In 2016, Cabo Verde made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government approved a National Plan to Combat Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents and expanded the Code of Ethics Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children to Fogo Island. However, children in Cabo Verde perform dangerous tasks in agriculture. Laws do not provide protection for self-employed children and children engaged in un-paid work. In addition, social programs do not target all sectors in which children work.
I. Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of Child Labor
Children in Cabo Verde perform dangerous tasks in agriculture.(1) Table 1 provides key indicators on children’s work and education in Cabo Verde.
Table 1. Statistics on Children’s Work and Education
|Working (% and population)||10 to 14||3.2 (2,392)|
|Working children by sector|
|Attending School (%)||5 to 14||90.1|
|Combining Work and School (%)||10 to 14||1.7|
|Primary Completion Rate (%)||102.2|
Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2015, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2016.(2)
Source for all other data: Understanding Children’s Work Project’s Analysis of Statistics from Inquérito as Despesas e Receitas Familiares, 2001–2002.(3)
Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children’s work by sector and activity.
Table 2. Overview of Children’s Work by Sector and Activity
|Agriculture||Farming, activities unknown (1, 4)|
|Raising livestock (1, 5, 6)|
|Fishing, activities unknown (1, 4, 6)|
|Industry||Treating water (1)|
|Construction, including extracting sand (7)|
|Services||Domestic work (1, 6, 8)|
|Street work, including vending, garbage scavenging,† car washing, and begging (6, 8)|
|Working in hotels and restaurants (1)|
|Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡||Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (6, 8-10)|
|Use in illicit activities, including drug trafficking (6, 11)|
† Determined by national law or regulation as hazardous and, as such, relevant to Article 3(d) of ILO C. 182.
‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a)–(c) of ILO C. 182.
Limited research found commercial sexual exploitation of both boys and girls, including in the tourism industry, occurs in Mindelo, Praia, and Santa Maria.(8)
II. Legal Framework for the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Cabo Verde has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).
Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor
|ILO C. 138, Minimum Age||✓|
|ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor||✓|
|UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict||✓|
|UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography||✓|
|Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons||✓|
The Government has established laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4). However, gaps exist in Cabo Verde’s legal framework to adequately protect children from child labor.
Table 4. Laws and Regulations on Child Labor
|Standard||Meets International Standards: Yes/No||Age||Legislation|
|Minimum Age for Work||No||15||Article 261 of the Labor Code (12)|
|Minimum Age for Hazardous Work||Yes||18||Article 264 of the Labor Code; Article 133 of the Civil Code (12, 13)|
|Identification of Hazardous Occupations or Activities Prohibited for Children||Yes||Articles 264 and 267 of the Labor Code; National List of Dangerous Work for Children (12, 14)|
|Prohibition of Forced Labor||Yes||Article 14 of Chapter 3 of the Labor Code; Articles 149, 271, and 271-A of the Penal Code (12, 15)|
|Prohibition of Child Trafficking||Yes||Articles 149 and 271-A of the Penal Code (15)|
|Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children||Yes||Articles 144, 145, 148–150, and 271-A of the Penal Code (15)|
|Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities||Yes||Article 8 of the Drug Trafficking Law (16)|
|Minimum Age for Military Recruitment|
|State Compulsory||Yes||18||Article 2 of the Military Service Law (17)|
|State Voluntary||Yes||17||Article 31 of the Military Service Law (17)|
|Non-state Compulsory||Yes||18||Article 268-C of the Penal Code (15)|
|Compulsory Education Age||Yes||15‡||Articles 13 and 20 of the Education Law (18)|
|Free Public Education||Yes||Article 14 of the Education Law (18)|
‡ Age calculated based on available information (18)
The law’s minimum age protections do not apply to children who are self-employed or engaged in unpaid work.(12, 19) The Civil Code allows children age 14 to conduct light work; however, the law does not prescribe the number of hours per week permissible for light work, or specify the conditions under which light work may be undertaken.(13, 19)
III. Enforcement of Laws on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5). However, gaps in labor law and criminal law enforcement remain and some enforcement information is not available.
Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement
|Inspector General for Labor (IGT)||Monitor and enforce child labor laws; work closely with the Cabo Verdean Institute for Children and Adolescents (ICCA).(20, 21)|
|Judicial Police and National Police||Judicial Police conduct criminal investigations; National Police make arrests related to the worst forms of child labor, including human trafficking.(21, 22)|
Labor Law Enforcement
In 2016, labor law enforcement agencies in Cabo Verde took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).
Table 6. Labor Law Enforcement Efforts Related to Child Labor
|Overview of Labor law Enforcement||2015||2016|
|Labor Inspectorate Funding||Unknown||Unknown|
|Number of Labor Inspectors||14 (5)||14 (23)|
|Inspectorate Authorized to Assess Penalties||Yes (24)||Yes (24)|
|Training for Labor Inspectors|
|Initial Training for New Employees||Yes (5)||Unknown|
|Training on New Laws Related to Child Labor||Yes (5)||Unknown|
|Refresher Courses Provided||Yes (5)||Unknown|
|Number of Labor Inspections||Unknown||Unknown|
|Number Conducted at Worksite||Unknown||Unknown|
|Number Conducted by Desk Reviews||Unknown||Unknown|
|Number of Child Labor Violations Found||Unknown||Unknown|
|Number of Child Labor Violations for Which Penalties Were Imposed||Unknown||Unknown|
|Number of Penalties Imposed that Were Collected||Unknown||Unknown|
|Routine Inspections Conducted||Yes (5)||Yes (23)|
|Routine Inspections Targeted||Yes (5)||Yes (23)|
|Unannounced Inspections Permitted||Yes (5)||Yes (23)|
|Unannounced Inspections Conducted||Yes (5)||Yes (23)|
|Complaint Mechanism Exists||Yes (5)||Yes (23)|
|Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Labor Authorities and Social Services||Yes (5)||Yes (23)|
The Inspector General for Labor (IGT) does not have national coverage because there is only representation on Sal, Santiago, and São Vicente Islands.(23) When IGT inspectors find a case of child labor, they inform the Cabo Verdean Institute for Children and Adolescents (ICCA) of the case for referral to social service providers.(5) In 2016, 18 children were removed from exploitative work and referred to the appropriate social services.(23)
Criminal Law Enforcement
In 2016, criminal law enforcement agencies in ctions to combat the worst forms of child labor (Table 7).
Table 7. Criminal Law Enforcement Efforts Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor
|Overview of Criminal Law Enforcement||2015||2016|
|Training for Investigators|
|Initial Training for New Employees||No (5)||Unknown|
|Training on New Laws Related to the Worst Forms of Child Labor||No (5)||Unknown|
|Refresher Courses Provided||Unknown (5)||Unknown|
|Number of Investigations||Unknown (5)||1 (10)|
|Number of Violations Found||Unknown (5)||Unknown|
|Number of Prosecutions Initiated||Unknown (5)||Unknown|
|Number of Convictions||0 (5)||Unknown|
|Reciprocal Referral Mechanism Exists Between Criminal Authorities and Social Services||Yes (5)||Yes (23)|
In 2016, officials investigated a group of individuals for allegedly forcing girls into commercial sexual exploitation.(10)
IV. Coordination of Government Efforts on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).
Table 8. Key Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor
|Coordinating Body||Role & Description|
|National Committee for Child Labor Prevention and Eradication in Cabo Verde (CNPETI)||Coordinate the execution of the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor. Supervised by ICCA.(22, 25)|
|ICCA’s National Unit for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labor||Coordinate and monitor the implementation of all national programs and activities to prevent and combat child labor. Counsels victims of child labor and their families.(26)|
|Children and Adolescent Committee to Prevent and Combat Sexual Abuse and Exploitation||Contribute to the prevention and elimination of child sexual exploitation by coordinating the activities of member organizations and public and private services.(22) Led by ICCA.(27)|
V. Government Policies on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
The Government has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 9).
