The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001.  Please see www.state.gov for material released since President George W. Bush took office on that date.  This site is not updated so external links may no longer function.  Contact us with any questions about finding information.

NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Department Seal

flag
bar

Title:  Guinea Human Rights Practices, 1995  
Author:  U.S. Department of State   
Date:  March 1996   
 
 
 
 
                                   GUINEA 
 
 
The Republic of Guinea held its first multiparty legislative elections 
in June, delivering more than 60 percent of Parliament's seats to 
President Lansana Conte's Party of Unity and Progress (PUP).  President 
Conte took office in January 1994, after multiparty elections in which 
the Government dominated the electoral process.  Opposition leaders, 
some international observers, and segments of the citizenry have voiced 
suspicion of PUP's considerable victories in both parliamentary and 
municipal elections.  The country has a professed goal of moving from 
its authoritarian, one-party legacy to democracy.  Although the PUP 
continues to dominate all three branches of government, opposition 
parties remain a sharp--if brittle--thorn in the Government's side. 
 
The gendarmerie and the national police share responsibility for 
internal security and sometimes play an oppressive role in the daily 
lives of citizens.  The Red Berets--autonomous presidential guards--are 
accountable to almost no one except the President.  Members of all of 
Guinea's security forces, which many citizens view as corrupt, 
ineffective, and even dangerous, committed frequent human rights abuses. 
 
Eighty percent of Guinea's 7 million citizens engage in subsistence 
agriculture, and annual per capita gross domestic product is about $528.  
Major exports include bauxite, gold, and diamonds. 
 
Human rights remain circumscribed.  Major human rights abuses include:  
the denial of citizens' rights to change their government; occasional 
instances of vigilante justice; extrajudicial killings by security 
forces; police abuse of prisoners and detainees; instances of arbitrary 
detention; governmental failure to guarantee access by attorneys to 
clients in prison; inhumane prison conditions; the executive branch's 
influence over the judicial system; societal discrimination and violence 
against women; discrimination against minorities; and prostitution and 
genital mutilation of young girls. 
 
The Government dominated the electoral process and rejected popular 
demands for important changes.  An independent press occasionally 
criticized the Government, but the latter owns and operates the 
electronic media, the major medium for reaching the vast majority of the 
public.  The Government uses the official press to denounce efforts by 
international organizations to scrutinize its human rights practices. 
 
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
Section 1   Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom 
from: 
 
   a.   Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing 
 
There were no reports of targeted political killings, but there were 
several extrajudicial killings by security forces.  On January 1, 16 
prisoners died in custody in Conakry's central jail.  Government 
officials offered conflicting explanations for the deaths, including an 
escape attempt and gang warfare.  Thirteen of the victims were buried 
quickly without autopsy, and authorities did not release the autopsy 
results from the other three.  Human rights organizations condemned the 
Government for failing to protect prisoners and for neglecting 
conditions at the jail.  Opposition leaders accused the Government of 
ordering the killings to prevent the 16 from speaking about their links 
with senior government officials.  The opposition has given no evidence 
to support their accusations.  Despite persistent rumors and vacillating 
statements by the Government, there has been no public call for the 
examination of government culpability. 
 
Altercations between civilians and police prior to the legislative 
elections ended in several civilian deaths, as reported by Guinea's two 
independent newspapers.  One confirmed extrajudicial killing took place 
following a political rally in downtown Conakry on June 22, when a 
police officer shot and killed a youth.  One day later, the President 
indefinitely postponed the upcoming municipal elections in that 
district.  City authorities arrested the policeman involved, but at 
year's end no trial had been held. 
 
In April an army sergeant killed three civilians using a hand grenade; 
military authorities charged him with murder and sentenced him to death.  
Authorities also charged two police officers with the killing of a 
civilian following an outbreak of violence in the city of Kissidougou on 
June 22.  The officers are currently awaiting trial (see Section 1.e.). 
 
   b.   Disappearance 
 
There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances. 
 
   c.   Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment 
 
The Penal Code and the Constitution prohibit torture and cruel, inhuman, 
and degrading treatment.  However, both civilian and military security 
forces often use beatings to extract confessions and employ other forms 
of brutality. 
 
