N’zérékoré is a city in the southeast of Guinea, near the border to Liberia. It has a population of around 195.000 people and is an important trading centre for the surrounding areas.
The city’s population has almost tripled since 1996, not least due to the influx of refugees from neighbouring Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire fleeing the civil wars in those countries. What makes the situation more difficult are the socio-economic conditions and the fragile political environment in the entire region.
Since 2001, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families, and advocating for their rights in N’zérékoré.
Life expectancy is a way to measure the health of a population. The global average life expectancy is 72,7 years.
With an average of 55 years, life expectancy in the region around N'zérékoré is by far the lowest of all regions in Guinea. There is also a big urban-rural gap. For example, the average person from Conakry lives for just over 65 years of age.
Some of the leading causes of death in Guinea are lower respiratory infections, malaria, diarrheal diseases.
Even though Guinea has passed laws prohibiting child labour, it has made little effort to stop it completely. The laws passed do not meet international standards. For example, they do not include children working outside of formal employment.
Some Guinean boys may be forced to work in gold and diamond mines, while girls are involved in domestic work and may be subject to sexual exploitation.
Child labour can result in physical and mental harm. It can prevent children from attending school and receiving health care. This restricts their fundamental rights and threatens their futures.