wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04DJIBOUTI1124 2004-08-24 10:05:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

DJIBOUTI CHILD LABOR UPDATE

Tags:   ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI DJ AID 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 001124 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR DRL/IL HARPOLE

DOL FOR DOL/ILAB FAULKNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD PHUM SOCI DJ AID
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI CHILD LABOR UPDATE

REF: STATE 163453



1. (U) Summary: Even though child labor subsists in
Djibouti, all our sources confirmed that the worst forms of
child labor do not exist. In Djibouti, laws against the
worst form are found in the Constitution, the Penal Code and
ratified International Conventions such as ILO Convention


182. In an effort to fight delinquency and child labor, the
government passed a law in 2000, which makes education
compulsory until the age of sixteen. The Police Vice Squad
(Brigade des Moeurs) and the "Gendarmerie both enforce laws
against the worst form of child labor. End Summary.



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


LAWS AND REGULATIONS


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




2. (U) THE COUNTRY HAS ADEQUATE LAWS AGAINST THE WORST FORM
OF CHILD LABOR. THESE LAWS ARE FOUND IN THE CONSTITUTION,
IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS RATIFIED BY DJIBOUTI, AND
IN THE PENAL CODE. DJIBOUTI RATIFIED ILO CONVENTION 182 ON
JUNE 21ST, 2004 BY LAW 57 AN/04/5E L. DJIBOUTI HAS ALSO
ENDORSED THE FOLLOWING ILO CONVENTIONS RELATED TO CHILD
LABOR: ILO CONVENTIONS 5, 6, 10, 15, 29, 33, 78,105,123,
AND 124. DJIBOUTI WAS ONE OF THE FIRST COUNTRIES TO RATIFY
THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD IN


1990. IN ADDITION, DJIBOUTI RATIFIED THE AFRICAN CHARTER.



3. (U) THE PENAL CODE GIVES PROTECTION TO CHILDREN AGAINST
THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR. ARTICLE 325 PROTECTS
CHILDREN AGAINST TORTURE, CRUELTY AND INHUMAN TREATMENT.
ARTICLE 343 ADDRESSES THE RAPE OF MINORS. ARTICLE 396 DEALS
WITH THE USE OF CHILDREN FOR PROSTITUTION. ARTICLE 458
ADDRESSES THE USE OF CHILDREN FOR TRAFFICKING DRUGS.
ARTICLE 463 PROTECTS CHILDREN AGAINST CHILD PORNOGRAPHY. THE
MINIMUM AGE FOR EMPLOYMENT IS CURRENTLY 14 AS STIPULATED BY
THE LOCAL LABOR LAW NO.52-1322. HOWEVER, THE MINISTRY OF
LABOR IS CURRENTLY DRAFTING A NEW LABOR CODE, WHICH WILL SET
THE MINIMUM AGE TO 16. THIS AGE IS DESIGNED TO COINCIDE
WITH THE MINIMUM AGE FOR COMPLETING EDUCATIONAL
REQUIREMENTS. A JUVENILE COURT DOES NOT EXIST BUT THE
GOVERNMENT HAS EXPRESSED THE NEED FOR DESIGNATING A JUDGE,
WHO EXCLUSIVELY DEALS WITH JUVENILE CASES. IN ANY CASE,
JUDGES AT THE COURT DEAL SEVERELY AND IN A TIMELY MANNER
WITH THE CASES INVOLVING CHILDREN.



4. (U) THE POLICE VICE SQUAD "BRIGADE DES MOEURS" AND THE
LOCAL GENDARMERIE BOTH HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE CHILD
LABOR LAWS AND REGULATIONS. ALSO, THE LABOR INSPECTION
OFFICE HAS THE MANDATE TO SANCTION BUSINESSES THAT EMPLOY
CHILDREN. AS SOON AS IT RECEIVES A COMPLAINT, THE POLICE
OPEN AN INVESTIGATION. THEN, A FULL REPORT IS PRESENTED TO
THE COURT, WHICH DECIDES THE APPROPRIATE FINE OR JAIL TERMS.
NO STATISTICS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE NUMBER OF CHILD LABOR
INSPECTIONS OR INVESTIGATIONS CONDUCTED ANNUALLY. THE OFFICE
OF THE LABOR INSPECTORS CURRENTLY HAS ONE INSPECTOR EMPLOYED
WHO SUPERVISES TEN CONTROLLERS. THE MINISTRY OF LABOR PLANS
ON HIRING AT LEAST THREE NEW INSPECTORS BY THE END OF THIS
YEAR. THE GOVERNMENT WILL ALSO HOLD A TRAINING SEMINAR IN
DECEMBER 2004 FOR EMPLOYERS. THE MINISTRY OF LABOR HAS A
PROGRAM WITH THE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM ON THE ELIMINATION OF
CHILD LABOR IN ADDIS ABABA, WHICH HAS REQUESTED A CENSUS OF
CHILD LABOR IN DJIBOUTI. THE MINISTRY PLANS TO CARRY OUT
THIS CENSUS IN THE COMING MONTHS.