On June 15, the independent newspaper L'Independant interviewed four men 
who described their escape from a Kankan prison, where antiriot police 
had reportedly detained and tortured them.  They described crowded, 
filthy, unventilated cells, in which they were beaten and attested to 
the rape of female prisoners by guards.  One of the interviewees had 
lash marks on his back and a broken hand as evidence of mistreatment.  
The British Broadcasting Corporation also reported that 137 civilian 
students whom police had incarcerated escaped from the military barracks 
in Kankan; police had threatened them with execution or 5 years' 
imprisonment for supporting opposition political parties.  There were no 
reported judicial proceedings against the police officers involved. 
 
Prison conditions are inhumane and life threatening.  Family members and 
friends are responsible for feeding prisoners.  Standards of sanitation 
remain poor, and deaths due to malnutrition and disease are frequent.  
Prisoners report threats and harassment by guards.  The Government does 
not permit local human rights organizations to visit prisons. 
 
   d.   Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
The Penal Code requires that detainees must be charged before a 
magistrate within 72 hours.  Once charged, the accused may be held until 
the final outcome of the case, including a period of appeal.  Release on 
bail is at the discretion of the magistrate who has jurisdiction.  The 
Constitution proscribes incommunicado detention.  The law provides for 
access by attorneys to their clients, but authorities frequently do not 
respect this provision. 
 
In practice, administrative controls over the police are ineffective, 
and security forces rarely follow the Penal Code; arbitrary arrest 
remained a persistent threat. 
 
In October 1994, police arrested four student leaders during a student 
strike and held them incommunicado for 24 hours.  They were later 
charged, convicted, and imprisoned.  The President pardoned them on 
January, 1 week after sentencing.  In a similar incident, authorities 
detained five other students on December 28, 1994, denying them access 
to a lawyer for 3 days.  Only a very small percent of the prison 
population are pretrial detainees. 
 
In September the police detained between 200 and 300 activists from the 
Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party, following the killing of a 
police officer during an RPG demonstration which turned violent.  
According to credible reports, some of those detained were suspected in 
the killing; hundreds of others were detained for being RPG members or 
sympathizers.  Most were subsequently released without charge, but at 
year's end 35 remained in detention charged with inciting violence.   
 
On December 28, members of the presidential guard arrested, beat, and 
detained the U.S. Embassy React Team--composed of four Guinean 
employees--who were responding to a call by an American citizen for 
assistance.  Subsequent radio reports falsely declared them to be 
"bandits" engaged in "dirty work."  The team remained in the 
presidential guard's detention building until January 9 when they were 
released without being charged with a crime.  No action was taken 
against the members of the guard who were involved. 
 
   e.   Denial of Fair Public Trial 
 
The Constitution provides for the judiciary's independence.  
Magistrates, however, are civil servants having no guarantee of tenure 
and are susceptible to influence by the executive branch.  Judicial 
authorities often defer to central authorities in politically sensitive 
cases.  In addition, the administration of justice is plagued by 
numerous other problems, including shortages of magistrates (who 
generally are poorly trained) and lawyers, and an outdated and overly 
restrictive Penal Code.  Owing to corruption and nepotism in the 
judiciary, relatives of influential members of the Government are 
virtually above the law. 
 
The judiciary includes courts of first instance, two Courts of Appeal 
and the Supreme Court, the court of final appeal.  There is also a State 
Security court, but it has not met since the trial of those allegedly 
involved in a coup attempt in 1985.  Since 1988 civilian courts have 
rendered all judgments involving civilians under the Penal Code.  A 
military tribunal prepares and adjudicates charges against accused 
military personnel, to whom the Penal Code does not apply. 
 
The Penal Code provides for the presumption of innocence of accused 
persons, the independence of judges, the equality of citizens before the 
law, the right of the accused to counsel, and the right to appeal a 
judicial decision.  Although in principle the Government is responsible 
for funding legal defense costs in serious criminal cases, in practice 
it rarely disburses these funds.  The attorney for the defense 
frequently receives no payment. 
 
A traditional system of justice exists at the village or urban 
neighborhood level.  Litigants present their civil cases before a 
village chief, a neighborhood leader, or a council of wise men.  The 
dividing line between the formal and informal justice systems is vague, 
and a case may be referred from the formal to the traditional system to 
ensure compliance by all parties.  Similarly, if a case cannot be 
resolved to the satisfaction of all parties in the traditional system, 
it may be referred to the formal system for adjudication.  The 
traditional system discriminates against women in that evidence given by 
women has less weight. 
 
