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Cablegate: Zimbabwe: Goods Produced with Forced or Exploitive Child

VZCZCXRO0764
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSB #0156/01 0541025
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231023Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0081
INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 17 HARARE 000156

SIPDIS
AF/S FOR BWALCH
DRL FOR NWILETT, MMITTELHAUSER, AND TDANG
EEB FOR BBROOKS-RUBIN
DOL/ILAB FOR LEYLA STROTKAMP
DRL/ILCSR FOR SARAH MORGAN
G/TIP FOR LUIS CDEBACA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PREL PREF PHUM KTIP ZI
SUBJECT: Zimbabwe: Goods Produced With Forced or Exploitive Child
Labor

REF: STATE 131995

1. This cable provides information relevant to the Trafficking
Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005, as
described reftel, by providing details on goods produced in
Zimbabwe with forced labor and exploitive child labor and
government efforts to investigate and eliminate forced and
exploitive child labor. Reports from the government, the
International Labor Organization (ILO), industry, and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that follow labor issues
indicate that the vast majority of child labor in Zimbabwe is not
forced and occurs in a family work setting.

--------------------------------------------- --------
RESPONSES TO TASKING 1/TVPRA:
DIAMONDS AND GOLD
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. The answers below are keyed in response to tasking 1/TVPRA as
posted in paragraph 15 of reftel.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
1A) Good: Diamonds
(NOTE: This section updates information
in post's 2009 response. END NOTE.)
--------------------------------------------- ----------

1B) Type of exploitation found in the production of the good:
Forced labor of both adults and children and exploitative child
labor. Workers are often forced to dig for or sort diamonds under
threat of armed soldiers who organize workers into "syndicates."
The workers receive a portion of the diamonds that they mine and
are forced to turn over a larger portion to the soldiers. Illegal
miners who refuse to work for soldiers' syndicates have been shot,
injured, and killed for refusing to work. Since approximately
November 2009, two companies have been working in Chiadzwa, Mbada
Diamond Mining Company and Canadile Miners. There are reports that
both companies have forced their employees to work extended hours,
including weekends, while refusing to pay overtime. Mbada and
Canadile reportedly call on soldiers to "discipline" their
employees with beatings when they are suspected of stealing or do
not meet their work duties.

1C) Sources of information and years: Since late 2008 numerous
credible NGOs, local chiefs, and villagers surrounding the Marange
(also known as Chiadzwa) diamond field in eastern Zimbabwe have
reported that both forced labor and exploitative child labor occur
in Marange. A local NGO, the Centre for Research and Development
(CRD) has issued numerous press releases and reports describing
labor violations in Marange. Despite the entrance of Mbada and
Canadile in Chiadzwa, there are continued credible reports that
soldiers have maintained syndicates and are continuing to force
informal miners to dig in addition to threatening employees of
Mbada and Canadile. A number of news articles and human rights
reports on Marange diamonds are available online at:
http://www.diamonds.net/Zimbabwe/. International NGOs including
Partnership Africa Canada and Human Rights Watch have conducted
independent investigations, verifying these claims. PAC's report
"Zimbabwe, Diamonds and the Wrong Side of History" is available
online at:
http://www.pacweb.org/e/images/stories/docume nts/18_zimbabwe-diamon
ds_march09-eng.pdf. In June 2009 Human Rights Watch released a
report, "Diamonds in the Rough: Human Rights Abuses in the Marange
Diamond Fields of Zimbabwe," which is available online at:
http://www.hrw.org/node/83960. On November 24, 2009 the RapNet
diamond trading network announced it was banning diamonds from
Marange, in part due to ongoing human rights violations:
http://www.diamonds.net/PressReleases/PressRe lease.aspx?ArticleID=2
8763. A December 2009 article in Fast Company Magazine included an
extensive article describing abuses in Marange and is consistent
with reports we have received from other sources in Zimbabwe:
http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/141/speci al-report-bloody-shame
.html.

1D) Narrative: Between late 2006 and approximately November 2009,
villagers and children from communities surrounding the alluvial
diamond field near Marange in Manicaland abandoned jobs and school
and engaged in small-scale diamond mining, primarily by digging.
Up until late 2008, this mining was not forced or exploitive.
Children and adults alike dug and sold diamonds to local
syndicates.

