US concerned over child labour in Western Sahara
The US Department of Labour claims that there is reason to assume that children in Western Sahara are engaged in some of the worst forms of child labour,  "particularly in dangerous forms of agriculture".
Published: 13.06 - 2013 09:59Printer version    
"Some evidence suggests that children in Western Sahara continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor, particularly in dangerous forms of agriculture" reads the United States Department of Labour's report "2011 Findings on the worst forms of child labour - Non-Independent Countries and Territories".

Children in Western Sahara are reportedly engaged with dangerous agricultural tools, heavy loads and dangerous chemicals. The report also says that sanctions against child labour, as adopted in Moroccan law, have not been enforced.

The only area in Western Sahara hosting profitable agricultural sites is Dakhla, located in the south of the territory. Last year, WSRW published a report documenting how produce grown on the agricultural sites in Dakhla ends up in EU supermarkets. All the plantations are owned by French-Moroccan conglomerates, Moroccan businessmen or the Moroccan King. Also the US itself imports agriculture products from this very same area.

The US Department's report on child labour doesn't contain any specific information about the nature and prevalence in Western Sahara. Yet, the situation in the territory is presented as one of the worst cases of those addressed in the report. For most of the territories under review, there are no accounts of child labour. That is not the case for Palestine and Western Sahara, the former being the best documented of the two.

The report was published 26 September 2012.



Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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