Search

 

Cablegate: Mozambique -- Child Labor Information

VZCZCXRO8200
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHTO #0109/01 0372050
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 062050Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1246
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0615
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 000109

SIPDIS

DOL/ILAB FOR TINA MCCARTER
DRL/ILCSR FOR TU DANG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD KTIP PHUM SOCI MZ
SUBJECT: MOZAMBIQUE -- CHILD LABOR INFORMATION

REF: A. 08 STATE 43120
B. 08 STATE 127448
C. 09 STATE 21472
D. 09 STATE 92560
E. 09 STATE 120277

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Approximately 75 per cent of Mozambicans
work as subsistence farmers. Child labor is culturally
tolerated and accepted as a source of employment especially
in agriculture. Child labor in the urban context is largely
related to domestic servitude. The Ministry of Labor
(MITRAB) is responsible for carrying out labor inspections.
MITRAB takes little initiative to prevent or combat child
labor, however it collects statistical data in urban areas at
the provincial and national level. The MITRAB has two main
divisions which deal with child labor, the Labor Inspection
Office (LIO) and the Office for Information and Statistics
(OIS). Neither office publicly releases its budget; though
the entire MITRAB budget was $1.8 million in 2009. MITRAB
believes that the use of child labor is extensive and often
abusive, but does not conduct frequent outreach or maintain
reliable data or documents. END SUMMARY.

---------------------------------------
PREVALENCE AND SECTORAL DISTRIBUTION OF
EXPLOITIVE CHILD LABOR
---------------------------------------

2. (SBU) The most recent available survey, Child Labor In
Mozambique, August-December 2007, published by MITRAB, does
not specify the number of children who work in servitude as
domestic laborers. These minors, recruited mainly in
poverty-stricken rural areas, are promised food, clothing and
schooling in the city, in exchange for performing domestic
work. MITRAB concedes that it is difficult to monitor such
cases. Those employing a child domestic worker often falsely
declare the child as a family member and often the child is
not aware that he is being exploited. Exploitive child labor
is common in agricultural rural areas. According to
Francisco Mazoio of Mozambique's largest union, the
OTM-Central Syndicate, parents who had been hired to work on
cotton, coconut and cashew plantations in northern Mozambique
(Zambezia, Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces) often used
their own children in order to increase their income. These
children worked long hours, were prevented from attending
school and received no pay.

--------------------
LAWS AND REGULATIONS
--------------------

3. (SBU) In the Mozambican legal system, laws approved by
the legislature require implementing regulations before they
can be enforced. Implementing regulations have yet to be
drafted for the 2008 Child Protection Act. The Act calls for
the creation of a national commission to protect children
(currently the responsibility of the Ministry of Women and
Social Action, which has other competing interests).
UNICEF,s Maputo office expressed concern that the
implementing regulations for the Act are not in place yet.
Anti-trafficking legislation is also pending draft
regulations, although Mozambique was one of the first
countries in southern Africa to pass an anti-trafficking law
in 2008.

-------------------------------------------
INSTITUTIONS AND MECHANISMS FOR ENFORCEMENT
-------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) According to two OIS employees, MITRAB works alone
and without support in its efforts to enforce child labor
laws. There are no mechanisms in place for making complaints
about hazardous and forced child labor. The LIO confirms
that it lacks adequate funding. In fact, its officials are
not aware of just how much funding, if any, is allocated for
inspection purposes. The LIO lacks the most basic of
resources, such as vehicles. Its inspectors often have to
rely on the very company committing violations to provide
travel to the site of a violation. Mozambique has a total of
130 labor inspectors but they are underpaid, making them
vulnerable to bribes. Poor training is also a factor
contributing to inadequate supervision and enforcement. For
example, MITRAB failed to obtain any data at all for four of
the eleven provinces in Mozambique in a recent report.

