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Cablegate: Child Labor and Forced Labor in Ecuador for Dol Reporting

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 112200Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0962
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO

UNCLAS QUITO 000176

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD KTIP PHUM SOCI EC
SUBJECT: Child Labor and Forced Labor in Ecuador for DOL Reporting
Requirements

REF: 09 STATE 131997; 09 QUITO 20

1. The following is Embassy Quito's response to the request for
child labor and forced labor information for DOL congressional
reporting requirements (Ref A).

----------------------------
TASKING 1/TVPRA
----------------------------

2. Q. Action request for tasking 1/TVPRA: Posts listed in paras 5
and 6 are requested to provide current information on forced labor
and exploitive child labor in the production of goods. Please also
note: if goods from your reporting country(ies) or territory(ies)
appear on the current TVPRA list, you are only requested to provide
information on additional goods. A. Information available to Post
suggests that TVPRA list of goods produced by child labor in
Ecuador remains accurate: bananas, bricks, flowers, and gold (Ref
B). Post does not have information on the production of other
goods using child labor. However, we note that there are concerns
expressed by a credible NGO of the risk of child labor in the
agricultural sector in general, and that export markets for such
products should be monitored carefully.

3. In addition to requesting information on new goods produced by
child labor or forced labor, PolOff asked for information regarding
trends in the use of child labor for those goods already listed:

A. Bananas: The NGO reported that the problem of child labor in
bananas remains at previous levels, in their estimate, but that
there have been huge advances in convincing producers to move
children out of the most hazardous jobs. The banana industry in
Ecuador is made up primarily of small and medium-sized producers,
who have "traditional" views of the labor market and continue to
use child laborers. However, the NGO source says that an
industry-wide agreement to remove children from jobs that produce
the most significant risks to their health and well-being has been
widely adopted and appears to be helping keep young workers away
from pesticides and other hazardous work conditions.

B. Bricks: No change in previously reported trends. Children
continue to work in the brick industry, which is almost entirely
small, family-operated businesses. Children often work at night and
in the very early morning, then attend school.

C. Flowers: Child labor is significantly decreasing in this
industry. The NGO notes that the flower industry has been "seized"
with the issue of child labor and is making significant and
thorough efforts to eradicate this problem in partnership with
government, NGO, and private organizations. Flower businesses are
established almost entirely for export, notes the source, and
businessmen are aware that a child labor problem will hurt their
bottom line directly. Furthermore, she believes most of the owners
in the flower industry are more 'advanced' in their views on labor
in general and have no interest in employing underage workers. The
NGO says it believes the child labor problem in the flower industry
would likely be eliminated in 1-2 years.

D. Gold: As with bricks, there is no new information to report;
child labor continues to be a problem in small-scale, informal
mining businesses. Child labor has not been reported in larger,
multinational commercial mining companies. The Ministry of Labor's
Child Labor Inspectors Office told PolOff that they would like to
find the resources to conduct a serious baseline study of children
working in mines, especially gold mines, with the purpose of
establishing a plan of action to eliminate child labor in this
industry by 2012, along the lines of their plan to eliminate child
labor in landfills.

------------------------
TASKING 2/TDA
------------------------

4. Answers to the questions for Tasking 2 are numbered according
to the list in paragraph 21 of reftel.

2A) PREVALENCE AND SECTORAL DISTRIBUTION OF EXPLOITIVE CHILD LABOR:

1. Q: In what sectors (not related to the production of goods) were


children involved in exploitive labor (such as domestic service,
street vending, and/or child prostitution)? A: The majority of
child laborers continue to work in the agricultural sector,
particularly family-owned businesses. Children are also working in
mines, landfills, the domestic service industry, street vending,
prostitution, and to a lessening extent, begging.

2. Q: 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. A: The GOE published results of a 2006 census of
child labor in numerous reports, and has been using those numbers
for baseline statistics. Data and statistical information on
inspections, inspectors, training and other information is
available on the GOE's measurements website at
http://www.sigob.gov.ec/metas/main/consulta/d efault.asp
.
Several of the measures tracked in those pages are broken down to
the provincial level. The Ministry of Economics and Social
Inclusion and the Ministry of Labor both use that website to update
information on the national plans of action to combat child labor
and trafficking in persons.

2B) LAWS AND REGULATIONS:
1. Q. 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? A.
There have been no new regulations or laws on child labor passed
during the reporting period.