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Around October 2008, security forces moved in to allegedly "clean
up" the diamond field and expel the illegal miners. NGOs estimate
that between October and December at least 200 people were killed
in this operation; some bodies were taken to the morgue in nearby
Mutare and others were buried in mass and individual graves near
the diamond fields. During the take-over by security forces,
soldiers and police formed "syndicates" of illegal diggers.
According to reports, these syndicates are formed mostly by men,
but they also include children -- mostly boys -- as young as 11,
who come to Marange of their own will to dig. Schools in the
surrounding area are reportedly empty, giving credence to the
claims that children prefer mining to school. Forced and
exploitive labor occurs when these security forces force the miners
to dig until meeting a quota or beat miners severely if they are
suspected of stealing or if they are not able to meet the quota.
Soldiers also reportedly fire "warning shots" to force the miners,
including children, to dig faster. Some workers have fled the area
on foot, walking many miles to escape the area. Soldiers
reportedly allow the diggers to keep lower-grade industrial
diamonds while taking the higher-grade, gem-quality diamonds for
themselves. In 2008 NGOs reported that security forces had rounded
up people from the streets, taken them to Marange, and forced them
to dig under armed guard; however, these reports did not continue
in 2009.

In November 2009, two recently formed companies, Mbada Diamond
Mining and Canadile Miners, began digging in the area, with the
approval of the Zimbabwean government. According to NGO reports,
soldiers continue to form syndicates of local informal miners who
are forced to work under armed guard and under threat of violence
in unfenced areas near the Canadile and Mbada sites. In addition,
Mbada and Canadile have reportedly forced employees to work
overtime without compensation and have not established adequate
sanitation facilities (e.g. toilets and running water) at the
sites.

There have also been consistent reports about women and girls as
young as 14 who have been recruited or trafficked to the Marange
area to work as prostitutes for the miners and soldiers. Because
access to the site is limited, we are unsure how many women and
girls might be working there as prostitutes.

Because the military has sealed off all roads leading to the area
and many people fear for their lives if they disclose activities
occurring in Marange, accurate information on the labor situation
remains difficult to obtain and nearly impossible to confirm. Four
reliable local NGOs have provided this information verbally and two
have provided written reports. The Mutare-based NGO the Centre for
Research and Development (CRD) has researched and documented human
rights and labor rights abuses at the site and issued numerous
press releases on Chiadzwa since early 2009. Other local NGOs
gathering this data prefer to remain anonymous for their own
safety.

1E) Prevalence: The Marange/Chiadzwa diamond field is one of three
diamond mining sites in Zimbabwe and is the only site where forced
labor and exploitive child labor is believed to exist. There are
two other diamond mines in Zimbabwe -- Murowa Mine and River Ranch
Mine. Murowa Mine is owned by Murowa Diamonds, a member of the Rio
Tinto Group of Companies. River Ranch is the subject of a property
dispute; however, the dispute has not led to the lawless situation
experienced in Marange/Chiadzwa.

1F) Host government, industry, or NGO efforts specifically designed
to combat forced labor of adults or children in production of
goods: The inclusive government claims to have regained control of
the area and to have peacefully eliminated all illegal activity,
including forced and child labor. However, Post continues to
receive reports that security forces are beating illegal diamond
diggers, sometimes fatally. We do not know to what extent children
have been affected or to what extent children and women are being
exploited, particularly as victims of rape.

---------------------
1A) Good: Gold
---------------------

1B) Type of exploitation found in the production of the good:
Exploitative child labor (likely to harm the health, safety, or
morals of children).

1C) Sources of information and years: As reported in 2009, the

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local NGO that follows child labor, Coalition Against Child Labor
in Zimbabwe (CACLAZ), verbally reported continued gold panning and
mining by children. In 2009, CACLAZ was able to visit sites and
gather additional documentation of child labor that was unavailable
to us in the report submitted by post in April 2009.

1D) Narrative: Children ages 12-16, mostly boys, work on
small-scale gold panning and mining. Near Shurugwi, in Midlands
Province, boys often dig for gold in abandoned commercial gold
mines at considerable risk to their safety. In other areas,
principally near Kwekwe, Bindura, and Mazowe, boys are involved in
alluvial gold panning. In both situations, boys work for their
parents, another adult in the community or on their own to raise
additional funds for their families. Children may also help during
the chemical processing of gold, which often includes cyanide
and/or mercury. However, there is limited public information on
child labor involving use of dangerous chemicals in gold mining. In
February 2009, The Guardian newspaper produced a short video
documenting informal gold panning in Zimbabwe, including teenagers
panning in lieu of attending school:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2009/fe b/11/zimbabwe-gold-pan
ning-starvation-food.

1E) Prevalence: Post does not have reports of forced labor in
larger-scale commercial gold mines.