5. (SBU) MITRAB's inspectors are not trained, funded, or
equipped to monitor child labor issues in a large country

MAPUTO 00000109 002 OF 002


twice the size of California, in which over 80 percent of the
population lives in rural areas. MITRAB is also more
motivated to inspect commercial establishments, as the
Ministry takes a percentage of any fines assessed. MITRAB
officials inspected five thousand businesses in 2008 and
8,155 infractions were detected; however data for 2009 is not
yet available. It has no detailed information distinguishing
complaint-driven from government-initiated inspections.
There is also no information available as to how many of
these cases were related to child labor or exploitive labor.
MITRAB officials stated that only about 30% of the 8,155
infractions were penalized because MITRAB prefers to educate
first and punish later. (NOTE: Post suspects that the
extremely low number of fines is due to corruption. END
NOTE) There are no statistics tracking convictions and
MITRAB could not provide specifics as to the average time
required to resolve a child labor case, indicating several
months as a minimum.

----------------------------
INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS FOR
EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT
----------------------------

6. (SBU) Domestic trafficking is a component of child labor
in some cases. Mozambique created an anti-trafficking
brigade (ATB) in 2008 that works under the Ministry of the
Interior and is responsible for investigating and prosecuting
trafficking in persons (TIP) cases. No arrests have been
made, despite many suspected TIP cases having been reported
in the media. Police note that TIP is a complex transaction
involving several individuals; often the key trafficker is
not known to those who work for him. A police official who
works on cases of abuse against women and children, including
TIP cases, declined to provide ATB personnel or funding
particulars. In 2009 Mozambique launched a dedicated hotline
for reporting TIP-related cases. According to Rede-Came, an
NGO that works to prevent child abuse, between November and
December of last year, about 1,900 complaints were received.
Unfortunately, no investigations were opened.

----------------------------------
GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON CHILD LABOR
----------------------------------

7. (SBU) The Government of Mozambique (GRM) does not have a
formal plan or policy that specifically addresses child
labor. The Ministry of Women and Social Action (MIMAS) is
charged with overall responsibility for the welfare of
children. MIMAS chairs an inter-ministerial group on social
issues which includes representatives from the Ministry of
Education, Health, Justice, Labor and Interior. UNICEF
believes that the January 2010 appointment of a new MIMAS
Minister, Iolanda Cintura, may spur greater activity.

---------------
SOCIAL PROGRAMS
---------------

8. (SBU) The GRM does not indentify exploitive child labor
as an issue in its whole-of-government poverty reduction
plans. It does, however, establish targets for access to
education for children as part of its five-year plan.
Access-to-education programs include free distribution of
school materials and food, designed to encourage school
attendance by vulnerable children. MIMAS receives less than
one percent of the total government budget and relies on
UNICEF for such basic necessities as office supplies and
equipment, as well as technical support. The Interior
Ministry,s Office for Assistance to Women and Children
Victims of Violence relies on police units based throughout
the country. Because these officers lack training,
unprofessional handling of sensitive cases may discourage
victims from seeking help.
ROWE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 



World Vision: Covid-19 Surge Plunges Myanmar Into Humanitarian Catastrophe

Six months since the Myanmar military’s seizure of power, aid agencies are warning of a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe, triggered by skyrocketing Covid-19 cases and widespread violence. Covid-19 cases in Myanmar have doubled in the past two months... More>>


OECD: Annual Inflation Picks Up To 4.1% In June 2021

Year-on-year inflation in the OECD area increased to 4.1% in June 2021, compared with 3.9% in May. Inflation in the euro area was significantly lower than in the OECD area as a whole, and especially than in the United States...
More>>

World Vision: A Year On From Beirut Blast, Thousands Suffer Under Economic Collapse
In the year since the Beirut blast, a worsening economic crisis has vastly increased the numbers living in poverty, creating a worsening humanitarian crisis for Lebanon’s children, warns World Vision... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UN Africa Renewal: Energy Will Play A Critical Role In The Success Of Africa’s Free Trade Area

As a global leader and advocate for the achievement of SDG7, which calls for access to reliable, affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030, what three key things do African countries need to do to end energy poverty..? More>>



Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>


Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>