Suspected criminals, notably thieves and rapists, are sometimes beaten 
to death by their victims or by others.  Though police authorities 
rarely intervene to rescue victims of vigilante justice, Kissidougou 
residents held security forces in the Forest region responsible for the 
death of a youth during the arrest of a rape suspect.  On June 22, 
violence erupted over the alleged rape of a young girl.  Police, 
attempting to arrest one suspect, killed another youth in the agitated 
mob.  Relatives of the slain victim carried his body to the prefect's 
office, demanding that the prefect eat the flesh of the person who had 
been killed (see Section 1.a.). 
 
Government-controlled radio and television broadcast live trial 
proceedings, reflecting the more open and publicly monitored judicial 
system. 
 
   f.   Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
The Constitution provides for the inviolability of the home, and 
judicial search warrants are required by law.  However, police 
frequently ignore these procedures.  Police and paramilitary police 
often ignore legal procedures in the pursuit of criminals and frequently 
detain private citizens at night roadblocks in order to extort money to 
supplement their incomes.  It is widely believed that security officials 
monitor mail and telephone calls.  Local businesses, especially 
expatriate companies, often complain of intimidation and harassment by 
public officials and authorities. 
 
Section 2   Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 
 
   a.   Freedom of Speech and Press 
 
The Government has stated publicly that it supports free speech and a 
free press, and the Constitution provides for freedom of expression, 
subject to certain limitations.  But the Government can and does employ 
a broad range of restrictions vitiating any real protection.  It 
prohibits what it considers seditious talk or chants uttered in public, 
has established defamation and slander as criminal offenses, and 
prohibits communications which personally insult the President, or 
incite violence, discrimination, or hatred, or which disturb the public 
peace.   
 
The Government also publishes the official newspaper.  Reporters for the 
official press, who are government employees, practice self-censorship 
in order to protect their jobs. 
 
There is a vocal independent press which is occasionally critical of the 
President and the Government.  The independent Le Lynx, for example, 
condemned the Conakry jail killing (see Section 1.a.).  Two weekly 
newspapers and up to two dozen other publications continue to publish, 
despite technical and financial difficulties.  Some newspapers are 
affiliated with opposition parties while others offer news and criticism 
of both the Government and the opposition.  The Government owns and 
operates the electronic news media, with national radio serving as the 
most important electronic means of reaching the public.  There were no 
known attempts to interfere with foreign radio broadcasts. 
 
Journalist Diallo Souleymane was arrested in August and convicted in 
October of "offense to the head of state."  He was sentenced to a 3-
month suspended prison term and ordered to pay a fine of 2.5 million 
Guinean francs ($2,500).  Diallo appealed the conviction and at year's 
end his case was still pending.   
 
There is no licensed independent radio.  The Government shut down one 
independent radio station for operating without a license, but the 
station continues to broadcast occasionally. 
 
Political tracts circulate widely throughout Conakry and other regions 
and include specific criticisms of the President and high officials.  
Foreign publications, some of which include criticism of the Government, 
are usually available.  In April Government officials removed all 
posters and photographs of opposition party leaders from public areas in 
Kankan.  According to independent newspapers, the officials also 
threatened "exemplary penalty" to anyone caught replacing the campaign 
material during the election season. 
 
The Ministry of Higher Education exercises control over academic freedom 
through its influence on faculty hiring and control over curriculum.  In 
general, teachers are not subject to classroom censorship. 
 
   b.   Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
Freedom of association is protected by law, but there are legal 
restrictions on assembly, a power which the Government exercises to 
thwart unwanted political assembly.  The Penal Code bans any meeting 
that has an ethnic or racial character or any gathering "whose nature 
threatens national unity."  Public gatherings are legal only if the 
Government receives notification 72 hours prior to the event.  
Authorities cited this law when they refused to allow Siradiou Diallo, 
leader of a major political opposition party, to hold a preelection 
rally in Kankan on May 20. 
 
The Government bans all street marches except for funerals.  Pursuant to 
this statute, local authorities may cancel a demonstration or meeting if 
they believe that it will threaten public order.  They may hold event 
organizers criminally liable if violence or destruction of property 
ensues. 
 
The opposition coalition conducted a 3-day general strike in August to 
protest the legislative elections and deteriorating economic conditions.  
Isolated incidents included tire-burning and rock-throwing, which 
prompted a heavy military presence on Conakry's streets. 
 
