Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - The Gambia has achieved moderate advancement in child labour report and work to address human trafficking and sexual exploitation, the US Embassy said here Wednesday in a statement made available to PANA.
The United States Department of Labour (DOL) in the 2019 edition of its annual findings on the worst forms of child labour report (TDA Report) found that The Gambia made advancement in combating child labour.
The report highlights the moderate advancement The Gambia made in 2019 to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.
The statement said during the reporting year, the government signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict.
The government also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of the United Arab Emirates to put in place formal protections for Gambian workers employed in that country.
The statement further revealed that the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP) held training courses, some in conjunction with local and international partners, for government officials at border posts, The Gambia Police, travel agencies, airlines, and the tourism security unit, on trafficking in persons’ issues.
However, the report found that children in The Gambia still engaged in the worst forms of child labour, including commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking, and forced begging.
The report highlights that gaps in the law remained, including children starting an apprenticeship in the informal sector at the age of 12, an age below the compulsory education age of 16.
“It indicates that the scope of social programmes is insufficient to fully address the extent of the problem, as programmes do not reach all children working in agriculture and domestic work, or those vulnerable to human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, forced begging, and street work,” the report stated.
The report also highlighted that girls and boys from other West African countries were allegedly trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation from their countries into The Gambia.
The report pointed out that it’s indicated that tourists also allegedly subject children to commercial sexual exploitation in tourist areas, as well as in private homes.
“The United States government is committed to working with the government and people of The Gambia, in coordination with other international partners, to address the scourge of child exploitation.
“We urge the government of The Gambia to strengthen efforts to combat the worst forms of child labour and protect those vulnerable to human trafficking in the soonest possible time frame,” the statement said.
The TDA report includes an assessment of government actions to advance efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.
The Gambia is among 131 countries, non-independent countries, and territories profiled in this report.
-0- PANA MSS/RA 30Sept2020