2. Q. Based on the standards in paras 27 and 28, was the
country/territory's legal and regulatory framework adequate for
addressing exploitive child labor? Examples of indicators of an
inadequate framework include instances in which children have been
found working in hazardous conditions, but the sector in which they
were working is exempted from minimum age laws; cases in which boys
are being exploited as prostitutes, but the law only prohibits
female prostitution; or cases in which there are prohibitions
against exploitive child labor, but penalties are too weak to serve
as deterrents. A. The legal and regulatory framework in Ecuador
is generally adequate to address the worst forms of child labor,
although NGOs note that there is insufficient interest on the part
of judges to appropriately sentence employers for exploitative
child labor practices.

2C) Section I: Hazardous Child Labor and forced child labor:

1. Q. What agency or agencies was/were responsible for the
enforcement of laws relating to hazardous child labor? A. The
Ministry of Labor has an office of Child Labor that inspects
workplaces around the country for child labor offenses. The
National Police have a specialized unit for crimes against children
and adolescents (DINAPEN) who rescue victims, gather evidence, and
arrest the perpetrators of the worst forms of child labor and child
trafficking. The Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion's
National Institute of Children and Families (INFA) may also receive
reports of child labor, and provides protective services. The
office of the Prosecutor receives cases and brings them to trial

2. Q. If multiple agencies were responsible for enforcement, were
there mechanisms for exchanging information? Assess their
effectiveness. A. According to the prosecutor for Pichincha
province (one of the most affected by child labor); an NGO, and the
police unit dedicated to investigating crimes against children,
cooperation across GOE agencies is generally very good. Police and
prosecutors work together closely to rescue and convict violators,
and ensure the victims are receiving appropriate medical,
psychological and social services care.

3. Q. Did the country/territory maintain a mechanism for making
complaints about hazardous and forced child labor violations? If
so, how many complaints were received in the reporting period? A.
Complaints or reports of hazardous (and forced child) labor can be
filed through a number of agencies and hotlines. They can be
presented in person, over the phone, or in many cases by email.
DINAPEN, the Ministry of Labor's Child Labor office, INFA, and
local Councils for Children and Adolescents all receive complaints
about the mistreatment of children, including hazardous child
labor. Post does not have consolidated information on the number of
complaints made to each agency.

4. Q. 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? A. The Ministry of Labors
Office of Child Labor Inspections had a budget of US$266,342 in
calendar year 2009, according to the Ministry's website. This
budget was insufficient to permit inspectors in all 24 provinces to
adequately carry out their duties, despite the increased number of
inspections in the last year. Inspectors in several provinces do
not have dedicated vehicles, nor sufficient funds for fuel or other
means of transportation.

5. Q. How many inspectors did the government employ? Was the
number of inspectors adequate? A. The Ministry of Labor's Child
Labor Inspections Office currently employs 29 inspectors. While
this is an increase of two inspectors over last year, the office
would be able to conduct additional inspections if it had more
staff.

6. Q. 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? A. The office carried out 3,992 inspections
for child labor violations in 2009, relative to 3,089 inspections
in 2008 and 2586 in 2007. These inspections were carried out based
on a combination of government-initiated and complaint driven
investigations. The office does not maintain statistics on the
breakdown of why an inspection occurred.

7. Q. 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)? A. According to
Ministry of Labor statistics, 2056 children were rescued as a
result of the inspections. Children and the circumstances of each
case were evaluated to determine the needs of the child. Services
provided to children included medical, psychological, educational,
living and counseling opportunities. The GOE works with several
NGOs to provide these services in addition to the ones the
government fund. Particular emphasis is placed on educating
families and putting children back into school at the appropriate
levels, with accelerated programs as needed.

8. Q. How many child labor cases or "prosecutions" were opened? A.
Due to changes in the organization of the Ministry of Labor as it
was merged with another government agency, the Office of Child
Labor Inspections does not have data on how many employers were
sanctioned last year.

9. Q. How many child labor cases were closed or resolved? A. A
total of 2,056 children were rescued. Data on sanctions in 2009 is
not yet available.

10. Q. How many violations were found or "convictions" reached? A.
Data on sanctions for 2009 is not yet available. One credible NGO
reports that some families were fined for putting their children
into exploitative labor conditions, and that egregious cases were
reported to the police, who arrested the perpetrators. However,
the source did not have data on the numbers of such cases.

11. Q. What is the average length of time it took to resolve child
labor cases? A. Data on sanctions is not available.

12. Q. 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?
A. Anecdotal evidence from a credible NGO says that some cases were
met with fines and criminal sanctions, but data on 2009 penalties
is not yet available.