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


EDUCATION AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS


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




5. (U) OFFICIALS FROM THE MINISTRY OF YOUTH, THE MINISTRY OF
INTERIOR, THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN PROMOTION AND FAMILY WELL-
BEING, THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, AND THE MINISTRY OF LABOR
ARE ALL CONCERNED ABOUT CHILDREN LIVING IN DIFFICULT
CONDITIONS. AS A RESULT, THE GOD FINALIZED ITS POVERTY
REDUCTION STRATEGY PAPERS (PRSP) IN JUNE 2004. THE PRSP
AIMS AT REDUCING POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT BY IMPROVING
LIVING CONDITIONS FOR ALL THE POPULATION. GOVERNMENT
MINISTRIES, CIVIL SOCIETIES, TRADE UNIONS AND PRIVATE SECTOR
REPRESENTATIVES CONTRIBUTED TO THE ELABORATION OF THIS
DOCUMENT. IT OFFERS A COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK TO
BE IMPLEMENTED OVER HORIZONS 2006, 2010 AND 2015.
IMPROVEMENTS IN THE MEDIUM RANGE INCLUDE: REDUCTION OF THE
EXTREME POVERTY RATE OF 42.25% IN 2002 TO 36.1% BY 2006;
SUSTAINED REAL GDP GROWTH AVERAGE TO 4.6% DURING 2004-2006;
INCREASE OF THE SCHOOLING RATE OF 42.7% IN 2002 TO 73% BY
2006; AND DECREASE OF INFANT DEATH RATE FROM 103.1 PER 1000
TO 75 PER 1000 BY 2006.



6. (U) A Law passed in 2000 makes the school compulsory
until the age of sixteen. Gross enrollment rates have risen
from approximately 38% in 1998 to approximately 53% in 2003.
This is a very low rate compared to the 85% average for Sub-
Saharan countries and given that Djibouti's population is
70% urban. There are some 65,000+ school-aged children not
currently attending school. The ministry of education
outlined a long-term perspective plan, which aims for 80%
enrollment for the primary school by the year 2010. This
plan will also provide a system for tracking the progress of
each individual child and will hold the school headmaster
responsible for finding out why a child has left school. In
September 2004, the Ministry of Education will launch a
program aimed at increasing the numbers of nomadic children
attending schools by raising community awareness and
involvement.


7. (U) The Government of Djibouti has created a National
Policy for Youth in order to prevent children who are not in
school from becoming delinquent. The program focuses on
community involvement and promotion of Community Development
Centers to provide activities for the children. The
Community centers also act as reading rooms for children in
school to do homework and study.



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


CHILD LABOR SITUATION


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




8. (U) NO STATISTICS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE MAGNITUDE OF THE
CHILD LABOR SITUATION IN DJIBOUTI. HOWEVER, THERE ARE SOME
INDICATIONS THAT LAST YEAR'S MASSIVE TURNING BACK OF ILLEGAL
IMMIGRANTS HAVE REDUCED CHILD LABOR. IN URBAN AREAS,
CHILDREN ARE VERY ACTIVE IN THE INFORMAL ECONOMIC
ACTIVITIES. IT IS DIFFICULT TO MAKE A COMPLETE LIST OF
THEIR ACTIVITIES BUT THEY MOSTLY WORK AS SHOE CLEANERS, CAR
WASHERS, KAT SELLERS OR DOMESTIC SERVANTS. SOME OF THESE
CHILDREN BECOME BEGGARS OR STREET PROSTITUTES. IN RURAL
AREAS, CHILDREN HELP THEIR PARENTS IN AGRICULTURAL OR
LIVESTOCK CHORES. MOST OF THESE CHILDREN ARE DISPLACED FROM
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES AND HAVE NO OTHER MEANS OF INCOME.
TWO ORPHANAGE CENTERS ACCOMMODATE ABANDONED CHILDREN, STREET
CHILDREN AND CHILDREN FROM VERY POOR FAMILIES. THESE YOUTHS
ARE PROVIDED WITH SHELTER, EDUCATION AND HEALTH COVERAGE.
ALSO, SOME LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS GIVE
SHELTER, FOOD AND EDUCATION TO A LIMITED NUMBER OF STREET
CHILDREN.




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


CONCLUSION


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




9. (U) DJIBOUTI DOES NOT HAVE ANY COMPREHENSIVE POLICY AIMED
AT REDUCING THE WORST FORM OF CHILD LABOR BECAUSE IT DOES
NOT SEE IT AS A PROBLEM. THE GOD ALLOCATES ITS MEAGER
RESOURCES TO THE FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY, WHICH REMAINS A
PRIORITY. THE REHABILITATION OF DJIBOUTI'S EDUCATION
INFRASTRUCTURE WILL BE A STEP TOWARDS REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF
CHILD LABOR PRESENT IN THE ECONOMY.