Slavery in Cape Verde



Socially speaking, child labour in Cape Verde is quite normal, it is something that is acceptable. This is because from early childhood children are trained to work as a way to teach responsibility.


Cape Verde is a source country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking within the country and, at times, a source for persons trafficked to Brazil, Portugal, and other countries in Europe for forced transport of drugs. Migrants from China, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, and Senegal may receive low wages, work without contracts, and not have regularized their visa status, creating vulnerabilities to forced labor. West African migrants may transit the archipelago en route to situations of exploitation in Europe. Cape Verdean children work in domestic service, often working long hours and at times experiencing physical and sexual abuse—indicators of forced labor. Reports indicate that boys and girls, some of whom may be foreign nationals, are exploited in prostitution in Santa Maria, Praia, and Mindelo. Sex tourism, at times involving prostituted children, is a problem in Cape Verde. Cape Verdean adults and children are at risk of being deceived or forced into transporting drugs to or within Brazil and Portugal.


The Cape Verdean Institute for Children and Adolescents (ICCA), under the Ministry of Youth, Employment, and Human Resources Development, made concerted efforts to protect child victims of sexual abuse, including children in prostitution, and to assist vulnerable children




Cape Verdean law does not specifically prohibit all forms of trafficking, though several existing statutes cover certain forms. Article 14 of the labour code prohibits forced labour and Article 271 of the penal code outlaws slavery, both of which prescribe sufficiently stringent penalties of six to 12 years’ imprisonment. Article 148 of the penal code outlaws facilitating prostitution of children under the age of 16 and prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties of two to eight years’ imprisonment for victims under 14 years and one to five years for victims aged 14 or 15.


In Cape Verde it is prohibited to hire children for work under 15 years of age, as stated by the articles 138 and 182 of the International Labour Organization.


Cape Verde is a signatory to the international convention under the African Charter on the Rights and Well-being of Children.