Cablegate: 2007 Tanzania Report On the Worst Forms of Child Labor


DE RUEHDR #1601/01 3531100
R 191100Z DEC 07




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) The Government of Tanzania (GOT) passed a National Strategy
and two new labor laws criminalizing child labor in 2004 and
awareness of the issue continues to increase across the country as
the Tanzanian government continues to partner with non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) on projects to reduce child labor through
activities such as the Timebound Program (TBP). However, child
labor remains a problem in Tanzania, compounded by a weak
educational system, rural-urban migration, and the scourge of
HIV/AIDS. While attempting to cope with child labor directly
through legislation and education, the GOT has also made reducing
poverty the number one priority on its national agenda. END

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor:
2. (U) According to a report from the National Bureau of Statistics
(NBS), an estimated 35.4 percent of children ages 5 to 14 were
working in 2000-2001. New data on child labor was collected in
2005/06, but the NBS has yet to publish an updated Integrated Labor
Force Survey Report since the 2001 report. Post is in contact with
the International Labor Organization (ILO)and the GOT Ministry of
Labor and will report on the most recent figures from the NBS report
as soon as possible.

3. (U) Agriculture remains the largest sector of Tanzania's economy
and children continue to work on tea, coffee, sugar cane, sisal,
cloves, and tobacco farms, and in the production of wheat, corn,
green algae, pyrethrum and rubber. On Zanzibar, children work
primarily in the market place, in fishing, and in some hotels.
Incidences of child labor in Tanzania occur primarily in the
informal sector of the economy, which accounts for over 50 percent
of the economy according to the World Bank. The Ministry of Labor,
Employment and Youth Development, stressed the growing orphan
population from the scourge of HIV/AIDS as an important cause of
child labor, since orphans are often vulnerable to involvement in
exploitative labor.

4. (U) A U.S. based NGO working in Tanzania, Winrock International,
has observed a growing level of awareness across the country about
the criminal nature of child labor. Winrock has noted that
large-scale farms rarely use child labor any longer as employers
have been sensitized to the new 2004 labor laws that criminalize
child labor. The Ministry of Labor and the ILO have noted that
Trade Unions are beginning to provide an important measure of

5. (U) Based on statistics provided by the Ministry of Education and
Vocational Training, the 2007 gross primary enrollment was 114.4
percent and net primary enrollment was 97.3 percent compared to
112.7 and 96.1percent respectively in 2006. The June 2007 Basic
Education Statistics in Tanzania (BEST) Report outlined the
following improvements in the education sector from 2006-2007:

-- Improvement in the teacher to pupil ratio from 1:53 to 1:52;
-- 860 new public schools and 64 non-government private schools;
-- An additional 113,823 children between 5-6 years of age enrolled
for pre-Primary education;

Basic enrolment has increased by 4.8% from 1,316,727 in 2006 to
1,379,291 in 2007. This seems to indicate that as more schools are
built at the village level, parents are inclined to enroll their
children in schools instead of keeping them engaged in child labor.

6. (U) Tanzania's primary schools are crowded as a result of free
Universal Primary Education. The percentage of all primary school
students who continue on to secondary school has risen to 84.3
percent compared to 36.5 percent in the previous year. The
percentage of those going on from primary school to complete their
secondary education is still low but growing.

Legislation and Enforcement:
7. (U) In 2004, the Union Government of Tanzania (GOT) passed the
Employment and Labor Relations Act No.6 and the Labor Institutions
Act No.7, both of which provide for the protection of children from
exploitation in the workplace and prohibit forced of compulsory
labor. The Employment and Labor Relations Act includes a specific
prohibition of forced labor by children. Unlike the previous law,
the new labor laws establish a criminal punishment for employers
that use illegal child labor as well as forced labor. Violators can
be fined an amount not to exceed 5 million shillings (USD 4,382.12),
imprisonment for a term of one year, or both. By law, children
under the age of 18 are prohibited from being employed in mines,
factories, ships or other worksites that the Minister of Labor deems
to be hazardous.

