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Cablegate: Cote D'ivoire - Update On the Worst Forms of Child

VZCZCXRO9827
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHAB #1400 3541120
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201120Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2333
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0527

UNCLAS ABIDJAN 001400

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DOL/ILAB FOR TINA MCCARTER
DRL/IL FOR TU DANG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI USAID IV
SUBJECT: COTE D'IVOIRE - UPDATE ON THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD
LABOR

REF: SECSTATE 184972

1) The number of street children, particularly in Abidjan,
is difficult to quantify. Past Human Rights Reports (see
2005) have placed that number at 50,000 in Abidjan alone.
Subsequent reporting by observers in the NGO community
monitoring this situation have revised the figure (see draft
2006 Human Rights Report).

2) UNICEF reports that, as of 2004, some 15% of the
population lives on $1 per day or less.

3) Recent reporting from UN Operations in Cote d'Ivoire and
international NGOs indicates that reports of forcible
conscription of children into the ranks of either the armed
forces, the Forces Nouvelles or irregular militias have
diminished substantially since the current crisis began in
September 2002. While reports of sexual abuse of women and
girls by the Forces Nouvelles persist (along with similar
allegations related to the government's armed forces),
abductions related to this practice have not been reported in
the past year. There have been no recent reports of Liberian
children being recruited in either Liberia or Liberian
refugee camps to serve in either the government's or Forces
Nouvelles armed forces (see draft 2006 Human Rights Report)

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4) National examinations covering the 2005 academic year for
students in the northern, Forces Nouvelles-held territory
were held in February 2006, and examinations for the 2006
academic year were held nationwide in September 2006 (see
draft 2006 Human Rights Report).

5) In 2005, net primary school enrollment was 56 percent,
according to UNICEF. In 2005, 94% of children who started
primary school reached grade 5, according to the same source.

6) The Ministry of Labor's Focal Unit on child labor no
longer appears to have primary jurisdiction over the
sensitive issue of child labor in the cocoa production
sector. The government cooperates closely with Germany's GTZ
in establishing field committees to monitor and prevent child
labor on cocoa farms. GTZ estimates its sensitization and
education program, which contains a substantial child labor
component, currently reaches 50% of Cote d'Ivoire's cocoa
production region.

4) The Prime Minister's Task Force on Child Labor in the
Cocoa Sector was disbanded in June of 2006, but has been
reconstituted. It, along with the Ministry of Labor are
currently coordinating the country's plan to address the need
to implement a credible child labor monitoring system by
2008.
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