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Cablegate: Goc Response to Tvpra List of Goods Produced With

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #3000/01 2601948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171948Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0682
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 9161
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2933
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 0108
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 4380
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 0106
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAWJC/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS BOGOTA 003000

SIPDIS

USTR FOR EISSENSTAT AND HARMAN; DOL FOR STROTKAMP, ZOLLNER
AND QUINTANA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EAID ETRD PGOV PREL PTER USTR CO
SUBJECT: GOC RESPONSE TO TVPRA LIST OF GOODS PRODUCED WITH
CHILD LABOR

REF: STATE 92560

SUMMARY
--------
1. (U) Post delivered reftel demarche to GOC officials on
September 9 concerning the release of the U.S. Department of
Labor's (DOL) "List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or
Forced Labor." Only the Ministry of Social Protection (MPS)
responded to the demarche, providing the embassy with a
detailed report enumerating GOC advances on child labor.
While the GOC recognizes that more work needs to be done,
Colombian authorities believe they have made considerable
progress in combating child labor. End Summary.

DEMARCHE RECIPIENTS
-------------------
2. (U) EmbOffs demarched the Ministries of Foreign Affairs,
Labor, Trade, Agriculture, Mines and Energy, Finance, the
Colombian Institute of Geology and Mines, and the
Presidential Program on Human Rights. EconOffs also
discussed the report with the private sector and major
industry associations.
RESPONSE: GOC TAKING ACTION AGAINST CHILD LABOR
--------------------------------------------- --
3. (U) The MPS took the lead in responding with a report on
recent GOC advances in combating child labor (forwarded to
WHA, DRL, and DOL/ELAB). Legislative actions include
ratification of the ILO Minimum Age Convention (Convention
138) in February, 2001, and the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Convention (Convention 182) in January, 2005. The GOC also
incorporated a "List of Prohibited Jobs" for minors into MPS
Resolution 1677 of 2008, which specifically prohibits minors
from working in certain activities, including those cited in
the DOL list: clay bricks, coca, coffee, mining (coal,
emeralds, and gold), pornography, and sugar cane. Resolution
1677 is viewable at:
http://www.minproteccionsocial.gov.co/VBeCont ent/
library/documents/DocNewsNo17429DocumentNo689 3.PDF.

4. (U) The MPS report highlights GOC,s "National Strategy
for the Prevention and Eradication of the Worst Forms of
Child Labor and the Protection of Young Workers." Released
in February 2008, it aims to reduce the percentage of
children and adolescents ages 10 to 17 in the economically
active population to 5% (from a base measure of 6.5% in 2004)
by 2010, and to 2.5% by 2019. The GOC has invested $7
billion over the last two years to guarantee and reinforce
the rights of at-risk children and adolescents. The national
strategy is viewable at:
http://www.minproteccionsocial.gov.co/vbecont ent/
VerImp.asp?ID=17113&IDCompany=3.

5. (U) The MPS notes that an inter-institutional "Committee
for the Eradication of Child Labor" is implementing the
national strategy. Members include the MPS, the Ministry of
Education, the Colombian Family Welfare Institute, the
Department of National Planning (DNP), private sector groups,
and NGOs. Its objectives are to develop measurement and
monitoring tools; inform public policy; build institutional
capacity; transform cultural perceptions; and intervene
directly in cases of the worst forms of child labor. In 2009
the committee has assisted 73,637 Colombian children and
adolescents.

6. (U) The Office of the Attorney General (Fiscalia) has also
designed and begun to implement a program for organizing and
educating provincial and municipal authorities to assist in
preventing and ending child labor.

RAISING AWARENESS
-----------------
7. (U) The GOC has launched a public awareness campaign
designed to change cultural practices among the principal
actors (parents, teachers, and employers) involved in child
labor. The campaign consists of periodic television
commercials broadcast by the National Commission of
Television, and the distribution of pedagogical tools for

teachers.

POLLS SHOW DECLINING INCIDENCE
------------------------------
8. (U) Since 2001, the GOC has included a child labor module
in its biennial household surveys to help measure the extent
of the problem. The latest three polls show a declining
incidence of child labor as reported by Colombian households:
12.8% (2003), 10.4% (2005), and 8.9% (2007). Still, the GOC
recognizes that a significant number of children continue to
be linked to prohibited economic activity, and it remains
pledged to further reducing these incidences.

Brownfield

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