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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, Published on: 23 May 2016

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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