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Côte D'Ivoire

Children are severly affected by the post-conflict challenges faced by Côte d'Ivoire, including their right to education, protection, health and nutrition. 

Although school is compulsory until the age of 15, enrolment rates are low. The quality of education has worsened since the beginning of the civil conflict. Children also have few opportunities to participate in school decisions.

Boys and girls, educated or uneducated, poor or rich, are psychologically or physically abused in both urban and rural areas, in their homes, by teachers and other school staff. Children accused of being possessed by demons are subject to abuse by evangelical priests in the form of chaining, flogging and several days of fasting to exhort the bad spirits.

Children are likely to witness violence as there is a general acceptance of domestic violence within the Ivorian society. Children may also be killed if they have a disability or because of traditional beliefs. Minors held in prison, together with adults, suffer from poor detention conditions and violence at the hands of staff and other detainees.

A large number of children were sexually violated by armed forces during the war. Sexual violence continues to be signalled throughout the country, but impunity has prevailed so far. Girls as young as 14 years are married off against the law. Approximately one third of women and girls are excised despite severe laws against female genital mutilation.

Children are trafficked from rural to urban areas, from north to south and across borders for forced agricultural, domestic and sexual work. Child labour is commonly seen, especially in rural areas and often in hazardous conditions. Children mostly work in the agricultural sector - on cocoa farms, in coffee, cotton, pineapple and rubber plantations. Many domestic workers, mostly girls, have migrated from the rural areas or from neighbouring countries. Working conditions are harsh and exploitation is common.

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