1F) Efforts to combat use of children in production of goods:
Because the scale of informal gold mining is unknown and government
resources are limited, the government has not demonstrated an
effort to combat the use of children in informal gold mining.

--------------------------------------------- ---

RESPONSES TO TASKING 2/TDA

--------------------------------------------- ---

3. Per reftel, please find below Post's response to questions
regarding the worst forms of child labor in Zimbabwe. Responses are
keyed in reference to questions posed in paragraph 21.

--------------------------------------------- -------

2A) Prevalence and sectoral distribution

of exploitive child labor

--------------------------------------------- -------

1) In addition to production of goods, as listed above and in our
2009 submission, children are also engaged in exploitive labor as
household domestics, street vending, and -- to a limited extent --
selling illegal drugs. Accurate statistics on the sectors in which
children work and goods and activities that result from child labor
remain difficult to obtain. NGOs report that HIV/AIDS orphans, one
in four children in Zimbabwe, are particularly vulnerable. 90
percent of these children are taken in by their extended family,
but the family often foregoes paying their school fees in favor of
economic activity. Children are involved primarily in agriculture,
mining, domestic labor, and the informal economy. Children are
engaged in: all aspects of tobacco farming from planting to
preparation of leaves for sale; in the forestry regions of the
eastern highlands, moving and cutting logs; picking and sorting tea
and coffee on plantations and small farms; work on cotton farms;
and work as informal miners. In cities, Harare in particular,
children commonly work as street vendors and guarding cars.
Throughout the country, children -- girls in particular -- work as
domestics, often for family members. Information on the extent to
which child labor occurred in the production of commercial products
was not available, but most believe it is limited.

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2) There are no recent publicly available child labor statistics.
A child labor survey conducted in October 2008 in a joint effort by
the Ministry of Labor, the International Labor Organization,
UNICEF, IOM, and UNESCO has not yet been publicly released.

--------------------------------------------- ---

2B) Laws and regulations proscribing

the worst forms of child labor

--------------------------------------------- ---

1) No new laws were passed during the reporting period.

2) Civil society leaders do not believe the regulatory framework is
adequate to combat exploitive child labor. Specifically, they say
that vague language in the Labor Act leaves children vulnerable to
exploitive labor and fails to clearly define what is acceptable for
children between 13 and 15 versus children between 15 and 18. The
criminal code provides adequate penalties to punish and deter
violations; however, the government's lack of resources severely
impedes its ability to investigate cases and enforce child labor
laws. Child labor is punishable by a fine, two years' imprisonment,
or both. Child labor is addressed under the Labor Act, which
declares a child between the ages of 13 and 15 can work as an
apprentice or if the work is an integral part of (or in conjunction
with) "a course of training or technical or vocational education."
It is also addressed in the Children's Act which provides for the
protection, welfare, and supervision of children; the act was
amended to take into consideration the worst forms of child labor
and makes it an offense to exploit or abuse children in the process
of involvement in child work. The status of children between 15
and 18 years of age is not directly addressed, but 15 years of age
is still the minimum for light work, work other than
apprenticeship, or work associated with vocational education.

-- The law prohibits compulsory or forced labor, including by
children, but provides exceptions in cases where such labor is
required from a member of a disciplined force, the national youth
service, or parents.

-- The Labor Act further states that no person under 18 shall
perform any work likely to jeopardize that person's health, safety,
or morals.

-- The constitution and law prohibit forced or compulsory labor,
including by children, with the exception of working for parents or
the national youth service; however, there were reports that such
practices occurred. No law specifically prohibits trafficking in
persons. However, the law does prohibit various types of sexual
exploitation, including the transportation of individuals across
the border for sexual purposes and procuring individuals for
prostitution either inside Zimbabwe or internationally. It is a
crime under the Criminal Code to transport persons across the
border for sex. Traffickers also can be prosecuted under other
legislation such as immigration and abduction laws.

-- Forced labor is punishable by a fine, two years' imprisonment,
or both. The law provides penalties of a fine and up to two years
of imprisonment for those convicted of procuring individuals for
prostitution, and it provides a stronger penalty of up to 10 years
of imprisonment in cases involving the procurement of children
under 10.

-- Per the National Service Act, the minimum age for recruitment

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for national or military service is 18 years of age. The minimum
age for joining the national youth service is 16 years of age. In
2003 the government announced its intention to make national
service compulsory for all students, starting in primary school,
but there were no reports that the government implemented this
requirement.

