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Cablegate: Yemen Child Labor Update for Tda Report

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 002015

SIPDIS

PLEASE PASS TO DOL/ILAB FOR TINA FAULKNER AND DRL/IL FOR
MARINDA HARPOLE.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI YM HUMAN RIGHTS TRAFFICKING PERSONS
SUBJECT: YEMEN CHILD LABOR UPDATE FOR TDA REPORT

REF: A. SECSTATE 163982
B. JEDDAH 1340
C. SANAA 611
D. 03 SANAA 02028
E. 02 SANAA 3572
F. 00 SANAA 4223

1. Summary. In Yemen, children augment family and household
incomes as street vendors and workers in family businesses or
on the family farm. Slavery, child prostitution and
trafficking are not major issues in Yemen. Some donors
express concern that child trafficking may be on the rise.
Government officials and NGOs are working together to provide
basic education, counseling, vocational training, and to
eliminate the employment of children in hazardous jobs and
arrive at a joint strategy to eliminate child labor
altogether. Last year, Parliament and the Ministry of Human
Rights gave increasing focus and recognition to the issue of
child trafficking. End Summary.

-----------------------------
2004 YEMEN CHILD LABOR UPDATE
-----------------------------

2. Begin update:

A) DOES YEMEN HAVE ADEQUATE LAWS AND REGULATIONS
PROSCRIBING THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR?

Update: Pending donor funding, the ROYG will review all of
its laws regarding child labor to ensure coordination between
the different ministries. The law will clarify the
ministries' roles and insure that they comply with
international conventions. Last year's update noted that the
ROYG would be completing this effort but international
funding for such a project was not secured (ref d). The
Ministry of Labor (MOL) conducted a baseline survey of child
labor in Yemen, collecting information from trade unions,
chambers of commerce and MOL branch offices. MOL estimates
that there are close to half a million working children, ages
6 to 14, and that working children comprise 10 to 15 percent
of the total work force.

B) DOES YEMEN HAVE ADEQUATE LAWS AND REGULATIONS FOR THE
IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF PROSCRIPTIONS AGAINST THE
WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR? ARE THERE ANY RECENT
GOVERNMENTAL OR JUDICIAL INITIATIVES TO STRENGTHEN CHILD
LABOR LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS?

Update: Adequate enforcement of regulations remains weak in
many government ministries, not only in the MOL. Due to
serious resource constraints, the MOL employs less than
twenty child labor inspectors to investigate crimes
throughout the entire country and was not able to hire
additional inspectors as reported last year (ref d).

C) HAS YEMEN ESTABLISHED FORMAL INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS TO
INVESTIGATE AND ADDRESS COMPLAINTS RELATING TO THE WORST
FORMS OF CHILD LABOR?

No update required.

D) WHETHER SOCIAL PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED TO PREVENT
THE ENGAGEMENT OF CHILDREN IN THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR,
AND TO ASSIST IN REMOVING CHILDREN ENGAGED IN THE WORST FORMS
OF CHILD LABOR?

Update: Under the auspices of the Mayor of Sanaa and
supported in part by funds from the U.S. Department of Labor
to the ILO, ILO/IPEC opened a rehabilitation center for
victims of child labor in 2002. In the past year, IPEC began
offering remedial education, vocational training, and some
counseling in addition to the ongoing effort to re-integrate
child laborers into mainstream schools.

E) WHETHER THE COUNTRY HAS A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY AIMED AT
THE ELIMINATION OF THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR?

No update required.

F) WHETHER THE COUNTRY IS MAKING CONTINUAL PROGRESS TOWARD
ELIMINATING THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR?

Update: The issue of child labor enjoys the focus and concern
of the ROYG and several of its ministries, such as the MOL
and the Ministry of Education. Nonetheless, the ROYG needs
increased coordination between child labor officials in its
ministries and with NGOs and international organizations.
Progress is slow and child labor remains a significant
problem for Yemeni society.

-----------------------------
ADDENDUM ON CHILD TRAFFICKING
-----------------------------

3. While the incidence of child trafficking appears limited,
the ROYG and NGOs report that child smuggling in Yemen needs
to be more closely examined (ref c). In recent months, the
press occasionally reported incidents of child trafficking to
Saudi Arabia. The English language weekly, "Yemen Times,"
reported that 40 Yemeni children a month are detained by
Saudi police for street begging and repatriated. Jeddah
reported on this phenomenon in ref b.

4. The ROYG acknowledges a possible problem and has taken
action against child smuggling. The ROYG and UNICEF are
currently working on a project to examine the nature and
extent of possible internal and external child smuggling. In
the past year, two child traffickers were prosecuted. One
received a three-year prison sentence, a concrete example pf
the ROYG's efforts to combat child trafficking.
Nonetheless, the ROYG's capabilities suffer from serious
limitations, including extreme poverty, porous borders with
Saudi Arabia and along its 1,400 km coastline, lack of
training for police and security officials in identifying and
preventing cases of trafficking, and a cultural acceptance of
working children. To assist in the outreach against child
trafficking, Post is currently seeking USG funding to launch
a trafficking awareness campaign with the cooperation of the
ROYG.

End Update.
KRAJESKI

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