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Cablegate: Bolivia - Response to Tda Report On Worst Forms of Child

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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
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RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
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RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0054
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LA PAZ 000202

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - ADDRESEE ADDED

SIPDIS
DOL/ILAB FOR LEYLA STROTKAMP, RACHEL RIGBY AND TINA MCCARTER,
STATE/DRL/ILCSR FOR SARAH MORGAN AND G/TIP FOR LUIS CDEBACA AND MARK TAYLOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB ECON PREL BL PGOV EAID
SUBJECT: BOLIVIA - response to TDA report on worst forms of child
labor

REF: 09 LA PAZ 1417; 09 STATE 131995

1. Per reftel B, post submits the following information for the
U.S. Department of Labor's Congressional Reporting Requirements
related to forced and child labor.

2. Post has no new information relevant to tasking 1: The
Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005,
Section 105(b) and Executive Order 13126 of 1999.

3. The following are answers in response to tasking 2: Trade and
Development Act (TDA) of 2000, keyed to questions in reftel B.

2A) PREVALENCE AND SECTORAL DISTRIBUTION OF EXPLOITIVE CHILD LABOR


1. In what sectors (not related to the production of goods) were
children involved in exploitive labor?

There have been no changes since the 2008 TDA report which states
that children are involved in assisting families in subsistence
agriculture, the production of sugar cane and Brazil nuts, mining,
street vending, shining shoes, assisting transport operators, and
transporting drugs. There were reports of children trafficked for
forced labor to neighboring countries. The Ministry of Labor and
UNICEF both note that there has been a decrease of child labor in
the production of sugar cane due to the increased use of machinery
and increased awareness and education.


2. Posts are requested to determine if the government collected or
published data on exploitive child labor during the period, and if
so, whether the government would provide the data set to DOL for
further analysis.

The government of Bolivia (GOB) does not have any of its own data
on exploitative child labor. It relies heavily on NGOs
(specifically UNICEF, ILO, and CARE) who conduct such research.
The GOB is willing to collect such data, but lacks resources. The
GOB National Institute of Statistics (INE) is close to finishing a
project that will measure how communities view child labor.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 313,529
children between the ages of seven to seventeen work in Bolivia.

2B) LAWS AND REGULATIONS


1. What new laws or regulations were enacted in regard to
exploitive child labor over the past year? If applicable, were the
changes improvements in the legal and regulatory framework?

Although no new laws were implemented, a new constitution was
approved in January 2009. Articles 60 and 61 of the new
constitution state that any form of violence against children is
prohibited. The constitution also prohibits forced or exploitive
child labor. This is the first time that child labor has been
prohibited at the constitutional level. The current laws are
sufficient to implement these articles of the new constitution,
still the GOB is going to take a new look at all relevant laws to
ensure there are no missing areas.

2. Was the country/territory's legal and regulatory framework
adequate for addressing exploitive child labor?

The laws as written are comprehensive and should be adequate to
address exploitive child labor. However, enforcement remains weak.

2C) INSTITUTIONS AND MECHANISMS FOR ENFORCEMENT
E

NOTE: The GOB does not collect data on child labor cases in
sufficient detail to answer most questions below. Some data is
collected by each inspector at the local level, but the data is not
entered into a common database. Therefore, the GOB is unable to
provide us with the details asked below about numbers of cases and
their resolution. UNICEF is hoping to work with the GOB to develop
a more comprehensive data collection system, but at this time the
data does not exist.

Hazardous child labor

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

The Ministry of Labor is responsible for making policies related to
hazardous child labor and helping to enforce the laws through
inspections and by referring cases to the labor court. The
Ministry also refers cases to the Children's Defense office, which
can bring cases before a court who deals specifically with
children's issues.

2. If multiple agencies were responsible for enforcement, were
there mechanisms for exchanging information? Assess their
effectiveness.
The Ministry of Labor heads an Inter-institutional Commission that
aides in coordinating the various entities involved in child labor
issues - the Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Justice, local courts,
Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and various NGOs. Lines
of responsibility for enforcement are clearly defined, but
additional collaboration is necessary. The Ministry of Labor
points out that removing a child from work will not last if there
are not other (i.e. educational) opportunities for him/her.

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

The Ministry of Labor receives all labor complaints. There is no
record of how many of those complains were related to hazardous
child labor.

4. What amount of funding was provided to agencies responsible for
inspections?
Inspectors lack sufficient funding to carry out their duties.
Additionally, inspections are only carried out upon receipt of a
complaint.