-- On October 1, 2007, the Ministry of Public Service, Labor, and
Social Welfare signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the
International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) to collaborate on a two-phased program on Elimination of
the Worst Forms of Child Labor. The program is expected to address
child labor issues and the implementation of ILO Convention 182,
including identifying the worst forms of child labor and
implementing activities pertaining to the prevention of child labor
and protection of working children. The first phase of the project
to define the worst forms of child labor in the Zimbabwe context
was expected to start in December 2007, with the results expected
in early 2008. However, at the end of 2009, the results of the
report were not yet publicly available. Although these results
were expected to be available by June 2009, the report remains
unpublished for unclear reasons. These results of the evaluation
are to be used to develop an action plan in Phase 2.

--------------------------------------------- ----------

2C, Section I: Institutions and mechanisms

for enforcement: hazardous child labor

--------------------------------------------- ----------

1) What agency or agencies was/were responsible for enforcement of
laws relating to hazardous child labor?

The Ministry of Labor's Department of Social Welfare is responsible
for enforcement of labor laws and the Ministry of Justice, Legal,
and Parliamentary Affairs oversees the labor courts. The Zimbabwe
Republic Police are responsible for criminal law enforcement.

2) If multiple agencies were responsible for enforcement, were
there mechanisms for exchanging information? Assess their
effectiveness.

Ministries appear to be relatively ineffective with exchanging
information with regards to hazardous child labor. Civil society
organizations were unaware of cooperation between the ministries.
The government, across all law enforcement and regulatory agencies,
lacks the necessary resources to adequately conduct inspections and
investigations and to prosecute violations of child labor laws.

3) Did the country maintain a mechanism for making complaints about
hazardous child labor violations? If so, how many complaints were
received in the reporting period?

There are no formalized mechanisms for making complaints about
hazardous child labor. If someone wanted to complain, he or she
would have to seek a meeting with an official in the Ministry of
Labor. The Ministry did not keep detailed records of child labor
complaints.

4) What amount of funding was provided to agencies responsible for

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inspections? Was this amount adequate? Did inspectors have
sufficient office facilities, transportation, fuel, and other
necessities to carry out inspections?

The 2009 budget for the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare was
USD 39.2 million, of which just USD 446,000 was devoted to labor.
The vast majority of the budget was spent on social welfare
programs. Within labor, the government devoted a total of USD
124,000 to wages. It was not clear how much, if any, was dedicated
to child labor. The government did not devote adequate resources
to carry out inspections of exploitive child labor.

5) How many inspectors did the government employ? Was the number
of inspectors adequate?

Unfortunately we were unable to obtain a meeting with the Ministry
of Labor and Social Welfare officials that handle child labor
issues. Consequently, we were unable to obtain detailed
information on child labor inspections, investigations, or
prosecutions. NGOs and union officials, however, told us that they
are unaware of any labor investigations being conducted in recent
years. By way of comparison, one union official told us that there
are only two safety inspectors in all of Zimbabwe. According to
NGOs, unions, and international organizations based in Harare,
there are no police, law enforcement officials, or inspectors
dedicated to specifically address exploitive child labor. The
Coalition Against Child Labor in Zimbabwe (CACLAZ) is advocating
that the government allocate law enforcement resources specifically
to address child labor.

6) How many inspections involving child labor were carried out?

We are unaware of any investigations or arrests of persons for
child labor-related violations.

7) How many children were removed/assisted as a result of
inspections? Were these children actually provided or referred for
services as a result?

We are unaware of any children who were removed or assisted as a
result of inspections of hazardous child labor.

8) How many child labor cases or prosecutions were opened?

We are unaware of any child labor cases or prosecutions for
hazardous child labor.

9) How many child labor cases were closed or resolved?

We are unaware of any child labor cases that were closed or
resolved.

10) How many violations were found or "convictions" reached?

We are unaware of any violations or convictions of exploitive child
labor.

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11) What is the average length of time it took to resolve child
labor cases?

Because we could not meet with government officials, we do not have
information regarding the average length of time it took to resolve
child labor cases.

12) In cases in which violations were found, were penalties
actually applied, either through fines paid or jail sentences
served? Did such sentences meet penalties established in the law?

Unknown.

13) Did the experience regarding questions 7 through 10 reflect a
commitment to combat hazardous child labor?

Unfortunately, the government does not demonstrate significant
commitment to combat hazardous child labor. However, there is the
will within the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare to dedicate
more time and attention to the issue.