13. Q. Did the experience regarding questions 7 through 10 above
reflect a commitment to combat exploitive child labor? A. The
Inspections Office lacks resources, and the reorganization of
government offices makes it difficult to track sanctions. In
addition, only the most egregious cases of exploitative child labor
receive the attention of judicial authorities. However, the
Government is committed to rescuing children and has made
"restoring the rights of the child" a centerpiece of their efforts
to combat child labor. Their success in rescuing children is
commendable, although more could be done with additional resources.
We do not have sufficient data to evaluate their efforts to
sanction employers at this time.


14. Q. Did government offer any training for investigators or
others responsible for enforcement? If so, what (if any) impact
have these trainings had? A. Forty government inspectors received
training during the year, and an additional 861 people from
municipal and local governments, businessmen, educators and others
received some kind of training on child labor. The Ministry of
Labor and NGOs report great success in efforts to educate
municipalities on the dangers of child labor in landfills. As a
result, several municipalities have built fences around landfills,
placed locks on gates, and generally worked to make landfills less
accessible to children.

2C) Section II: Forced Child Labor (repeat of questions 1-14
above): Post has heard credible reports from an NGO of some
forced child labor in Ecuador on some family farms and, for an
increasingly small number of children, in begging and in domestic
service. However, the source said that it was "extremely rare" in
Ecuador and, in her estimation, the number of children forced to
beg through threats or coercion is small and shrinking. Post has
little credible information on the status of children in the
domestic service industry. The Ministry of Labor and the Ministry
of Economic and Social Inclusion both note that forced child labor
is not a significant problem in Ecuador relative to exploitative
labor or CSEC, although there are related cases of abuse in some
family-owned businesses, particularly on family farms and in some
other family businesses. Enforcement mechanisms, reporting of
complaints, and the legal remedies are all the same as those for
crimes against children listed in Section 2D below.

2D) INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS FOR EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT- child
trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children, use of
children in illicit activities: Q. Because agencies responsible for
enforcement of other worst forms of child labor are usually police
units, Ministries of Justice or related Ministries rather than
labor inspectorates, Posts are requested to answer questions 1-13
below for child trafficking; commercial sexual exploitation of
children
(CSEC) - such as prostitution, pornography, etc.; and the use of
children in illicit activities. Posts are requested to respond with
three distinct sections (i.e., Post should answer all questions one
time for "child trafficking," one time for "CSEC," and one time for
"the use of children in illicit
activities (use of children).") Each section should be entitled as
follows and include responses to each question: "2D, Section I:
Child trafficking," responses 1-13; "2D, Section II: Commercial
Sexual Exploitation of Children," responses 1-13, and "2D, Section
III: Use of Children in Illicit Activities," responses 1-13.

A. NOTE FROM POST: The GOE does not differentiate resources used
to combat different kinds of child trafficking as required by the
report instructions. We are unable to break down the questions
into three different sections, and the answers below apply to child
trafficking, CSEC, and use of children in illicit activities.

1. Q. 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? A. The National Police have a unit
specializing in crimes against children and adolescents (DINAPEN)
charged with investigating reports of abuse, sexual exploitation,
child sex tourism, child smuggling, kidnapping, illegal
confinement, disappearance, exploitative and forced child labor,
use of children in the drug trade, and abandoned children. DINAPEN
has approximately 500 police officers. The Ministry of Social and
Economic Inclusion's Institute of Children and Families (INFA) has
a unit for "Special Protection" to work with children who are
victims of extreme abuse, trafficking, exploitative child labor,
and sexual abuse of all types. The unit runs 43 Protection Centers
staffed by social workers, doctors, psychologists, and educators.
There are approximately 12 such staff members in each of the 43
centers. Due to the special nature of the crime, victims of CSEC
were provided special assistance by the NGO Our Youth Foundation
(Fundaci????n Nuestros Jovenes), which runs special shelters for
these
victims, in addition to their work with other trafficking victims.
In addition, the police have units dedicated to victims and witness
protection in each province.


2. Q. 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? A.
DINAPEN's budget was not available. However, the Narcotics Affairs
Section reports that they have assisted DINAPEN with basic office
supplies, computers, and cameras to take photographs of crime
scenes. The implication is that DINAPEN is underfunded.

3. Q. 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? A. Complaints or reports of
mistreatment of children, including all criminal activity relating
to children, can be reported in person, by mail, telephone
hotlines, and by email to each canton or municipal Council for
Children and Adolescents, DINAPEN, and INFA, in addition to
hotlines maintained by the national Ombudsman for any crimes
against human rights. National statistics on the number of
complaints by type are not available.

4. Q. How many investigations were opened in regard to child
trafficking/CSEC/use of children in illicit activities? Was the
number of investigations adequate? A. National statistics on these
specific crimes against children are not available.