8. (U) The legislative Acts of 2004 became operational in December
2006 and the implementing regulations took effect in March, 2007.
According to Mr. Festo Musee, Child Labor Unit coordinator at the
Ministry of Labor, Employment and Youth Development, the Ministry
has worked diligently in 2005 and 2006 to establish institutions,
such as the Commission for Mediation, which will enable the GOT to
enforce the 2004 labor laws. In May 2006, the GOT formally
reaffirmed its commitment to the USG to fight trafficking in
persons. The GOT has stepped up efforts on the legislative front,
with Ministry of Justice drafting an anti-trafficking in persons
(TIP) bill in 2006. According to the Attorney General's Office, the
legislation is expected to be submitted to Parliament for the first
reading in 2008.

9. (U) Several government agencies have jurisdiction over areas
related to child labor, but primary responsibility for enforcing the
country's child labor laws rests with the Ministry of Labor.
Although the Ministry of Labor reportedly made inspections
throughout the year and issued warnings to violators of child labor
statutes, there were no reported child labor court cases in 2007.
The low number of labor officers and the low salaries officers
receive undermines the enforcement abilities. The Ministry of Labor
is also faced a high level of turn-over among its labor officers.

10. (U) In Zanzibar, which has a separate Ministry of Labor laws
covering the issue of Child Labor, the law prohibits employment of
children under the age of 18 years, depending on the nature of the
work. The Employment Act N.11 of 2005 categorizes child labor
practices as (a) ordinary practices for child labor, and (b) the
worst forms of child labor. The penalties for category (a) offenses
are a fine of 500,000 shillings (USD 350.57) or imprisonment of up
to 6 months. For category (b) offenses, a fine of not less than 3
million shillings (USD 2,629.27) or imprisonment of at least one
year, or both. In 2006, Zanzibar's Ministry of Labor did not
prosecute any cases of child labor.

GOT Policies and Programs:
11. (U) In November 2006, the Union Government's Ministry of Labor
and Ministry of Education began working in partnership with Winrock
International, a U.S. based non-government organization, to
implement a five year project known as TEACH- Tanzanian Educational
Alternatives For Children. TEACH will work in five of Tanzania's
most remote districts to reduce the overall number of children
and/or youth engaged in the worst forms of child labor. The TEACH
project will establish non-formal Primary Feeder schools, Model Farm
schools, and will provide scholarships and student kits for children
to attend government schools. The project will be implemented over
five years with a USD 5 million budget, funded by the U.S.
Department of Labor (USDOL).

12. (U) The GOT has been working with the ILO-IPEC to implement the
USDOL-funded Timebound Program (TBP) to eliminate the worst forms of
child labor in Tanzania by 2010, including child labor in
agriculture, domestic service, mining, fishing, and prostitution.
The Child Labor Unit of the Ministry of Labor is working with
ILO-IPEC under the Tanzanian Government TBP to provide training for
district child labor coordinators and district officials in the
TBP's 11 target districts, to increase their capacity to combat the
worst forms of child labor. According to the ILO, Phase I of the
ILO-IPEC Project of support to the Tanzanian Government TBP was
implemented by August 2006, with completion of a National Strategy
to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor, a monitoring system, and
an awareness campaign launched through the Ministry of Education and
Ministry of Community Development. Phase II, which will involve
expanding Phase I programs at the district level, is expected to be
complete by the end of 2008.

13. (U) In January 2006, a U.S. based NGO known as the Education
Development Center (EDC) handed over learning centers to the
Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, which the EDC had
established in partnership with the Ministry from 2004-2005. The
purpose of the learning centers is to ensure children who are at
risk of entering the worst forms of child labor have access to
basic, quality education.

14. (U) In 2007, weaknesses in the education system, the HIV/AIDS
epidemic, and the high level of poverty in Tanzania, continued to
make Tanzanian children vulnerable to exploitation in the labor
market. However, the level of awareness about child labor appears
to be on the rise in Tanzania, stemming from the efforts of the GOT
and partner NGOs working in the most vulnerable regions across the
country. Tanzania has also made significant strides to improve its
primary education system. Opportunities for secondary education
have also improve with the mass building of new schools, however,
finding well trained teachers remains a major challenge.
Enforcement efforts in Tanzania have been hindered by the lack of
institutional capacity to ensure labor laws become enforceable on a
national scale and the fact that many children are employed in the
informal sector of Tanzania's economy. END COMMENT.

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