Political parties must provide information on their founding members and 
produce internal statutes and political platforms consistent with the 
Constitution before the Government recognizes them.  There are 46 
legally recognized political parties.  There were credible reports of 
harassment and oppression of the RPG party. 
 
   c.   Freedom of Religion 
 
The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government 
respects this right in practice.  Foreign missionaries and church-
affiliated relief agencies operate freely.  The Government and the 
quasi-governmental National Islamic League have spoken out against the 
proliferation of Shi'ite fundamentalist sects which they alleged were 
"generating confusion and deviation" (within Guinean Islam), but have 
not restricted these groups.  The Constitution provides religious 
communities with the freedom to govern themselves without state 
interference. 
 
   d.   Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
The Constitution provides citizens with the right to travel freely 
within the country and to change their place of residence and work.  The 
Government requires all citizens to carry a national identification card 
which they must present on demand at security checkpoints.  Travelers 
face harassment by police and at military roadblocks, particularly late 
at night.  It is common to pay bribes at these roadblocks. 
 
The Government permits foreign travel, although it retains the authority 
to limit it for political reasons.  The Government officially closed 
Guinea's borders and restricted internal travel during the June 11 
legislative elections and closed the borders again during municipal 
elections 3 weeks later. 
 
Guinea currently hosts over 580,000 refugees from Liberia and Sierra 
Leone.  The Government works closely with the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Program, and nongovernmental 
organizations to assist those designated as refugees, and has provided 
school buildings and access to local medical facilities.  However, 
relief organizations report that government authorities have demanded 
portions of donated fuel and food from delivery convoys, with losses 
estimated at up to 25 percent. 
 
While the Government has generally been hospitable toward refugees, 
there have been reports of local police and border patrol soldiers 
harassing refugees and seeking bribes or sexual favors for entry into 
Guinea.  There were credible independent reports of mistreatment of 
refugees in Gueckedou-Macenta.  There were no reports of forced 
repatriation. 
 
Section 3   Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to 
Change Their Government 
 
Although the 1990 Constitution provides for a popularly elected 
president and a multiparty parliament, the ability of citizens to 
exercise effectively this provision is restricted.  The Government's 
tight control of the electoral process, one in which the Ministry of 
Interior functions as both player and referee, and the President's 
decision to postpone municipal elections in Kissidougou and Kaloum, call 
into serious doubt the ability of citizens to change the government. 
 
In March the Carter Center characterized Guinea's political system as a 
"directed democracy," i.e., a system in which formal institutions and 
practices of constitutional democracy are present, but which in 
practice, the extensive powers of the ruler, party, or regime "severely 
limit contestation by individuals, organized groups, legislative 
assemblies, and the judiciary." 
 
President Conte took office in January 1994 after multiparty elections 
in December 1993 in which the Government dominated the electoral 
process.  The President's party, the Party of Unity and Progress, won 62 
percent of the legislative seats and 56 percent of the municipal 
vacancies during the June legislative elections.  The International 
Commission of Jurists reported seeing no seals on the legislative 
ballots, results envelopes left open, and various means of intimidation 
used at some polling places.  The African-American Institute said that 
the National Electoral Commission--the supposed "moral guarantor of 
electoral fairness"--had only a marginal role. 
 
Opposition leaders deemed the entire process an "electoral masquerade" 
and "a comedy," and openly questioned the credibility and legitimacy of 
PUP's municipal and legislative landslide victories.  Shortly after 
results were announced, nine opposition parties joined forces to form an 
umbrella organization, CODEM, dedicated "to act, organize, and combat 
together to make Guinea a land of liberty."  However, these parties' 
deputies did take their seats in the National Assembly. 
 
Allegations of fraud by both the opposition and some international 
observers after the National Assembly elections on June 11 failed to 
incite popular outrage or even surprise.  Voter turnout for the 
municipal elections on June 29 was low--about 30 percent, according to 
government figures.  

Women are underrepresented in the Government, and hold just 4 of the 27 
Cabinet positions.  They also play a minor role in the leadership of the 
major opposition parties. 
 
The Cabinet includes representatives of all major ethnicities, but a 
disproportionate number of senior military officers are Soussou, the 
ethnic group of President Conte. 
 