14) Did government offer any training for investigators or others
responsible for enforcement? If so, what (if any) impact have
these trainings had?

No, government did not have the staff or capacity to provide
investigators with training specific for either hazardous or forced
child labor. According to the ILO, the Ministry of Labor has
requested additional training specifically regarding child labor
for its investigators and labor court officials. Funding to
provide such training has not yet been found.

--------------------------------------------- -----------

2C, Section II: Institutions and mechanisms

for enforcement: exploitive child labor

--------------------------------------------- -----------

1) What agency or agencies was/were responsible for enforcement of
laws relating to exploitive child labor?

The Ministry of Labor's Department of Social Welfare is responsible
for enforcement of labor laws and the Ministry of Justice, Legal,
and Parliamentary Affairs oversees the labor courts. The Zimbabwe
Republic Police are responsible for criminal law enforcement.

2) If multiple agencies were responsible for enforcement, were
there mechanisms for exchanging information? Assess their
effectiveness.

Ministries appear to be relatively ineffective with exchanging
information with regards to exploitive child labor. Civil society
organizations were unaware of tangible signs of cooperation between

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the ministries aside from a steering committee. The government,
across all law enforcement and regulatory agencies, lacks the
necessary resources to adequately conduct inspections and
investigations and to prosecute violations of child labor laws.

3) Did the country maintain a mechanism for making complaints about
exploitive child labor violations? If so, how many complaints were
received in the reporting period?

There are no formalized mechanisms for making complaints about
exploitive child labor. If someone wanted to complain, he or she
would have to seek a meeting with an official in the Ministry of
Labor. The Ministry did not keep detailed records of child labor
complaints separately from other labor complaints.

4) What amount of funding was provided to agencies responsible for
inspections? Was this amount adequate? Did inspectors have
sufficient office facilities, transportation, fuel, and other
necessities to carry out inspections?

See the response to number 4 in question 2C, Section I.

5) How many inspectors did the government employ? Was the number
of inspectors adequate?

See the response to number 5 in question 2C, Section I.

6) How many inspections involving child labor were carried out?

See the response to number 6 in question 2C, Section I.

7) How many children were removed/assisted as a result of
inspections? Were these children actually provided or referred for
services as a result?

See the response to number 7 in question 2C, Section I.

8) How many child labor cases or prosecutions were opened?

See the response to number 8 in question 2C, Section I.

9) How many child labor cases were closed or resolved?

See the response to number 9 in question 2C, Section I.

10) How many violations were found or "convictions" reached?

See the response to number 10 in question 2C, Section I.

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11) What is the average length of time it took to resolve child
labor cases?

See the response to number 11 in question 2C, Section I.

12) In cases in which violations were found, were penalties
actually applied, either through fines paid or jail sentences
served? Did such sentences meet penalties established in the law?

Not applicable.

13) Did the experience regarding questions 7 through 10 reflect a
commitment to combat exploitive child labor?

The government has a steering committee regarding child labor that
is led by the Ministry of Labor. Unfortunately, due to a
widespread lack of government resources, the steering committee has
not been able to expand its efforts beyond the 2008 child labor
report that is still pending publication. Until the report is made
public and a broader audience can scrutinize the results, it is
unlikely that the government will be able to demonstrate action
against exploitive child labor.

14) Did government offer any training for investigators or others
responsible for enforcement? If so, what (if any) impact have
these trainings had?

No, government did not have the staff or capacity to provide
investigators with training specific for either hazardous or forced
child labor.

--------------------------------------------- ----------------

2D, Section I: Institutional Mechanisms

for Effective Enforcement of Child Trafficking

--------------------------------------------- ----------------

1) Did the country have agencies or personnel dedicated to
enforcement of child trafficking? How many investigators/social
workers/dedicated police officers did the government employ to
conduct investigations? If there were no dedicated agencies or
personnel, provide an estimate for the number of people who were
responsible for such investigations. Was the number of
investigators adequate?

Because child trafficking is not a crime, there are no
investigators, social workers, or police officers dedicated to
investigating child trafficking.

2) How much funding was provided to agencies responsible for
investigating child trafficking? Was this amount adequate? Did
investigators have sufficient office facilities, transportation,
fuel, and other necessities to carry out investigations?

Because child trafficking is not a crime, there are no funds

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dedicated to investigate child trafficking.

3) Did the country maintain a hotline or other mechanism for
reporting child trafficking? If so, how many complaints were
received in the reporting period?