Table 9. Key Policies Related to Child Labor‡
|National Action Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor||Prioritizes the eradication of child labor. Outlines specific objectives, including data collection, institutional capacity building, and enhancement of measures to prevent, protect, and remove children from involvement in child labor.(25)|
|National Plan to Combat Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents (2017-2019)†||Aims to prevent and combat the sexual exploitation of children.(28) In 2016, ICCA conducted a public presentation of the Plan.(29)|
|Code of Ethics Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children||Guides and governs agencies involved in the tourism sector to combat the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents.(30)|
† Policy was approved during the reporting period.
‡ The Government had other policies that may have addressed child labor issues or had an impact on child labor.(31)
VI. Social Programs to Address Child Labor
In 2016, the Government funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms (Table 10).
Table 10. Key Social Programs to Address Child Labor
|Child Labor Awareness Campaigns||Government program implemented by ICCA and the National Committee for Child Labor Prevention and Eradication that conducts national awareness campaigns on the worst forms of child labor.(32) In 2016, ICCA conducted awareness raising activities on the National List of Dangerous Work for Children in Boa Vista, Fogo, and Santiago islands.(29)|
|Help for At-Risk Children†||ICCA-implemented program that provides education, health services, and professional training to vulnerable children and their families. Eight day centers for street children vulnerable to sexual and labor exploitation operate on Boa Vista, Fogo, Sal, Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Vicente islands.(33)|
|Child Emergency Centers and Social Protection and Reintegration Centers†||ICCA-implemented program that operates emergency centers for child victims of abuse and sexual exploitation on Santiago, Santo Antão, and São Vicente Islands.(22, 25, 33) The Government also operates five social protection and reintegration centers that provide support and educational integration services to children who have experienced long-term trauma.(5, 8, 22, 33)|
|Government Efforts to Increase Access to Education†||Donor-funded programs implemented by the Government that ensure access to education for disadvantaged children by paying for school fees, materials, and meals.(24)|
† Program is funded by the Government of Cabo Verde.
Research found that programs to assist children involved in agriculture and domestic work are not sufficient to address the scope of the problem.
VII. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Cabo Verde (Table 11).
Table 11. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms
|Area||Suggested Action||Year(s) Suggested|
|Legal Framework||Ensure that all children are protected by law, including children who are self-employed or engaged in unpaid work.||2015 – 2016|
|Prescribe the number of hours per week and conditions under which light work may be undertaken.||2015 – 2016|
|Enforcement||Make law enforcement data publicly available, including information on the labor inspectorate’s funding, training for labor inspectors, number and type of labor inspections conducted, number of child labor violations found, as well as the training for criminal investigators, number of violations found during criminal investigations, prosecutions initiated, and convictions achieved.||2011 – 2016|
|Ensure that the IGT receives adequate resources to conduct labor inspections on all islands.||2014 – 2016|
|Social Programs||Conduct research to determine specific activities related to children’s work in agriculture to inform policies and programs.||2013 – 2016|
|Institute programs to address child labor in agriculture and domestic work.||2010 – 2016|
- Instituto Nacional de Estatística, Instituto Cabo-verdiano da Criança e do Adolescente, and Organização Internacional do Trabalho. Inquérito Multi-objectivo Contínuo 2013: Relatório do Trabalho Infantil em Cabo Verde. Praia; 2014. http://www.ilo.org/ipecinfo/product/download.do?type=document&id=27356.
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education, both sexes (%). Accessed December 16, 2016; http://data.uis.unesco.org/. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary education. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. This ratio is the total number of new entrants in the last grade of primary education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population at the theoretical entrance age to the last grade of primary education. A high ratio indicates a high degree of current primary education completion. The calculation includes all new entrants to the last grade (regardless of age). Therefore, the ratio can exceed 100 percent, due to over-aged and under-aged children who enter primary school late/early and/or repeat grades. For more information, please see “Children’s Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
- UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. Original data from Inquérito as Despesas e Receitas Familiares, 2001-2002. Analysis received December 15, 2016. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children’s work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information, please see “Children’s Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” in the Reference Materials section of this report.
