Mauritania and Guinea: Persistence of Child Labour and Slavery

The ITUC is releasing today a report on core labour standards in Mauritania and Guinea, coinciding with the Trade Policy Review of the two countries at the WTO. The report finds poor compliance with international labour standards, especially with regard to child labour and forced labour.

The report finds that about 20 per cent of Mauritanians are in conditions approaching slavery and the government of Mauritania tolerates a very high level of traditional forms of slavery and slavery-like practices. At the same time, Guinea has not made any significant progress in fighting forced labour and human trafficking. Child labour, including its worst forms, is a serious problem. The report also finds that these problems are aggravated by a lack of law enforcement.

Mauritanian and Guinean security forces continue to suppress strikes, and trade unions face harassment, threats and intimidation. With regard to equality, the report shows that women face considerable gender pay gaps. Women are concentrated in badly paid job positions and are usually employed in informal economic activities. Discrimination also occurs against members of ethnic groups, disabled persons, homosexuals and persons living with HIV/AIDS.

To read the full report