The government does not maintain a hotline for reports of child
trafficking, CSEC, or children in illicit activities. A local NGO,
Oasis Zimbabwe, manages an anti-trafficking hotline that is funded
by IOM. Unfortunately, repeated problems with the phone line
during the year prevented the hotline from functioning. Another
NGO, Childline, launched a free 24-hour hotline in November 2009.
Childline is a well-established NGO throughout Zimbabwe and is
mostly known for responding to cases of child abuse, although
callers could report other issues. Childline was unable to provide
us with statistics of calls received in 2009. Unfortunately,
Childline's hotline has also experienced problems in its first few
months of operation.

4) How many investigations were opened in regard to child
trafficking?

Because child trafficking is not a crime under Zimbabwean law,
there were no investigations opened in regard to child trafficking.

5) How many children were rescued as a result?

None.

6) How many child trafficking arrests were made or other kinds of
prosecutions carried out?

None, because child trafficking is not a crime under Zimbabwean
law.

7) How many child trafficking cases were closed or resolved?

None, because child trafficking is not a crime under Zimbabwean
law.

8) How many child trafficking convictions?

None, because child trafficking is not a crime under Zimbabwean
law.

9) Did sentences imposed meet standards established in the legal
framework?

Not applicable.

10) Were sentences imposed actually served?

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Not applicable.

11) What is the average length of time it takes to resolve cases of
child trafficking?

Not applicable.

12) Did the government offer any training for investigators or
others responsible for enforcement of child trafficking?

Government officials attended trainings on trafficking sponsored
and conducted by the International Office for Migration. The
government did not offer its own training on trafficking, primarily
because of a lack of capacity and a lack of legal mandate.
Government officials, however, agree that child trafficking is an
issue and that they need more training and sensitization on the
issue.

13) If the country experienced armed conflict during the reporting
period or in the recent past involving use of child soldiers, what
actions were taken to penalize those responsible?

During the 2008 elections, groups of "ZANU-PF youths" formed
militias that participated widely in violence, torture, and other
human rights abuses. These groups were informal and there are no
known records of members or their ages. While some community
members reported to NGOs in numerous communities across Zimbabwe
that they knew members of the militia who were under 18, there is
no documentary evidence of this. Since the inclusive government
was formed in February 2009, these youth militias have been
relatively inactive.

--------------------------------------------- ---------

2D, Section II: Institutional Mechanisms

for Effective Enforcement of Commercial

Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)

--------------------------------------------- ---------

1) Did the country have agencies or personnel dedicated to
enforcement of CSEC? How many investigators/social
workers/dedicated police officers did the government employ to
conduct investigations? If there were no dedicated agencies or
personnel, provide an estimate for the number of people who were
responsible for such investigations. Was the number of
investigators adequate?

There were no officers specifically designated for enforcement of
CSEC. Police were not able to provide an estimate of how many
investigators were responsible for such investigations.

2) How much funding was provided to agencies responsible for
investigating child CSEC? Was this amount adequate? Did
investigators have sufficient office facilities, transportation,
fuel, and other necessities to carry out investigations?

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No funding was dedicated to investigations of CSEC. According to
civil society organizations that operate in border towns such as
Beitbridge, there is "rampant" child prostitution involving girls
as young as 10 in communities. Police are reportedly aware that
such prostitution rings and brothels that are exploiting children
exist but have not made appropriate arrests or investigations.

3) Did the country maintain a hotline or other mechanism for
reporting CSEC? If so, how many complaints were received in the
reporting period?

The government does not maintain a hotline for reports of child
trafficking, CSEC, or children in illicit activities. The NGO,
Childline, launched a free 24-hour hotline in November 2009.
Childline is a well-established NGO throughout Zimbabwe and is
mostly known for responding to cases of child abuse, although
callers could report other issues. Childline was unable to provide
us with statistics of calls received in 2009. Unfortunately,
Childline's hotline experienced problems in its first few months of
operation.

4) How many investigations were opened in regard to CSEC?

Post could not find any evidence of cases opened in regard to CSEC.

5) How many children were rescued as a result?

None.

6) How many CSEC arrests were made or other kinds of prosecutions
carried out?

Post could not find any evidence of CSEC arrests of prosecutions.

7) How many CSEC cases were closed or resolved?

Post could not find any evidence of CSEC cases closed or resolved.

8) How many CSEC convictions?

Post could not find any evidence of any CSEC convictions

9) Did sentences imposed meet standards established in the legal
framework?

Not applicable

10) Were sentences imposed actually served?

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Not applicable.

11) What is the average length of time it takes to resolve cases of
CSEC?

