDLY COMMON.
IN AGRICULTURE, BOTH FORMAL AND INFORMAL SECTORS, CHILDREN
OFTEN WORK ALONGSIDE THEIR PARENTS AND THEIR WORKING
CONDITIONS APPROXIMATE THOSE OF ADULTS. WHILE SOME FORM OF
CHILD LABOR ON LARGE COMMERCIAL FARMS IS WIDESPREAD,
AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS MAINTAIN THAT THE LABOR PERFORMED
IS NOT EXPLOITATIVE, INVOLUNTARY, CONTRARY TO LAW, OR OUTSIDE
OF CULTURAL NORMS THAT ALLOW CHILDREN TO ENGAGE IN FIELD WORK
WITH THEIR FAMILIES. ON SOME FARMS WHERE WORKERS' CHILDREN

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ1633

PAGE 01 HARARE 02971 02 OF 03 060630Z
ACTION LAB-01

INFO LOG-00 AF-00 AID-00 CA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00 DODE-00
SRPP-00 EB-00 UTED-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
L-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OCS-03 OIC-02 PRS-00 P-00
SP-00 SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 SAS-00 /011W
------------------2ABF1A 060630Z /75
P 050854Z OCT 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9895
DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO USMISSION GENEVA

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 002971

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ILAB/CHRIS CAMILLO, DRL/IL ERIC BARBORIAK USDOC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE CHILD LABOR INFORMATION UPDATE FOR TRADE
AND DEVELOPMENT ACT (GSP)

ATTEND DISTRICT BOARDING SCHOOLS OPERATED BY A GROUP OF
FARMS, SCHOOL SCHEDULES AND CALENDARS ARE TAILORED TO ALLOW
CHILDREN TO WORK DURING BUSY FARMING PERIODS. ECONOMIC
REALITIES IN THE RURAL AREAS, AND THE LACK OF GOVERNMENT
EDUCATION FACILITIES, MAKES THIS ARRANGEMENT A NECESSITY FOR
MANY FAMILIES AND COMPETITION FOR AVAILABLE SLOTS IS HIGH.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 02971 02 OF 03 060630Z

5. ABOUT 35 PERCENT OF THE ADULT POPULATION IS NOW INFECTED
WITH HIV/AIDS. AS A RESULT, AN INCREASING NUMBER OF CHILDREN
ARE WORKING IN THE INFORMAL SECTOR TO FILL THE INCOME GAP
LEFT BY ILL OR DECEASED RELATIVES. THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN
ADOPTIVE HOMES OR LIVING ON THE STREETS IS INCREASING
RAPIDLY. AS THE ADULT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE CONTINUES TO GROW,
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN EMPLOYED IN THE FORMAL SECTOR
DECREASES. THE INCIDENCE OF CHILDREN WORKING IN THE INFORMAL
SECTOR HAS INCREASED, HOWEVER, AS FAMILIES, OFTEN HEADED BY
CHILDREN, NEED A SOURCE OF INCOME. MANY CHILDREN SELL SIMPLE
WARES ON THE STREETS. IN ADDITION, POLICE HAVE REPORTED AN
INCREASING NUMBER OF GIRLS UNDER 17 ENGAGED IN PROSTITUTION.
CONCRETE DATA ON THE NUMBERS INVOLVED IN SUCH ACTIVITIES ARE
NOT AVAILABLE. THE POLICE FREQUENTLY ENFORCE LAWS AGAINST
CHILD PROSTITUTION. IN ADDITION, THE SEXUAL OFFENSES ACT,
WHICH WAS SIGNED INTO LAW IN AUGUST, PROVIDES FOR A FINE OF
UP TO $115 (Z$35,000) OR IMPRISONMENT OF UP TO 7 YEARS FOR
THOSE CONVICTED OF PROSTITUTING CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 12.
IT ALSO PROVIDES FOR A FINE OF UP TO $167 (Z$50,000) AND
IMPRISONMENT OF UP TO 10 YEARS FOR "PROCURING ANOTHER PERSON
TO BECOME A PROSTITUTE AND HAVE SEX WHETHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE
ZIMBABWE".

6. THOUGH THE LAW PROHIBITS FORCED AND BONDED LABOR BY
CHILDREN; THE TRADITIONAL PRACTICE OF OFFERING A YOUNG GIRL
AS COMPENSATORY PAYMENT IN INTERFAMILY DISPUTES CONTINUES WE
ARE TOLD. THERE WERE ALSO REPORTS THAT CHILDREN WERE
TRAFFICKED FROM THE COUNTRY TO SOUTH AFRICA FOR FORCED
PROSTITUTION AND FORCED LABOR. IN SEPTEMBER 2000, THE
GOVERNMENT RELEASED THE RESULTS OF AN ILO-FUNDED STUDY ON
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 02971 02 OF 03 060630Z
CHILD LABOR IN THE COUNTRY. THE STUDY CONCLUDED THAT THE
WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR, SUCH AS CHILD SWEATSHOPS AND
CHILD PROSTITUTION, ARE NOT WIDELY PRACTICED IN ZIMBABWE.

------------------
COMING LEGISLATION
------------------

7. CURRENTLY THE GOVERNMENT, PARLIAMENT, THE ORGANIZED LABOR
COMMUNITY, WOMEN'S GROUPS AND VARIOUS OTHER ADVOCATES ARE
INVOLVED IN THE PREPARATION OF DRAFT LEGISLATION THAT WILL
EXPAND ZIMBABWE'S CHILD LABOR PROTECTION LAWS. THE DRAFT
AMENDMENT BILL (TITLED AMENDMENT BILL OF THE CHILD PROTECTION
AND ADOPTION ACT 1972) WILL INCLUDE, WE ARE TOLD, MANY OF THE
SADC MEETING'S RECOMMENDATIONS AS WELL AS ILO CONVENTION 182.
POST WILL FORWARD TO DOL A COPY OF THE BILL WHEN AVAILABLE.

