The Geneva-based non-profit organisation's report highlights the positive impact made in tackling child labour in West Africa, while calling for more action from within the sector to scale up progress.
Key among ICI’s results presented in the report are significant reductions in child labour noted as a result of community development projects carried out over the past five years and the continuing success of Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS).
Showing progress from last year, but also examining the results of longer running efforts to tackle child labour, the report shows that significant impact is possible when resources are invested, but it also underlines that sector-wide scale up is more important than ever.
With the cocoa sector now threatened by the social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more urgent than ever, the ICI said. It has also called for activities to be scaled up as well as highlighting activities that have allowed the organisation to directly benefit over 380,000 children since 2015.
Now more than ever, we need to advance our thinking, drive innovation, adapt our tools and build capacities -- Nick Weatherill, ICI’s executive director
The 2019 report specifically explores in detail two pillars of its work to tackle child labour in cocoa: the promotion of responsible supply chain management through CLMRS and the tackling of root causes through community development.
As it outlines in the report, the CLMRS, implemented with ICI’s partners, has positively impacted over 215,000 children in cocoa-growing communities in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana since 2015. The systems, embedded in cocoa supply chains and in collaboration with local actors and cocoa cooperatives, work to monitor, identify, prevent and remediate child labour cases, particularly helping companies conduct effective human rights due diligence in relation to child labour.
The report reveals that last year, over 160,000 farmers were targeted by the CLMRS. In addition, 41,305 child labour awareness raising sessions were carried out within cocoa farming households and communities, 4,110 community members took part in income-generating activities, and 213 Community Service Groups were trained and equipped, supporting a reduction in child labour by providing farmers with affordable labour.
Community development, the second pillar of ICI’s work, has also proven to be highly effective, the report claimed. In 2019, a preliminary analysis of ICI’s Community Development Programme carried out between 2015 and 2018, shows a reduction of hazardous child labour of between 20-30% in communities in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
“Now more than ever, we need to advance our thinking, drive innovation, adapt our tools and build capacities. When the resilience and livelihoods of cocoa communities are increasingly threatened, and when these pressures are expected in turn to increase the risks to children, we need to capitalise on the positive results we’ve achieved and double down on our efforts to take them to scale” said Nick Weatherill, ICI’s executive director.
In 2019, a preliminary analysis of ICI’s Community Development Programme carried out between 2015 and 2018, shows a reduction of hazardous child labour of between 20-30% in communities in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
Eliminating Child Labor in Cocoa (ECLIC) project
Results from the four-year Eliminating Child Labor in Cocoa (ECLIC) project, which ended last year and was funded by the United States Department of Labor, underline the potential benefits for children of sustained community development, with hazardous child labour falling by 37% among supported households in 50 communities.
“The impacts we’ve shown from our CLMRS and community development work are highly encouraging, and so too is the growing commitment from all actors in the sector. It’s now imperative that we all unite behind a common purpose of reaching every child at-risk, and building systems in the supply-chain, through national services and in communities that protect them, ”said Weatherill.
- Access the ICI’s 2019 annual report: Learning from impact, innovating to scale up here.