Unknown.

12) Did the government offer any training for investigators or
others responsible for enforcement of CSEC?

Government officials attended trainings on trafficking sponsored
and conducted by the International Office for Migration. The
government did not offer its own training on CSEC, primarily
because of a pervasive belief that CSEC is not a problem in
Zimbabwe. NGOs have told us of isolated cases of children,
particularly orphans, working in prostitution in urban areas and
near some border crossings. However, information remains limited.
Child prostitution is discussed in the Ministry of Labor's 2008
report and is clearly an area the government knows needs to be
addressed.

13) If the country experienced armed conflict during the reporting
period or in the recent past involving use of child soldiers, what
actions were taken to penalize those responsible?

See 2D, Section I, question 13.

--------------------------------------------- ---------

2D, Section III: Institutional Mechanisms

for Effective Enforcement of Use of

Children in Illicit Activities

--------------------------------------------- ---------

1) Did the country have agencies or personnel dedicated to
enforcement of use of children in illicit activities? How many
investigators/social workers/dedicated police officers did the
government employ to conduct investigations? If there were no
dedicated agencies or personnel, provide an estimate for the number
of people who were responsible for such investigations. Was the
number of investigators adequate?

There are no investigators, social workers, or police officers
dedicated specifically to investigate use of children in illicit
activities. Unpublished research data suggests that most children
involved in illicit activities (mostly selling marijuana and other
volatile substances, such as glue) are orphans who are living on
the streets. Children living on the streets are often treated as a
nuisance rather than victims.

2) How much funding was provided to agencies responsible for
investigating use of children in illicit activities? Was this
amount adequate? Did investigators have sufficient office
facilities, transportation, fuel, and other necessities to carry
out investigations?

There were no funds dedicated specifically to investigate use of

HARARE 00000156 014 OF 017


children in illicit activities.

3) Did the country maintain a hotline or other mechanism for
reporting use of children in illicit activities? If so, how many
complaints were received in the reporting period?

The government does not maintain a hotline for reports of child
trafficking, CSEC, or children in illicit activities. A local NGO,
Childline, launched a free 24-hour hotline in November 2009.
Childline is a well-established NGO throughout Zimbabwe and is
mostly known for responding to cases of child abuse, although
callers could report other issues. Childline was unable to provide
us with statistics of calls received in 2009. Unfortunately,
Childline's hotline experienced problems in its first few months of
operation.

4) How many investigations were opened in regard to use of children
in illicit activities?

Post could not find any evidence of investigations opened of use of
children in illicit activities.

5) How many children were rescued as a result?

None.

6) How many use of children in illicit activities arrests were made
or other kinds of prosecutions carried out?

Post could not find any evidence of arrests or prosecutions of use
of children in illicit activities.

7) How many use of children in illicit activities cases were closed
or resolved?

Post could not find any evidence of cases closed or resolved of use
of children in illicit activities.

8) How many use of children in illicit activities convictions?

Post could not find any evidence of convictions of use of children
in illicit activities.

9) Did sentences imposed meet standards established in the legal
framework?

Not applicable.

10) Were sentences imposed actually served?

HARARE 00000156 015 OF 017


Not applicable.

11) What is the average length of time it takes to resolve cases of
use of children in illicit activities?

Not applicable.

12) Did the government offer any training for investigators or
others responsible for enforcement of use of children in illicit
activities?

Government officials attended trainings on trafficking sponsored
and conducted by the International Office for Migration. The
government did not offer its own training on use of children in
illicit activities, primarily because of a lack of resources
coupled with a pervasive belief that it is not a problem in
Zimbabwe. NGOs have told us of isolated cases of children,
particularly orphans, living on the streets in urban areas and near
some border crossings where they are involved in gambling and
selling drugs. However, information remains limited. Children
selling drugs, primarily marijuana, is discussed in the Ministry of
Labor's 2008 report and is clearly an area the government knows
needs to be addressed.

13) If the country experienced armed conflict during the reporting
period or in the recent past involving use of child soldiers, what
actions were taken to penalize those responsible?

See 2D, Section I, question 13.

--------------------------------------------- --------

2E) Government Policies on Child Labor

--------------------------------------------- --------

1) Despite government intentions to establish an action plan for
the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in early 2008,
the results of the comprehensive survey to drive the plan were
still not public in February 2010. However, a steering committee
on child labor that included representatives from the Ministries of
Labor, Home Affairs (police), Justice, and Education was in the
process of leading the report through the Government of Zimbabwe
(GOZ) clearance process. The Minister of Labor, Paurina Mpariwa,
has expressed a strong interest in addressing child labor and in
seeking donor assistance to improve the capacity of Ministry of
Labor officials to investigate and stop child labor.