Section 4   Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
Local nongovernmental organizations primarily interested in human rights 
issues include:  the Guinean Organization for the Defense of Human 
Rights; the Guinean Human Rights Association; the Children of the 
Victims of Camp Boiro; the Association of Victims of Repression; the 
Committee for the Defense of Civic Rights; and the Coordinating 
Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting Women's and Children's 
Health.  Government officials are generally cooperative and responsive 
to their views. 
 
On April 12, border officials detained three Amnesty International 
delegates at the Conakry airport for several hours.  The delegates were 
allowed to leave after the police had searched their bags and 
confiscated materials relating to Guinea's human rights situation. 
 
The government-controlled press denounced efforts by foreign governments 
and other organizations to interfere in Guinean internal affairs, 
including the protection of human rights. 
 
Section 5   Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, 
Language, or Social Status 
 
The Constitution states that all persons are equal before the law 
regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, language, beliefs, political 
opinions, philosophy, or creed, but the Government does not uniformly 
enforce these provisions. 
 
   Women 
 
Violence against women is common, although estimates differ as to the 
extent of the problem.  Wife-beating is a criminal offense and 
constitutes grounds for divorce under civil law; however, police rarely 
intervene in domestic disputes. 
 
Although the Government has made regular statements in the media against 
sexual harassment, women working in the formal sector in urban areas 
complain of frequent sexual harassment.  Refugees from Liberia and 
Sierra Leone report some Guinean soldiers demand sex in exchange for 
entry into Guinea.  There are credible reports from prisoners that 
female inmates are subject to harassment and sexual assault by guards.  
The social stigma attached to rape prevents most victims from reporting 
it.  The Government has not vigorously pursued criminal investigations 
of alleged sexual crimes. 
 
The Constitution provides for equal treatment of men and women, and a 
special government ministry works to ensure such equality.  Women face 
discrimination, however, particularly in rural areas, where 
opportunities for women are limited by custom and the demands of child-
rearing and subsistence farming.  Women are not denied access to land, 
credit, or businesses, but women receive less inheritance.  The 
Government has affirmed the principle of equal pay for equal work, but 
in practice women receive less pay than men in most equally demanding 
jobs.  According to a 1993 United Nations Development Program report, 
females receive only 20 percent as much schooling as males and 
constitute 30 percent of the labor force. 
 
   Children 
 
The Constitution provides that the Government has a particular 
obligation to protect and nurture the nation's youth, and the Government 
allocates a significant percentage of the budget to primary education.  
The President appoints a cabinet minister to defend women's and 
children's rights. 
 
Female genital mutilation (FGM), which is widely condemned by 
international health experts as damaging to both physical and 
psychological health, is practiced in all regions and among all 
religious and ethnic groups in Guinea and performed on girls as young as 
four.  According to an independent expert, about 60 percent of females 
have undergone this procedure.  Infibulation, the most dangerous form of 
FGM, is practiced in the Forest region.  Despite efforts by proponents 
of women's rights to call attention to the practice, and in spite of 
diseases resulting from crude and unsanitary surgical instruments and 
deaths resulting from the practice, the tradition continues, seriously 
affecting women's lives.  The Government has made efforts to educate 
health workers on the dangers of this procedure and supports the World 
Health Organization resolutions calling for its elimination. 
 
Prostitution exists in the informal economic sector and employs girls as 
young as 10.  The Government will take prohibitive action if 
prostitution of minors is brought to its attention, but does not 
actively monitor child or adult prostitution. 
 
   People with Disabilities 
 
The Constitution provides that all persons are equal before the law.  
There are no special constitutional provisions for the disabled.  The 
Government has not mandated accessibility for the disabled, and few 
disabled people work. 
 
   National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities 
 
While the Constitution and the Penal Code prohibit racial or ethnic 
discrimination, ethnic identification is strong.  Mutual suspicion 
affects relations across ethnic lines, in and out of government.  
Promotions to the highest military ranks below the President include 
representatives all three major ethnic groups. 
 
Section 6   Worker Rights 
 
   a.   The Right of Association 
 
The Constitution provides for the right of employees to form independent 
labor unions and prohibits discrimination based on their union 
affiliation.  Only an estimated 5 percent of the work force is 
unionized.  Most union members are government employees, employees of 
the national utilities (electric, water, and telephone companies), or of 
foreign-controlled companies. 
 
The Labor Code states that all workers, except military and 
paramilitary, have the right to create and participate in organizations 
that defend and develop their individual and collective rights as 
workers.  It requires elected worker representatives for any enterprise 
employing 25 or more salaried workers. 
 