- U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, January 15, 2015.
- U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, January 19, 2016.
- U.S. Department of State. “Cabo Verde,” in Country Reports on Human Rights- 2015. Washington, DC; April 13, 2016; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/252871.pdf.
- Government of Cabo Verde official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 13, 2015.
- U.S. Department of State. “Cabo Verde,” in Trafficking in Persons Report- 2016. Washington, DC; June 30, 2016; http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/252871.pdf.
- U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, November 25, 2015.
- U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, November 4, 2016.
- Child Rights International Network (CRIN). Cape Verde: Children’s Rights in UN Treaty Body Reports, December 5, 2016 [cited January 18, 2017]; https://www.crin.org/en/library/publications/cape-verde-childrens-rights-un-treaty-body-reports.
- Government of Cabo Verde. Código Laboral Cabo-verdiano, Lei n.º 5/2007, enacted October 16, 2007. [Source on file].
- Government of Cabo Verde. Código Civil, enacted September 30, 1997. http://www.africanchildforum.org/clr/Legislation%20Per%20Country/cape%20verde/capeverde_civilcode_1997_pr.pdf.
- Government of Cabo Verde. Lei n.º 113/VIII/2016, de 10 de março, que aprova a Lista Nacional do Trabalho Infantil Perigoso (TIP) e regula a sua aplicaçao, enacted March 10, 2016. http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/101425/122193/F1140011145/LEY%20113%20CABO%20VERDE.pdf.
- Government of Cabo Verde. Código Penal, enacted November 11, 2015. [Source on file].
- Government of Cabo Verde. Lei n.º 78/IV/93, enacted July 12, 1993. [Source on file].
- Government of Cabo Verde. Lei do Serviço Militar, enacted May 24, 1993. http://www.defesa.gov.cv/index.php/biblioteca/g-legislacao?id=126&phpMyAdmin=digZAi3C2LAmmDu3lOihYcPdya5.
- Government of Cabo Verde. Bases do Sistema Educativo, Decreto-Legislativo n.º 2/2010, enacted May 7, 2010. [Source on file].
- ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Cabo Verde (ratification: 2011) Published: 2016; accessed December 22, 2016; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID,P11110_COUNTRY_ID,P11110_COUNTRY_NAME,P11110_COMMENT_YEAR:3241860,103096,Cabo%20Verde,2015.
- U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, January 17, 2014.
- U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, February 13, 2015.
- Government of Cabo Verde. Informações solicitadas pelo Departamento do Trabalho do EUA Sobre o Trabalho Infantil; 2014. [Source on file].
- U.S. Embassy- Praia. reporting, January 12, 2017.
- ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Direct Request concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Cabo Verde (ratification: 2001); accessed November 9, 2015; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:3185771:NO.
- Government of Cabo Verde. Plano de Acção de Prevenção e Erradicação do Trabalho Infantil-PANPETI, Resolução n° 43/2014, do B.O. I Série, n° 36, enacted June 2, 2014. [Source on file].
- U.S. Embassy- Praia official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 20, 2013.
- U.S. Embassy- Praia official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. March 10, 2017.
- Instituto Cabo-verdiano da Criança e do Adolescente. Plano Nacional de Combate à Violência Sexual Contra Crianças e Adolescentes 2017-2019. December 2016. [Source on file].
- U.S. Embassy- Praia official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. April 19, 2017.
- Government of Cabo Verde. Código de Conduta Ética do Turismo Contra a Exploração Sexual da Criança e do Adolescente, enacted April 2, 2014. [Source on file].
- Government of Cabo Verde. Estratégia de Crescimento e de Redução da Pobreza III (2012 – 2016). December 2012. [Source on file].
- U.S. Embassy- Praia official. E-mail communication to USDOL official. May 10, 2016.
- Instituto Cabo-verdiano da Criança e do Adolescente (ICCA). Acções de Promoção e Protecção dos Direitos das Crianças em Cabo Verde 2014/2015; 2015. [Source on file].