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Notice

Bureau of International Labor Affairs; Request for Information on Efforts by Certain Countries To Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

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AGENCY:

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs, United States Department of Labor.

ACTION:

Request for information on efforts by certain countries to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

SUMMARY:

This notice is a request for information for use by the Department of Labor in preparation of an annual report on certain trade beneficiary countries' implementation of international commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. This will be the sixth such report by the Department of Labor under the Trade and Development Act of 2000 (TDA).

DATES:

Submitters of information are requested to provide two (2) copies of their written submission to the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking at the address below by 5 p.m., December 22, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Written submissions should be addressed to Tina McCarter at the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room S-5307, Washington, DC 20210.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tina McCarter, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking, at (202) 693-4846, fax: (202) 693-4830, or e-mail: mccarter-tina@dol.gov. The Department of Labor's international child labor reports can be found on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/​ILAB/​media/​reports/​iclp/​main.htm or can be obtained from the Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Trade and Development Act of 2000 [Pub. L. 106-200] established a new eligibility criterion for receipt of trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), Caribbean Basin Trade and Partnership Act (CBTPA), and Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The TDA amends the GSP reporting requirements of the Trade Act of 1974 (Section 504) [19 U.S.C. 2464] to require that the President's annual report on the status of internationally recognized worker rights include “findings by the Secretary of Labor with respect to the beneficiary country's implementation of its international commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.”

Likewise, Title II of the TDA includes as a criterion for receiving benefits under the CBTPA “whether the country has implemented its commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, as defined in section 507(6) of the Trade Act of 1974.” The TDA Conference Report [Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference, 106th Cong. 2d. sess. (2000)] indicates that “the conferees intend that the GSP standard, including the provision with respect to implementation of obligations to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, apply to eligibility for those additional benefits” [provided for in the AGOA.]

In addition, the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) as amended and expanded by the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act Start Printed Page 70543(ATPDEA) (Pub. L. 107-210, Title XXXI) includes as a criterion for receiving benefits “[w]hether the country has implemented its commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor as defined in section 507(6) of the Trade Act of 1974.”

Scope of Report

Countries and non-independent countries and territories presently eligible under the GSP and to be included in the report are: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Christmas Islands, Cocos Islands, Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gabon, the Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Heard Island and MacDonald Islands, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Island, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Island, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tokelau Island, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Wallis and Futuna, West Bank and Gaza Strip, Western Sahara, Republic of Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Countries eligible or potentially eligible for additional benefits under the AGOA and to be included in the report are: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Countries potentially eligible for additional benefits under the CBTPA and to be included in the report are: Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Countries potentially eligible for additional benefits under the ATPA/ATPDEA and to be included in the report are: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

In addition, the following countries will be included in the report in view of Department of Labor Appropriations, 2006, Conference Report, H.R. Rep. 109-337 (2005): Bahrain, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Morocco.

Information Sought

The Department invites interested parties to submit written information relevant to the findings to be made by the Department of Labor under the TDA, for all listed countries. Information provided through public submission will be considered by the Department of Labor in preparing its findings. Materials submitted should be confined to the specific topic of the study. In particular, the Department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs is seeking written submissions on the following topics:

1. Whether the country has adequate laws and regulations proscribing the worst forms of child labor;

2. Whether the country has adequate laws and regulations for the implementation and enforcement of such laws and regulations;

3. Whether the country has established formal institutional mechanisms to investigate and address complaints relating to allegations of the worst forms of child labor;

4. Whether social programs exist in the country to prevent the engagement of children in the worst forms of child labor, and to assist in the removal of children engaged in the worst forms of child labor;

5. Whether the country has a comprehensive policy for the elimination of the worst forms of child labor;

6. Whether the country is making continual progress toward eliminating the worst forms of child labor.

Information relating to the nature and extent of child labor in the country is also sought. Information submitted may include reports, statistics, newspaper articles, or other materials. Governments that have ratified ILO Convention 182 are requested to submit copies of their most recent article 22 submissions under the Convention, especially those with information on types of work determined in accordance with Article 3(d) of the Convention.

Definition of Worst Forms of Child Labor

The term “worst forms of child labor” is defined in section 412(b) of the TDA as comprising:

“(A) All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict;

(B) The use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;

(C) The use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in relevant international treaties; and

(D) Work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.”

The TDA Conference Report noted that the phrase, “work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children” is to be defined as in Article II of Recommendation No. 190, which accompanies ILO Convention No. 182. This includes

“(a) Work which exposes children to physical, psychological, or sexual abuse;

(b) Work underground, under water, at dangerous heights or in confined spaces;

(c) Work with dangerous machinery, equipment and tools, or which involves the manual handling or transport of heavy loads;

(d) Work in an unhealthy environment which may, for example, expose children to hazardous substances, agents or processes, or to temperatures, noise levels, or vibrations damaging to their health;

(e) Work under particularly difficult conditions such as work for long hours or during the night or work where the child is unreasonably confined to the premises of the employer.”

The TDA Conference Report further indicated that this phrase be interpreted in a manner consistent with the intent of Article 4 of ILO Convention No. 182, which states that such work shall be determined by national laws or Start Printed Page 70544regulations or by the competent authority in the country involved.

This notice is a general solicitation of comments from the public.

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Signed at Washington, DC, this 29th day of November, 2006.

James Carter,

Deputy Undersecretary, Bureau of International Labor Affairs.

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[FR Doc. E6-20561 Filed 12-4-06; 8:45 am]

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