5. How many inspectors did the government employ? Was the number
of inspectors adequate?
The Ministry of Labor employs 35 labor inspectors who are
responsible for all labor complaints. In addition, there are now
four inspectors specifically dedicated to inspections related to
child labor (two of these positions are funded by UNICEF). These
four dedicated inspectors are able to make inspections without
being prompted by a complaint and their existence is a major
improvement. There is one inspector for each of the four areas
determined by the GOB to have the worst child labor situations
(Riberalta, Santa Cruz, Potosi, and Bermejo) Still, the number of
inspectors does not seem sufficient to enforce the law
country-wide.


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

All inspections done by the 35 general labor inspectors are done
only in response to a complaint and it is believed that none were
related to child labor. However, the four dedicated child labor
inspectors conducted 90 inspections in 2009 (not complaint driven).
No child labor violations were found in 90% of the inspections.
The other 10% were instances of child labor between the ages of
14-18 and are still being investigated.

7. How many children were removed/assisted as a result of
inspections? Were these children actually provided or referred for
services as a result (as opposed to simply fired)?

Any case of hazardous child labor was referred to the Children's
Defense Office, which is responsible for protecting the rights of
children. The Children's Defense Office has the ability to bring
cases before a children's court but there are no statistics
available as to how many were brought in 2009.

8. How many child labor cases or "prosecutions" were opened?
As noted above, the GOB does not collect such data.

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

As noted above, the GOB does not collect such data.

10. How many violations were found or "convictions" reached?
As noted above, the GOB does not collect such data.

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

12. In cases in which violations were found, were penalties
actually applied, either through fines paid or jail sentence
served? Did such sentences meet penalties established in the law?
The Ministry of Labor is able to fine employers and the labor
courts enforce the penalties. Due to the lack of data, it cannot
be determined if the penalties are effective.

13. Did the experience regarding questions 7 through 10 above
reflect a commitment to combat exploitive child labor?
The GOB appears committed to combating exploitive child labor, but
sees the problem as larger and more complex than imposing fines.
The Ministry of Labor understands that children need to be given
alternatives to work, including education, and their parents need
to make sufficient money so that they don't need the kids to work
just to earn enough to survive. The Ministry seems to have a more
multi-faceted approach than just enforcing the law.

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

The Ministry of Labor provides training for all labor inspectors.
The four inspectors dedicated to child labor received special
training before beginning their jobs. The dedicated inspectors are
also trained on how to teach local authorities and others in the


communities about child labor. The GOB, UNICEF, and the ILO worked
together to train inspectors and the Children's Defense Office on
how to assist the victims.

Forced child labor
1. What agency or agencies was/were responsible for the enforcement
of laws relating to forced child labor?
Forced child labor is dealt with under the umbrella of "trafficking
in persons" due to its classification as labor exploitation,
whether of adults or children. There is a special unit of the
police that deals with all trafficking investigations and cases are
brought before a criminal court.

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

There is relatively good coordination on trafficking cases.

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

All special units of the Bolivian police dedicated to trafficking
issues maintain a telephone hotline to receive information and
complaints from the public. These numbers are distributed on
posters and other awareness and educational materials distributed
throughout the country. It is unknown how many complaints were
received during this reporting period as the GOB does not collect
this type of data.

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?

The USG (via our Narcotics Affairs Section) fully funds these
special police units with $250,000 annually.

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

The GOB/Public Ministry & Ministry of Government have dedicated
Special Police Investigative Units (SIU) and prosecutors to address
the issue of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) for sexual and labor
exploitation purposes. Currently there are four such units
comprised of a total of 24 Bolivian National Police (BNP)
investigators located in La Paz, El Alto, Santa Cruz, and
Cochabamba. Each city also has a contingent of dedicated GOB
prosecutors that have the judicial responsibility to prosecute
these TIP cases. In 2010 the GOB will be opening an additional 6
TIP/SIU's located along the frontiers with Peru, Brazil &
Argentina.

6. How many inspections involving child labor were carried out? If
possible, please provide breakdown of complaint-driven versus
random, government-initiated inspections. Were inspections carried
out in sectors in which children work? Was the number of
inspections adequate?
During this reporting period there were a total of 280 TIP cases
initiated in Bolivia. This represents a 19% increase over the
number of TIP related investigations from the period last year.
There is no data to show which of these cases is related to
forced/exploitive child labor, however, we believe it to be very


few, if not none.

7. How many children were removed/assisted as a result of
inspections? Were these children actually provided or referred for
services as a result (as opposed to simply fired)?

There were more than 300 reported victims rescued and/or involved
in the 280 TIP cases initiated during this reporting period.
Again, there is no data to show which of those were children
removed from exploitive labor.


