Cape Verde - Working conditions

The constitution guarantees respect for human dignity and recognizes the inviolable and inalienable rights of humanity, peace, and justice. It recognizes the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of social origin, social condition, economic status, race, religion, political convictions, or ideologies. The constitution promises transparency for all citizens in the practicing of fundamental liberties and guarantees the equality of citizens in all fields. Forced labor is illegal. However, Cape Verde lacks the legislation and implementation machinery to ensure that the requirements of the constitution are upheld. Despite this, Cape Verde is a tolerant society, and the multiparty democratic process and the rule of law are well established.

A major problem in Cape Verde is unemployment, with 24 percent of the economically active population unable to find formal work. Although public investment in productive, export-oriented sectors is likely to increase, it will not grow quickly enough to make major reductions in the unemployed workforce. Therefore, many will continue to seek work in foreign countries, despite the increasing legal problems of immigration to the United States and Europe. There is no set minimum wage. Trade unions exist in Cape Verde but are not particularly aggressive.

Social Security is available through the Instituto Nacional de Previdencia Social (INPS), established in 1991. The INPS provides a range of benefits, including retirement and disability pensions. In 1995 the scheme covered 23,000 workers, who contribute 23 percent of their earnings.

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