Minister of State Fernando Elísio Freire assured that “all the rights of all Cape Verdean citizens are respected” when asked about the problems in the chains pointed out by the US State Department.
The US State Department, equivalent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has identified the conditions in the jails as one of the main human rights problems in Cape Verde.
“We are a democratic state and of course all the rights of all Cape Verdean citizens are respected,” Lusa Fernando Elísio Freire, who was on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of an initiative on the Protection of Children and Adolescents in Cape Verde, which takes place in the city of Praia.
The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Sports said he did not know the US State Department report yet, but he assured that the Government “is working to score all these matters well.”
“Cape Verde is a democratic rule of law and we are very proud of this and all our action has been to always respect our democratic rule of law,” he added.
The report notes that “human rights issues include harsh and potentially dangerous conditions for life in jails and failure to protect children from violence and child labor.”
One of the problems that the non-governmental organizations and the Cape Verdean government are trying to solve is the existence of children living on the streets.
Fernando Elísio Freire recognized that this is “a reality” in Cape Verde.
“There are children on the street. They are much less than they were. We are working to resolve this issue that is of basic human right, by family disruption, “he said.
He added: “We are working to create institutions and centers that can house these children, but above all, giving these children an opportunity to assert themselves in the future.”
The president of the Cape Verdean Institute for Children and Adolescents (ICCA), Maria Medina Silva, attending the meeting told reporters that technicians are out in the street trying to reduce begging.
“We are going to work families because we have worked harder to think about the children and we have been a bit off families. Now, our focus will be not only on the children and the family, [but also] showing them what they should do better if they want a better future for the children. ”
Maria Medina Silva said she is still analyzing the US State Department report, which points out the existence of children in street work such as the sale of water and food or car washing, which makes them vulnerable to trafficking, as well as in domestic service, agriculture, garbage collection and drug trafficking.
The report points to the difficulty in monitoring and enforcing laws that prohibit child labor in the informal sector, which accounts for 12 percent of the economy, but highlights awareness campaigns to combat this scourge.
The document notes the existence of cases of child sexual abuse registered throughout the country and points out that often the alleged abusers are awaiting trial in freedom.
It is also noted that there are “several unconfirmed reports of tourists involved in sex with minors or minors involved in prostitution in exchange for money and drugs.”
The report notes in this regard the Government’s efforts to prevent the sexual exploitation of children “through a national coordination commission and a code of ethics for the tourism industry”.