8. How many child labor cases or "prosecutions" were opened?
There have been arrests made by the Bolivian National Police in
every TIP case identified, however, it should be noted that under
the current judicial system in Bolivia, the respective defendants
immediately go before a Prosecutor, who may decide to allow the
defendant to go free pending continuation of the investigative and
judicial process. If the defendant is remanded, he or she will
then go before a judge who also can decide whether to allow the
person to be released from custody. The fact is that the majority
of those initially arrested are later released during the remainder
of the judicial process. And, there is no data to show which, if
any, of these cases were related to exploitive child labor.

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

Of the 280 TIP cases initiated, 180 remain in either initial
investigative stage with the police or secondary investigative
stage with the Prosecutors; 79 cases have been dismissed, most for
evidentiary reasons; 5 are currently in trial; 4 have been closed
with pleas and/or convictions and the remainder are either in the
initial preliminary charge stage or have been transferred to
another jurisdiction for follow-up. Again, there is no data to say
if any of these cases were related to exploitive child labor.

10. How many violations were found or "convictions" reached?
There have been a total of 4 TIP cases resolved via trial and
conviction and/or guilty pleas, but we believe none were related to
exploitive child labor.

11. What is the average length of time it took to resolve child
labor cases?
The average is one year for TIP cases.

12. In cases in which violations were found, were penalties
actually applied, either through fines paid or jail sentence
served? Did such sentences meet penalties established in the law?
The government prohibits all forms of human trafficking (including
exploitive or forced labor) through Law 3325, an anti-trafficking
law enacted in 2006, which prescribes penalties of four to 12
years' imprisonment. The law contains aggravated penalties for
trafficking offenses involving minors; organized criminal groups;
and public employees responsible for protecting children.
Penalties enforced were consistent with the law.

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

It appears the GOB remains committed to fighting exploitive child
labor, but no data is available regarding enforcement.


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

Police and Prosecutors responsible for investigations in this area
are given special national and international training on how to
deal with the victim immediately after removing them from the
situation. Trainings are conducted by the GOB with the assistance
of international donors.

During this reporting period, the GOB, with support from the
USG/NAS, sponsored the 1st Annual International Trafficking in
Persons Conference in April 2009 in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In
addition, the USG/NAS in conjunction with the GOB, UNODC, and OIM
sponsored several TIP and Victim Assistance conferences during
2009, along with a one week training course for the 45 new BNP
investigators and prosecutors who will be assigned to the frontier
TIP SIU's in 2010.

2D) INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS FOR EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT- child
trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children, use of
children in illicit activities:

1. Did the country/territory have agencies or personnel dedicated
to enforcement of child trafficking/CSEC/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
of the number of people who were responsible for such
investigations. Was the number of investigators adequate?
The GOB/Public Ministry & Ministry of Government have dedicated
Special Police Investigative Units (SIU) and prosecutors to address
the issue of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) for sexual and labor
exploitation purposes. Currently there are four such units
comprised of a total of 24 Bolivian National Police (BNP)
investigators located in La Paz, El Alto, Santa Cruz, and
Cochabamba. Each city also has a contingent of dedicated GOB
prosecutors that have the judicial responsibility to prosecute
these TIP cases. In 2010 the GOB will be opening an additional 6
TIP/SIU's located along the frontiers with Peru, Brazil &
Argentina. The USG/NAS provides all infra-structure and
administrative support to this GOB/TIP Program.

2. How much funding was provided to agencies responsible for
investigating child trafficking/CSEC/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?
The USG (via our Narcotics Affairs Section) fully funds these
special police units with $250,000 annually.

3. Did the country/territory maintain a hotline or other mechanism
for reporting child trafficking/CSEC/use of children in illicit
activities violations? If so, how many complaints were received in
the reporting period?
All four BNP/TIP SIU maintain telephone hotlines to receive
information and complaints from the public. These numbers are
distributed on posters and other awareness and educational
materials distributed throughout the country. It is unknown how
many complaints were received during this reporting period.

4. How many investigations were opened in regard to child
trafficking/CSEC/use of children in illicit activities? Was the
number of investigations adequate?


During this reporting period there were a total of 280 TIP cases
initiated in Bolivia. This represents a 19% increase over the
number of TIP related investigations from the previous year.

5. How many children were rescued as a result?
More than 300 reported victims were rescued and/or involved in the
280 TIP cases initiated during this reporting period.

