With 2021 designated the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, the ICI said is presents an important opportunity to raise awareness of the challenge, and double down on efforts to tackle it.
In order to recognize the International Year, the Alliance 8.7 (the global partnership for eradication of forced labour) and the International Labour Organisation are calling on all stakeholders to make a Pledge for Action that will be achieved by the end of 2021, with the aim of ending child labour by 2025.
The ICI and its members have pledged to scale up the coverage of systems that effectively prevent and address child labour as part of corporate human rights due diligence efforts - for example Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS).
It said that by the end of 2021, its collective aim is for these systems to cover 540,000 cocoa-growing households in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, representing approximately 30% of the cocoa supply chain in those countries.
“At ICI, we are greatly heartened to see so many strong pledges to tackle child labour from a wide range of NGOs, businesses and governments. ICI’s pledge on behalf of its members is an equally significant commitment to action that will increase the reach of impactful systems in 2021 as a major stride towards our eventual goal of catalyzing 100% supply chain coverage by 2025,” said Nick Weatherill, ICI’s Executive Director.
“We look forward to supporting our members and other stakeholders in the sector in putting their pledges into action and continuing our drive to scale up efforts that are proven to help in the fight against child labour in cocoa.”
The ICI’s ambitious pledge forms part of its wider goal to help ensure that 100% of the cocoa supply chain is covered by such systems by 2025.
According to the most recent US-funded study by NORC, approximately 1.56m children are currently involved in some form of child labour in the cocoa sectors of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
A separate study by NORC also found that there has been a one-third reduction in hazardous child labour in communities where company programmes that include these systems have been in place for at least three years, proving that they are delivering tangible impact that now needs to be extended to more communities, more households and more children at-risk, according to the ICI.