5. Q. How many children were rescued as a result? A. Our Youth
Foundation reports that they have assisted 69 victims of
trafficking from cases in 2008 and 2009. INFA's Protection Centers
have assisted more than 10,000 children, but INFA's Director of the
Special Protection Unit notes that 7 of 10 cases there are cases of
abuse. IFNA does not maintain specific statistics of the crimes
against the children their centers protect.

6. Q. How many arrests were made or other kinds of prosecutions
carried out? A. DINAPEN opened 25 investigations in 2009 and
detained 17 suspects. Conviction information is not yet available.


7. Q. How many cases were closed or resolved? A. Information not
available.

8. Q. How many convictions? A. Information not available.

9. Q. Did sentences imposed meet standards established in the legal
framework? A. Information not available.

10. Q. Were sentences imposed actually served? A. Information not
available.

11. Q. What is the average length of time it takes to resolve cases
of child trafficking/CSEC/use of children in illicit activities? A.
The province of Pichincha's prosecutor for trafficking in persons
cases noted that some cases may take three or more years to
resolve, citing in particular a case of CSEC involving a 15 year
old girl that began in 2006. The case was completed in December
2009, when the trafficker was sentenced to eight years
imprisonment. However, she noted that changes to the penal code
and the Constitution require that cases be resolved within a year,
or the perpetrator cannot be held in preventive detention.

12. Q. 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? A. The government regularly trains groups in
the area of trafficking in persons and the restitution of the
rights of the child, including police, prosecutors, teachers,
municipal authorities and others, as part of their ongoing efforts
to combat all forms of trafficking. Since 2005, particular
emphasis has been placed on helping educate families on the dangers
of trafficking in an effort to keep heads of household from
allowing their children to participate in the annual Christmas
begging activities or from letting their children leave the country
to work. Anecdotal reports suggest that the efforts to reduce
begging have been enormously successful, while emigration for work
purposes continues. The NGO Desarrollo y Autogesti????n (DyA)
estimates that 2500 children have been removed from begging in
Quito alone.

13. Q. 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? A. There are no reports of child soldiers in Ecuador.

2E) GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON CHILD LABOR:
1. Q. Did the government have a policy or plan that
specifically addresses exploitive child labor? Please describe. A.
The GOE has a specific Program for the Eradication of Child Labor
(PETI), which is led by the Ministry of Labor, but includes offices
and programs from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic
and Social Inclusion, and a host of other government agencies.
PETI involves the national government, employer associations,
employee organizations, and non-governmental organizations with a
stated goal of defining and implementing actions to prevent and
eradicate child labor in Ecuador under the principle of shared
responsibility between the government and society. The program is
further supported by the Central Bank's Young Worker program
(Muchacho Trabajador) to educate youth about labor laws and their
rights, and additional funding from private sector donors. The
current goal of PETI is to eliminate child labor in landfills. The
Ministry of Labor reports that their baseline survey indicated that
just over 2000 children were involved in this effort. Today, more
than 2000 children have been removed from landfill work, but other
children have started to take their place. MOL is currently
working closely with municipalities to close off and patrol
landfills to prevent additional children from entering the trade,
and reports that child labor in landfills has been eradicated in 49
of 60 cantons. MOL intends to eliminate this form of hazardous
child labor in 2010.

2. Q. 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. A. In addition
to the PETI program described above, the GOE continues to work on a
Program for the Schooling and Protection of Child Workers as part
of its ongoing efforts to provide restitution of rights for
exploited children. The program is designed to get children back
into school. A similar program is also run by the NGO DyA, which
is transferring the knowledge and training from their accelerated
learning programs to local municipalities. The Ministry of Labor
also hosted an "Ecuador Free of Child Labor" program in June 2009
to generate more public awareness of the problem. Ecuador's Social
Agenda 2007-2010, part of the National Development Plan,
established goals related to fighting child labor, which were 90%
completed, with the worst forms of child labor as a priority.

3. Q. 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. A. The GOE gave US$266,342 in
calendar year 2009 to the Child Labor Inspectors Office, which has
the primary responsibility of funding the PETI program. Budget
information from the other offices that support the effort,
including the Central Bank's Young Workers program, was not
available.

4. Q. Did the government provide non-monetary support to child
labor plans? Please describe. A. Government-owned radio and
television stations regularly broadcast messages in support of the
PETI and Young Workers programs, in addition to running spots
warning of the dangers of trafficking. Government offices and
spaces, including schools, were regularly made available to
programs designed to combat trafficking and child labor. DINAPEN
and provincial prosecutors, for example, work with local schools to
educate children on the dangers of CSEC and moving across borders
in search of work.