6. How many arrests were made or other kinds of prosecutions
carried out?
There have been arrests made by the Bolivian National Police in
every TIP case identified (280) , however, it should be noted that
under the current judicial system in Bolivia, the respective
defendants immediately go before a Prosecutor, who may decide to
allow the defendant to go free pending continuation of the
investigative and judicial process. If the defendant is remanded,
he or she will then go before a judge who also can decide whether
to allow the person to be released from custody. The fact is that
the majority of those initially arrested are later released during
the remainder of the judicial process.

7. How many cases were closed or resolved?
Of the 280 cases initiated, 180 remain in either initial
investigative stage with the police or secondary investigative
stage with the Prosecutors; 79 cases have been dismissed, most for
evidentiary reasons; 5 are currently in trial; 4 have been closed
with pleas and/or convictions and the remainder are either in the
initial preliminary charge stage or have been transferred to
another jurisdiction for follow-up.

8. How many convictions?
There have been a total of 4 cases resolved via trial and
conviction and/or guilty pleas.

9. Did sentences imposed meet standards established in the legal
framework?
Most cases involving TIP violations are eventually pleaded down to
a lesser offense simply to bring about a quicker resolution to the
case.

10. Were sentences imposed actually served?
In those cases that were adjudicated and sentenced received, the
defendants are in fact incarcerated and serving their sentence.

11. What is the average length of time it takes to resolve cases of
child trafficking/CSEC/use of children in illicit activities?

1 year

12. Did the government offer any training for investigators or
others responsible for enforcement of child trafficking/CSEC/use of
children in illicit activities? If so, what was the impact (if any)
of these trainings?
During this reporting period the GOB, with support from the
USG/NAS, sponsored the 1st Annual International Trafficking in
Persons Conference that took place in April 2009 in Cochabamba,
Bolivia. Attendance was estimated at approximately 200 with


representative from all regional countries the GOB and many NGO's
with interest in the TIP issues. In addition, the USG/NAS in
conjunction with the GOB, UNODC and OIM sponsored several TIP and
Victim Assistance conferences during 2009, along with a one week
training course for the 45 new BNP investigator and prosecutors who
will be assigned to the frontier TIP SIU's in 2010.

13. If the country/territory experienced armed conflict during the
reporting period or in the recent past involving the use of child
soldiers, what actions were taken to penalize those responsible?
Were these actions adequate or meaningful given the situation?
N/A


2E) GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON CHILD LABOR:

1. Did the government have a policy or plan that specifically
addresses exploitive child labor? Please describe.

Child labor is addressed as part of the 2000 - 2010 National
Development Plan, which specifically states goals of: 1)
eradication of child labor (child under 14 years old), 2)
eradication of the worst form of child labor (under 18 years old),
3) and protection of working adolescents.

The Ministry of Labor also hosts a "technical roundtable" with the
ILO and UNICEF to discuss the issue and develop government policy.
In addition, the Ministry of Justice has a plan called the "Human
Rights Plan" oriented to protect the rights of education and health
of a child.

2. Did the country/territory incorporate exploitive child labor
specifically as an issue to be addressed in poverty reduction,
development, educational or other social policies, such as Poverty
Reduction Strategy Papers, etc? Please describe.

Child labor is addressed as part of the 2000 - 2010 National
Development Plan, which specifically states goals of: 1)
eradication of child labor (child under 14 years old), 2)
eradication of the worst form of child labor (under 18 years old),
3) and protection of working adolescents. The National Development
Plan also hopes to improve access to health care and education, two
key complementary factors.

3. Did the government provide funding to the plans described above?
Please describe the amount and whether it was sufficient to carry
out the planned activities.

Funds are allocated to specific offices in the Ministry of Labor
who are dedicated to work on child labor issues.

4. Did the government provide non-monetary support to child labor
plans? Please describe.
The GOB has developed an Inter-institutional Commission that
provides a forum for interested parties to coordinate ideas and
plans and to discuss ideas across sectors.

5. Provide any additional information about the status and
effectiveness of the government's policies or plans during the
reporting period in regard to exploitive child labor.

The GOB continues to have combating child labor as part of its long
term plans, but the effectiveness of such plans has not been
measured. Anecdotally, UNICEF and the Ministry believe that the
use of children in the production of sugar cane has diminished due
to the increased use of machinery as well as the increased


awareness of all involved. Workers have begun to demand better
working and living conditions and are receiving better health care
and education due to programs sponsored by the GOB, UNICEF, and the
ILO, making them less likely to bring their families along to work
with them. Six major sugar companies have signed agreements to
provide health care for their workers.

6. Did the government participate in any commissions or task forces
regarding exploitive child labor? Was the commission active and/or
effective?

The GOB has developed an Inter-institutional Commission that
provides a forum for interested parties to coordinate ideas and
plans and to discuss ideas across sectors.

