Search

 

Cablegate: 2006 Updated Child Labor Information

VZCZCXYZ0018
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKI #1862 3491319
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151319Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5311
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2076
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001862

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

PASS TO DOL/IL (TMCCARTER)
DEPT FOR DRL/IL (TDANG)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIN ETRD EAID PHUM SOCI CG
SUBJECT: 2006 UPDATED CHILD LABOR INFORMATION

REF: A) SECSTATE 184972
B) 05 KINSHASA 1500
C) Brafman-MCCARTHER E-mail (8/1106)

1. (U) Summary. The GDRC has made little progress in combating the
worst forms of child labor in this final year of the transitional
government. However, with the installation of a new government, 2007
may see some increased efforts to ameliorate this serious problem,
as the elected government can now turn its focus to such issues. End
Summary.

CHILD LABOR LEGISLATION IN THE DRC
----------------------------------

2. (U) The GDRC created the long-discussed (reftel B) National
Committee to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor (NCCL) via a June
10 interministerial decree. The Committee's goals are to develop
and assure the implementation of a national strategy to eliminate
the worst forms of child labor. Although the committee has
reportedly met, it has not begun fulfilling its mandate.

APPLICATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS
------------------------------------

3. (U) Child labor law enforcement remains inadequate, particularly
in the mining sector. Children work illegally as artisanal miners
and in other informal sectors. (See also Post's 2006 Human Rights
Report.) Increasing industrialization in the extractive industries
sector will likely focus public attention and scrutiny on reducing
the number of children working in this sector. However, the
government's capacity and will to meaningfully participate in such
efforts are unclear, and many firms operating in the sector,
including Chinese and Indian-owned operations, have thus far shown
little inclination to promote compliance with child labor laws.
(Note: A USAID contractor is partnering with select international
mining firms - so far only in Katanga province - that have committed
themselves to reducing the number of child miners in the DRC. End
note.)

4. (U) The DRC's Ministry of Labor remains the responsible body for
investigating child labor abuses, but there is no dedicated child
labor inspection service. NGOs continued to pressure the Transition
Ministry of Labor to focus on this problem, with few or no results.
In any case, no changes could reasonably occur until after the
installation of a new government, particularly as the current
Minister of Labor will likely be replaced shortly.

5. (U) The DRC's criminal courts will continue to hear child labor
complaints until the NCCL forms. NGOs and the ILO have reportedly
been active in pushing prosecutors to bring cases against violators
of child labor laws.

RELATED POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
-----------------------------

6. (U) The GDRC continued to demobilize child soldiers in 2006
through the disarmament, demobilization and reinsertion (DDR)
program. The reduction of funding specifically available for child
demobilization has resulted in a decrease of the number of NGOs
focusing on this process. Further, the process was severely
compromised following the arrest of a military commander for
recruiting children into the military. UNICEF estimates that 11,000
children still need to be demobilized, while the UNDP's estimates
are more than twice that figure.

7. (U) The relatively high direct and opportunity costs of education
continue to push children into the informal labor sector, because
many parents are unable to simultaneously pay school fees and give
up the income their children may earn to help support the family.
For budgetary and political reasons, the Ministry of Education did
not honor its commitment, made in 2005, to raise and fund teachers'
salaries, an action that would have eliminated, at least in theory,
the need for parents to pay the teachers. The USG continues to
support programs to reduce the educational gap between boys and
girls and to increase school attendance.

COMMENT AND PROGRESS REPORT
---------------------------

8. (U) Post has not observed significant progress by the GDRC in
combating child labor since 2005. Enforcement continues to be lax
due to institutionalized corruption and bureaucratic disorganization
during the final year of the transition government. A new, more
coherent and accountable government will need to confront this
issue.

MEECE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>