2) The government does incorporate child labor specifically as an
issue to be addressed in poverty reduction, educational, or other
social policies and programs. For instance, the Zimbabwe United
Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF) 2007-2011,
released in 2006, includes child labor as a specific indicator in
improving retention rates at all levels of the education system.
The framework was formulated by the government and the United
Nations Country Team as a strategic-planning instrument that
identifies national priorities for the GOZ. The planning process
focused on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A copy of the
framework can be found at:
http://www.undp.org.zw/images/stories/Docs/ZU NDAF.pdf.

3) Because of ongoing economic hardship, the government has not

HARARE 00000156 016 OF 017


allocated adequate funds towards implementation of its child labor
reduction policy. Local NGOs report that the government has not
adequately prioritized child protection issues and social services
in favor of other priorities like defense and international travel
for government officials.

4) The government provided non-monetary support to child labor
plans, particularly in the form of the inter-ministerial steering
committee and requests for capacity building from ILO to improve
the ability of government officials to enforce child labor
legislation. Zimbabwe has also ratified international conventions
on child labor.

5) Unions and NGOs report that child labor remains problematic and
that minimal progress was made toward eliminating the worst forms
of child labor in the past year. The government's specific effort
to address the problem of the worst forms of child labor is focused
on a collaborative two-phased program. Given that the survey
results have still not been released, no concrete steps have been
taken to develop or implement an action plan. Without additional
resources and assistance, it is unlikely that the government will
be able to demonstrate significant and effective progress towards
eliminating exploitive child labor.

6) Government officials from the Ministries of Labor, Justice,
Education, and Home Affairs, as well as the police (ZRP),
participated in the government's inter-ministerial steering
committee on child labor. The committee continued to meet on a
regular basis, although its effectiveness was limited.

7) The government has not signed bilateral, regional, or
international agreements to combat human trafficking.

------------------------------------------

2F) Social Programs to

Eliminate or Prevent Child Labor

------------------------------------------

1) The government did not implement any programs specifically to
address the worst forms of child labor. However, there is a draft
program that the government would like help in implementing. After
the child labor survey is released, the government plans to seek
assistance towards addressing child labor, most of which occurs to
supplement household incomes.

2) After years of collapse, including a 2008 school year which was
a complete loss in public education, school attendance and
reliability improved dramatically in 2009. As the government
continues to adjust to a budget in U.S. dollars, social programs
remain inadequately funded, and there are no specific
government-run programs that consciously address mitigation of
child labor. Donor-funded school feeding programs, enhancements to
education, and other economic improvements likely served to reduce
child labor during 2009, but there was no concrete data.

3) The government did not provide funding for the programs
described in question 2E-2.

4) Yes, the government allowed donors to conduct school feeding
programs and to address poverty reduction in communities.

HARARE 00000156 017 OF 017


------------------------------

2G) Continual Progress

------------------------------


1) In the current inclusive government, different divisions have
different levels of commitment to and interest in combating child
labor. Within the police and law enforcement, we detect a belief
that human trafficking, child labor, and exploitation of children
are not major problems in Zimbabwe. Officers are often quick to
point the finger to such abuses in other countries, like South
Africa, without critically examining if there is a problem
domestically. With regard to trafficking, because there is no law,
there are no cases, so it is easy for officers to claim that it is
not a problem. Documentation of crime statistics is a serious
problem within law enforcement in Zimbabwe, as most crimes are
recorded on paper and little data is entered into computer
databases. This lack of data helps perpetuate the belief that these
activities don't exist or are not problematic. Other ministries,
such as Labor and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Education,
have demonstrated a greater concern for and awareness of child
labor and trafficking as problems. However, none of the ministries
have adequate resources to take on these issues.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSW) has demonstrated a
commitment to addressing child labor. Notably, a MLSW staffer
recently spent a year on detail to the local International Labor
Organization (ILO) office in Harare where she focused on child
labor. She is now working again at the MLSW. Her detail at ILO
was an intentional effort to build her capacity to deal with child
labor issues. While additional efforts are needed, it is an
important positive sign that the MLSW is aware of the need to take
on child labor in a more comprehensive fashion. There is further
opportunity for progress when the child labor survey is released
and the Ministry is able to seek additional resources from donors
to take on specific aspects of child labor in Zimbabwe.
Dhanani

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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