The United States Department of Labor has released the 18th edition of its annual findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report, with the report concluding children in The Gambia engage in the worst forms of child labour.

A statement by the US Embassy in Banjul on Friday said the TDA report includes an assessment of government actions to advance efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

“The Gambia is among 131 countries, non-independent countries, and territories profiled in this Report. The Report highlights moderate advancement The Gambia made to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, including providing training to relevant individuals in support of the protection of children,” the statement said.

It added: “However, the Report found that children in The Gambia engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking and forced begging.

“The United States government is committed to working with the government and people of The Gambia, in coordination with other international partners, to address the scourge of child exploitation.

“We urge the government of The Gambia to reinvigorate efforts to combat the worst forms of child labor and protect those vulnerable to human trafficking in the soonest possible timeframe.

“Ensuring public awareness of the government’s specific actions and inter-ministerial work plans will further enable civil society partners and the public to play crucial roles in this important process.

“To this end, the United States government, through the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) is providing a $750,000 (GMD 37.1 Million) grant to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support The Gambia’s national efforts to combating human trafficking in the country, including human trafficking related to the worst forms of child labor, and to support Gambian-led progress toward effectively combatting trafficking in persons.”