The National Confederation of Guinean Workers (CNTG) was the sole trade 
union before the Labor Code was enacted.  Even though there are now 
other trade unions and labor confederations, the CNTG remains the 
largest confederation. 
 
The CNTG is indirectly funded by the State, although dissident members 
seek to increase the Confederation's freedom from government control.  
Independent unions and confederations have gained popularity, such as 
the Free Union of Teachers and Researchers of Guinea and the National 
Organization for Free Trade Unions of Guinea.  Several disgruntled 
groups within the CNTG left the Confederation, citing corruption in its 
leadership.  These groups joined with some independent unions to form a 
new confederation, the United Syndicates of Guinean Workers. 
 
The Labor Code grants salaried workers, including public sector civilian 
employees, the right to strike 10 days after their representative union 
makes known its intention to strike.  It prohibits strikes in sectors 
providing "essential services" (hospitals, radio and television, army, 
and police). 
 
Bank employees staged a 1-day strike in June to demand discounted 
mortgage rates.  They settled after the banks agreed in part to their 
demands.  One week later, Conakry taxi drivers went on strike to protest 
excessive fines imposed by police.  Both events passed peacefully, but 
workers made little headway.  Most workers went to work on all 3 days of 
the general strike in August, called to protest election results and 
economic conditions. 
 
Unions may freely affiliate with international labor groups.  The 
Government continues to designate CNTG to represent workers in the 
International Labor Organization conference. 
 
   b.   The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively 
 
Under the Labor Code, representative workers' unions or union groups may 
organize the workplace and negotiate with employers or employer 
organizations.  The law protects the right to bargain collectively 
concerning wages and salaries without government interference.  Work 
rules and work hours established by the employer are developed in 
consultation with union delegates.  The Code also prohibits antiunion 
discrimination.  Union delegates represent individual and collective 
claims and grievances with management.  Individual workers threatened 
with dismissal or other sanctions have the right to a hearing before 
management with a union representative present and, if necessary, to 
take the complaint to the Conakry Labor Court which convenes weekly to 
hear such cases.  In the interior, civil courts hear labor cases. 
 
There are no export processing zones. 
 
   c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
The Labor Code specifically forbids forced or compulsory labor, and 
there is no evidence of its practice. 
 
   d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children 
 
According to the Labor Code, the minimum age for employment is 16 years.  
Apprentices, however, may start at 14 years.  Workers and apprentices 
under the age of 18 are not permitted to work at night, nor for more 
than 12 consecutive hours, nor on Sundays.  The Labor Code also 
stipulates that the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs maintain a list 
of occupations in which women and youth under the age of 18 cannot be 
employed.  In practice, enforcement by ministry inspectors is limited to 
large firms in the modern sector of the economy.  Children of all ages 
work on family farms, in small trades, and in the informal sector, such 
as street vending. 
 
   e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work 
 
The Labor Code provides for the establishment by decree of a guaranteed 
minimum hourly wage, but the Government has not yet done so.  There are 
also provisions in the Code for overtime and night wages which are fixed 
percentages of the regular wage.  According to the Labor Code, regular 
work is not to exceed 10-hour days or 48-hour weeks, and there is to be 
a period of at least 24 consecutive hours of rest each week, usually 
Sunday.  Every salaried worker has the legal right to an annual paid 
vacation, accumulated at the rate of at least 2.5 workdays per month of 
work.  In practice, the authorities enforce these rules only in the 
relatively small modern urban sector. 
 
The Labor Code contains provisions of a general nature respecting 
occupational safety and health, but the Government has not yet 
elaborated a set of practicable workplace health and safety standards.  
Neither has it issued any of the ministerial orders laying out the 
specific requirements for certain occupations and for certain methods of 
work that are called for in the Labor Code.  The Ministry of Labor and 
Social Affairs is responsible for enforcing labor standards, and its 
inspectors are empowered to suspend work immediately in situations 
hazardous to health.  However, enforcement remained more a goal than a 
reality.  Labor inspectors acknowledge that they cannot even cover 
Conakry, much less the entire country, with their small staff and meager 
budget. 
 
(###)

[end of document]

flag
bar

Department Seal

Return to 1995 Human Rights Practices report home page.
Return to DOSFAN home page.
This is an official U.S. Government source for information on the WWW. Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.