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4 Apr 2016

Emilie Iob, Voices of America (USA)

Côte d'Ivoire: Govt. coordinates efforts to end child labour & trafficking on cocoa plantations

"Ivory Coast Fights Child Labour on Cocoa Plantations", 28 Mar 2016

Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, most of it from Ivory Coast. Child labour on cocoa plantations has been well documented and persists despite a 15-year-old agreement between the government and the world’s top chocolate sellers to stop it...It is not just local children, however. Sometimes, children are trafficked from neighboring countries. In June, INTERPOL rescued 48 children from Ivory Coast cocoa plantations. The operation was backed by the Ivory Coast first lady's office, which has been coordinating the effort against child labour and child trafficking. It has launched poverty-reduction initiatives to reduce the use of child labour, such as providing microcredits for women to diversify their incomes between cocoa harvests. Yet, an estimated 1.1 million children worked on cocoa plantations during the 2013-2014 harvest season. The government says it aims to reduce that number by 70 percent in the next four years.