5. Q. 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. A. The GOE
made great strides in combating child labor in landfills, although
the work is not yet complete. (See answer to 2E.1) In addition,
INFA has collaborated with NGOs and other government agencies, and
raised awareness with the public, to significantly reduce child
begging over Christmas. Some reports estimate that child begging
during the holidays fell 90% between 2005 and 2009. In addition,
the GOE and local flower industry have worked to reduce the
incidence of child labor in the flower industry, although
statistics are not available.

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


and/or effective? A. A tripartite child labor task force (The
National Council to Eradicate Child Labor) includes representatives
from labor organizations, businesses and government works to
implement ILO norms and conventions on child labor. Credible NGOs
say that the council is ineffective; the meetings produce
agreements that are not transmitted back to unions or commercial
organizations. UNICEF also established a national Council on
Children and Adolescents as an umbrella to the local councils to
protect children. However, the two organizations apparently do not
work well together.

7. Q. Did the government sign a bilateral, regional or
international agreement to combat trafficking? A. The GOE
ratified ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labor and
uses the convention as the basis for setting goals to eradicate
child labor.

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

1. A. Did the government implement any programs specifically to
address the worst forms of child labor? Please describe. A. The
GOE's PETI efforts described in the previous section are designed
to be a holistic effort that identifies areas of exploitive child
labor, removes the victims, and provides the victims with the
social, psychological, and educational programs needed to resume
their childhood. In addition, INFA's Protection Centers manage
cases on a long-term basis to ensure that the victims do not become
victims again. INFA works very closely with families, especially in
areas where children are often expected to help support their
families, to educate parents and community leaders on the
importance of keeping children out of work and in the schools.

2. Q. 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. A. In addition to the programs listed
above, the GOE eliminated the standard $25 school fee in 2007, and
also made books and uniforms free, which helped remove a
disincentive to education. One reason for the elimination of the
school fee was that parents were sending children to work because
they could not afford school fees and associated costs. The
conditional cash transfer program implemented by the GOE called the
"Human Development Bond" is targeted to households with children
aged 0-16 among the poorest 40% of the population, which are
eligible to receive a conditional cash transfer, dependent upon
proof of school enrollment for children between the ages five and
16, among other requirements. Under this program, recipients must
certify when requested, that their children are attending school
and have been taken to medical check-ups. If families do not
present the requested documents in 45 days, they are removed from
the program.

3. Q. Did the government provide funding to the programs described
above? Please describe amount and whether it was sufficient to
carry out the planned activities. A. The programs described above
are all government funded. In addition, upon taking office in
January 2007, the Correa Administration almost immediately doubled
the human development bond monthly payment from $15 to $30 per
family. In July 2009, this bond was increased again to $35 per
family. The human development bond administered a budget of $384
million in 2007, which increased to $430 million in 2008 and to
$506 million in 2009.

4. Q. Did the government provide non-monetary support to child
labor programs? Please describe. A. Government-owned radio and
television stations regularly broadcast messages in support of the
PETI and Young Workers programs, in addition to running spots
warning of the dangers of trafficking. Government offices and
spaces, including schools, were regularly made available to
programs designed to combat trafficking and child labor. DINAPEN
and provincial prosecutors, for example, work with local schools to
educate children on the dangers of CSEC and moving across borders
in search of work.

5. Q. 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. A. The government
removed more than 2000 children from hazardous or exploitive labor


conditions, provided those children with social services, and ran
public campaigns to educate parents and employers about child
labor. The GOE coordinates with public, private, and
non-governmental institutions to combat the problem. The current
programs appear to be effective for the resources the agencies have
at their disposal, although additional funding would help expand
the programs. In addition, the GOE suffers from a lack of baseline
data on children in some hazardous trades, such as mining, and
information on the sanctions against those found violating the
laws.

6. Q. 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. A. No new
trafficking agreements were signed in 2009.

2G) CONTINUAL PROGRESS:
1. Q. 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. A. Inspections by the Child Labor Inspections Office
went up from 3089 in 2008 to 3992 in 2009, but fewer children were
removed from the workplace as a result of those inspections, 2264
in 2008 v. 2056 in 2009. The budget for the office was reduced
from $462,000 in 2008 to $261,000 in 2009, reportedly due to
problems in the overall GOE budget and with the Ministry of Labor's
reorganization in 2009. However, the GOE has demonstrated
excellent success in reducing child begging over the last three
years, and with providing services and the restitution of rights to
children. Post does not have sufficient data to evaluate
convictions or sanctions at this time.
HODGES

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>


COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>