7. Did the government sign a bilateral, regional or international
agreement to combat trafficking?

The GOB signed no new agreements in 2009, but remains a signatory
to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, especially Women and Children; the UN Convention Against
Transnational Organized Crime; the UN Convention on the Rights of
the Child; and the UN Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child
Prostitution and Child Pornography.

2F) SOCIAL PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE OR PREVENT CHILD LABOR:

1. Did the government implement any programs specifically to
address the worst forms of child labor? Please describe. (Please
note that DOL will not consider anti-poverty, education or other
general child welfare programs to be addressing exploitive child
labor unless they have a child labor component.)

Bolivia receives a $3.3 million technical assistance program from
the U.S. Department of Labor to combat the worst forms of child
labor, specifically assisting in providing educational services to
children to give them an alternative to work.

Bolivia will also be part of a new $6.7million Department of Labor
technical assistance program that will include Brazil, Ecuador, and
Paraguay and focus on agricultural and urban child labor.

The GOB also continues a conditional cash transfer program called
Bono Juancito Pinto to encourage children to attend and stay in
school. Public school students from grades 1-8 receive
approximately $30 a year if they attend school 75% of the time (ref
A).

The GOB has worked closely with UNICEF and the ILO on various other
projects. In 2009 UNICEF completed a comprehensive study about the
use of child labor in harvesting Brazil nuts. UNICEF will use the
information from this study to develop a program for its
elimination. UNICEF, the ILO, and the GOB are also working
together on a project to train labor inspectors on a common method
of recording inspections with the hopes of creating a more reliable
data base of information.

2. Did the country/territory incorporate child labor specifically
as an issue to be addressed in poverty reduction, development,
educational or other social programs, such as conditional cash
transfer programs or eligibility for school meals, etc? Please
describe.

Child labor is addressed as part of the 2000 - 2010 National
Development Plan, which specifically states goals of: 1)
eradication of child labor (child under 14 years old), 2)
eradication of the worst form of child labor (under 18 years old),
3) and protection of working adolescents.

3. Did the government provide funding to the programs described


above? Please describe amount and whether it was sufficient to
carry out the planned activities.

The Bono Juancito Pinto received approximately $53 million in 2008
and reached almost 2 million students.

4. Did the government provide non-monetary support to child labor
programs? Please describe.
The GOB has developed an Inter-institutional Commission that
provides a forum for interested parties to coordinate ideas and
plans and to discuss ideas across sectors. Through this commission
the GOB invites all interested NGOs to come and coordinate on
projects.

5. Provide any additional information about the status and
effectiveness of the government's activities during the reporting
period in relation to the programs described above. If the programs
involved government provision of social services to children at
risk of or involved in exploitive child labor, please describe and
assess the effectiveness of these services.
It is difficult to measure the results of any of the programs as
there is little data available regarding how many children are
actually working. However, the Bono Juancito Pinto has helped
raise attendance rates in schools, reaching approximately 95% for
up to 6th grade. Additionally, UNICEF and the Ministry believe
that the use of children in the production of sugar cane has
diminished due to the increased use of machinery as well as the
increased awareness of all involved. Workers have begun to demand
better working and living conditions and are receiving better
health care and education due to programs sponsored by the GOB,
UNICEF, and the ILO, making them less likely to bring their
families along to work with them. Six major sugar companies have
signed agreements to provide health care for their workers.

6. If the government signed one or more bilateral, regional or
international agreement/s to combat trafficking, what steps did it
take to implement such agreement/s? Did the agreement/s result in
tangible improvements? If so, please describe.

The GOB signed no new agreements in 2009, but remains a signatory
to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons, especially Women and Children; the UN Convention Against
Transnational Organized Crime; the UN Convention on the Rights of
the Child; and the UN Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child
Prostitution and Child Pornography.

2G) CONTINUAL PROGRESS:

1. Considering the information provided to the questions above,
please provide an assessment of whether, overall, the government
made progress in regard to combating exploitive child labor during
the reporting period. In making this assessment, please indicate
whether there has been an increase or decrease from previous years
in inspections/investigations, prosecutions, and convictions;
funding for child labor elimination policies and programs; and any
other relevant indicators of government commitment.

Although the GOB remains committed to combating child labor, any
measurable results could be considered limited. The adoption of
new trafficking laws in 2006 made Bolivia a leader in the region on
this issue. The appointment of dedicated child labor inspectors
and increased presence in the field is a positive step in the right
direction. The call for the elimination of child labor in the new
constitution suggests that the issue remains important for the GOB.
This, coupled with already strong laws, will hopefully show
additional progress in the future.
Creamer

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