Child well-being & community development should be prioritized to fight child labour in the cocoa sectors of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana say reports

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Report
23 May 2016

Children at the heart - Assessment of Child Labour and Child Slavery in Côte d'Ivoire's Cocoa Sector and Recommendations to Mondelēz International

Author: Aarti Kapoor, Managing Director/ Lead Consultant, Embode

This report presents an assessment of child labour and child slavery in the cocoa sectors of Côte d'Ivoire as commissioned by Mondelēz International...Despite efforts, child labour is still largely prevalent in Côte d'Ivoire. In 2013, ILO estimated that total of 1.42 million of children in Côte d'Ivoire were engaged in the worst forms o child labour. According to Tulane University the percentage of children working in cocoa production, and in hazardous work in cocoa production, has increased from 23.1% to 34.9% and from 22.3% to 30.9%, respectively, between 2008/9 and 2012/2013. Most evidence highlights the reality that children's work and child labour are prevalent, in different forms, throughout the country...Cote d'Ivoire national laws and regulations prohibit the use of child labour and child slavery, and promote the rights of children...A complex array of causes and conditions, enablers and push factors results in children being exploited in cocoa farms...Achieving cocoa sustainability is a major priority and endeavour in Côte d'Ivoire and it is through the lens of working towards cocoa sustainability that many of the largest stakeholders in both the private and public sector are recognising the importance of community development...although life in communities may revolve around cocoa framing, communities are of course more than just cocoa producers...narrowly focused child labor awareness raising in communities should only be a short first step measure, not a long-term endeavour. A sustainable child-centred approach to child and children slavery calls for the integration of the viewpoint of the child and his or her family and community...This also requires all stakeholders to strengthen and build upon existing national support systems and mechanims, in partnership with the Ivoirian government. These include strengthening of basic support services such as education, health, justice, as well as water and sanitation.               

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Report
23 May 2016

Children at the heart - Assessment of Child Labour and Child Slavery in Ghana's Cocoa Sector and Recommendations to Mondelēz International

Author: Aarti Kapoor, Managing Director/ Lead Consultant, Embode

This report presents an assessment of child labour and child slavery in the cocoa sectors of Ghana as commissioned by Mondelēz International...Despite efforts over the last decade, child labour is largely prevalent in Ghana, across many sectors in both urban and rural contexts. There is an estimated 880,000 children engaged in hazardous work in cocoa production in Ghana, according to Tulane University's 2013/14 survey. Of Ghana's total child population in cocoa-growing areas (2,236,124), a total of 957,398 (42.8%) were estimated to be working in cocoa production, 918,543 (41.1%) were child labourers working in cocoa production and 878,595 (39.3%) were estimated to be engaged in hazardous work in cocoa production. Although Ghnana has seen an overall decrease of 6.4% and 8.8% in child labour and child labour in hazardous work respectively between 2008/9 and 2013/14, the numbers of children estimated to be engaged in child labour activities is still alarmingly significant...Ghana has a strong legal framework for child protection with comprensive national laws protecting children from child labour and exploitation...A complex array of causes and conditions, enablers and push factors results in children being exploited in cocoa farms...These include persistent cultural practices, gender inequalities, child vulnerabilities and youth labour migration patterns. Deep underlying factors include, among others, economic and strutural poverty, a lack of access to basic services such as education, health, sanitation and justice...A sustainable child-centred approach to child labour and child slavery calls for the integration of the viewpoint of the child and his or her family and community. For a child, she or he needs needs protection from all forms of exploitation and abuse. Focusing on one type of harm may push childen into other more hidden form exploitation. Without systematically responding to the root vulnerabilities and enablers of child lbour, efforts run the risk of simply plastering over the issue in ways wich externalise it to another sector or geographical area. in order to put children at the heart of efforts against child labour in cocoa, the focus must be on the holistic well-being of the child...This also requires all stakeholders to strengthen and build upon existing national support systems and mechanims, in partnership with the Ghanaian government. These include strengthening of basic support services such as education, health, justice, as well as water and sanitation.             

 

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Item
23 May 2016

‘Prioritise child well-being and community development in the cocoa sector’ says Embode

Author: Aarti Kapoor, Managing Director/ Lead Consultant, Embode

International consulting group Embode released ‘Children at the Heart’ today, the first two in a series of three reports on child labour in the cocoa sectors of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia commissioned by Mondelēz International. Embode’s research found that a complex array of conditions and factors, such as economic and structural poverty, persistent cultural practices, child vulnerability and labour migration, enabled child labour in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Embode’s report issued eight recommendations, calling on cocoa producers to place more emphasis on child well-being and community development. “Any intervention we make must take a child-centred approach, recognising the child within the ecology of their family and community,” said Aarti Kapoor, Managing Director of Embode and Lead Researcher on the project. “Child labour does not exist in a vacuum, and is far from being limited to cocoa,” added Kapoor. “Tackling the complex problem of child labour requires a complex solution – we must address the livelihoods and basic services for quality education, health and social services in communities over time,” said Kapoor. Mondelēz International’s Cocoa Life programme has been heralded as a promising approach, fostering the transformation of communities over time and helping tackle the root enablers of child labour. The Cocoa Life programme has a significant community development component, and is implemented on the ground through multi-year partnerships with international non-governmental organisations. Building on Mondelez’s achievements, Embode called for more focus on child protection and well-being using school systems as entry-points for proactive child protection interventions into child labour; more robust impact reporting to enable a continuous cycle of learning; and better access to quality education for children.

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