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Cablegate: Cote D'ivoire Adopts Plan Against Child

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAB #1180 3311622
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271622Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3773
INFO RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

UNCLAS ABIDJAN 001180

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W-EPLUMB, G/TIP, PRM/PIM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PGOV SMIG SOCI IV
SUBJECT: COTE D'IVOIRE ADOPTS PLAN AGAINST CHILD
TRAFFICKING AND LABOR

REF: ABIDJAN 1084

1. (SBU) Summary. The Government of Cote d'Ivoire has adopted
a National Plan of Action Against Child Trafficking and Labor
that will run from September 2007 through December 2009. The
plan's overall objectives are: to adopt laws specifically
prohibiting these practices, to determine the scope of the
problem, and to take measures to prevent these practices and
to reintegrate victims into society. Adoption of this plan
demonstrates a strong commitment by the Government of Cote
d'Ivoire to address and eradicate child trafficking and labor
but will not in and of itself satisfy the Harkin-Engel
Protocol. End Summary.

2. (U) The Government of Cote d'Ivoire adopted a National
Plan of Action Against Child Trafficking and Labor in late
September. The plan will run through December 2009. It
states that child labor in Cote d'Ivoire occurs primarily in
the agricultural and domestic labor sectors as well as in the
informal urban economy. The plan notes that there has been
no national study on trafficking and child labor except for a
study of the cocoa industry conducted in 2002. Its
objectives are: to strengthen the legal framework governing
child trafficking and labor, to determine the extent of the
problem, to establish measures to prevent such practices, to
assist the educational system, to adopt a strategy to
reintegrate victims in their families and society, and to
create a mechanism to monitor the situation as well as the
impact of actions taken to combat the problem. The
government will partner with NGOs, civil society, and UNICEF
to carry out the plan, which will cost USD 7.2 million.

3. (U) In order to strengthen the judicial framework, the
plan provides for drafting, adoption, and dissemination of a
law prohibiting trafficking of and dangerous work by children
as well as adoption of the Rights of the Child and Palermo
Conventions. To ascertain the scope of the problem, the
National Institute of Statistics will conduct separate
studies on trafficking of children and child labor. These
will be followed by additional studies of both trafficking
and child labor in the following specific fields: mining,
industry, agriculture, commerce, transport, domestic work,
and the urban economy.

4. (U) The plan provides that a manual will be drafted and
disseminated providing procedures for removing victims from
abusive environments. The scheme also includes rehabilitation
of ten existing shelters and the construction of five new
ones to provide refuge for victims. The victims will receive
professional training and assistance for reinsertion into
society. In locations where the problem of child trafficking
is particularly acute, the government will provide new
schools to help deter trafficking. The last phase of the
program will consist of 4 workshops to evaluate the impact of
the plan's activities.

5. (SBU) Comment: Adoption of the plan indicates the
commitment by the Government of Cote d'Ivoire to address and
eradicate child trafficking and labor. The plan is detailed
and government and civil society actors identified for each
step. The weakest parts of the plan regard victims'
professional training and reinsertion into society. The plan
fails to provide details of how this will be carried out and
its success is uncertain in a country where youth
unemployment is high and the economy sluggish due to the
political crisis. The plan will not in and of itself satisfy
the Harkin-Engel Protocol. However, as the protocol deadline
looms, the effectiveness of efforts such as this one will
come under greater scrutiny.
NESBITT

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