8. THE SADC MEETING RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE
DRAFT AMENDMENT BILL ARE:

-- LABOR INSPECTION SERVICES SHOULD DEVELOP FULLY FUNCTIONAL
SYSTEMS AND POLICIES, PROVIDING THEM WITH ADEQUATE RESOURCES
TO FULLY MEET THEIR OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE ILO CONVENTIONS.

-- LABOR INSPECTION SERVICES SHOULD ESTABLISH OR STRENGTHEN
MECHANISMS TO CO-ODINATE ACTION TO COMBAT CHILD LABOR, ITS
WORST FORMS, INCLUDING CO-ODINATING MECHANISMS THAT INVOLVE
THE SOCIAL PARTNERS AND OTHER KEY STAKEHOLDERS.

-- NATIONAL LEGISLATION SHOULD BE IN PLACE FOR COMBATING
CHILD LABOR; PARTICULARLY ITS WORST FORMS BOTH IN THE FORMAL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 02971 02 OF 03 060630Z
AND INFORMAL ECONOMY AND WHERE NECESSARY, AMEND LEGISLATION
TO ENSURE UNIVERSAL COVERAGE.

-- GOZ SHOULD ENSURE THAT STRATEGIES INCLUDING MONITORING
PRIORITIES ARE BASED ON HIGH QUALITY NATIONAL DATA ON THE
NATURE AND EXTENT OF CHILD LABOR DESEGREGATED IN THE MANNER
SUGGESTED IN PARAGRAPH 5(2) OF THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR
RECOMMENDATIONS.

-- GOZ SHOULD DEVELOP MULTI-DISCIPLINARY AND INTEGRATED
APPROACHES TO MONITORING WHICH BUILD UPON THE COMPARATIVE
ADVANTAGES AND COMPLIMENTARY COMPETENCIES OF THE DIFFERENT
ACTORS INCLUDING THE LABOR INSPECTION SERVICES, WORKERS AND
EMPLOYERS ORGANIZATIONS, VOLUNTARY SOCIAL INITIATIVES, NGOS
AND CBOS.

-- LABOR INSPECTION SERVICES, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE MOST
REPRESENTATIVE NATIONAL EMPLOYERS AND WORKERS ORGANIZATIONS
AND WHERE APPROPRIATE, WITH OTHER CONCERNED GROUPS, SHOULD
DEVELOP A SPECIFIC ENFORCEMENT POLICY TO DEAL EFFECTIVELY
WITH CHILD LABOR, IN PARTICULAR ITS WORST FORMS.

-- LABOR INSPECTION SERVICES SHOULD DEVELOP A SPECIFIC CLEAR

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ1635

PAGE 01 HARARE 02971 03 OF 03 060631Z
ACTION LAB-01

INFO LOG-00 AF-00 AID-00 CA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00 DODE-00
SRPP-00 EB-00 UTED-00 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
L-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OCS-03 OIC-02 PRS-00 P-00
SP-00 SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PRM-01 DRL-02
G-00 SAS-00 /011W
------------------2ABF20 060631Z /75
P 050854Z OCT 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9896
DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO USMISSION GENEVA

UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 002971

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ILAB/CHRIS CAMILLO, DRL/IL ERIC BARBORIAK USDOC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE CHILD LABOR INFORMATION UPDATE FOR TRADE
AND DEVELOPMENT ACT (GSP)

AND CONSISTENT ENFORCEMENT POLICY TO DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH
EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS FORMS OF CHILD LABOR, ADDRESSING IN
PARTICULAR ISSUES WHEN TO STOP WORK WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT AND
TO REMOVE CHILDREN FROM WORK-PLACES

-- LABOR INSPECTION SERVICES SHOULD MAINSTREAM CHILD LABOR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 02971 03 OF 03 060631Z
MONITORING INTO THEIR CORE FUNCTIONS, PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
IN LINE WITH ARTICLE 3, PARAGRAPH 1 OF CONVENTION 81 AND
ARTICLE 6, PARAGRAPH 1 OF CONVENTION 129.

-- LABOR INSPECTION SERVICES SHOULD DEVELOP OBJECTIVELY
MEASURABLE IMPACT INDICATORS TO ASSESS THE EFFECTIVENESS OF
CHILD LABOR MONITORING SYSTEMS.

-- GOZ SHOULD ENSURE THAT MONITORING SYSTEMS ARE CLOSELY
LINKED TO SOCIAL PROTECTION SYSTEMS TO ENSURE THAT CHILDREN
REMOVED FROM THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR ARE ENSURED
ACCESS TO FREE BASIC EDUCATION AND WHEREVER POSSIBLE AND
APPROPRIATE, VOCATIONAL TRAINING, SO THAT THEY ARE NOT
FURTHER MARGINALIZED OR DRIVEN INTO EVEN MORE UNACCEPTABLE
WORK.

-- GOZ SHOULD CONTINUOUSLY PURSUE THE GOAL OF COMPULSORY
UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION AS THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE STRATEGY
OF COMBATING CHILD LABOR AND SOLICIT FROM INTERNATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS SUPPORT INCLUDING RELIEF.

-- GOZ LABOR INSPEQON SERVICES SHOULD FURTHER STRENGTHEN
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION IN CHILD LABOR
MONITORING, FOR INSTANCE THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF LABOR INSPECTION (IALI).

SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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