Reducing Child Labor in Cocoa FarmingAs a follow-up to an earlier post concerning improvements in cocoa farming in West Africa (where 75% of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family holdings), here is a short video put together by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI). The video introduces ICI's work to reduce exploitation of child labor.
ICI, based in Switzerland, is a foundation set up in 2002 as a partnership among non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labor unions, cocoa processors and the major chocolate brands. ICI's mission is
to oversee and sustain efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and forced labour in the growing and processing of cocoa beans and their derivative products.In order to accomplish its mission, ICI takes a long-term view:
By working in concert with communities, we create the building blocks necessary to ensure long-term change. Changing long-standing and deeply embedded local practices is not a quick fix. Affecting meaningful and sustainable change must, therefore, be driven by community-based solutions that harness local knowledge, capabilities and buy-in.The ICI video gives a sense of how their pilot projects work locally
to ensure children are not involved in hazardous practices, a mechanism for the identification and rescue of trafficked children, investment in education and youth programmes and a framework to ensure these changes become permanent.If you want additional detail, you can go to ICI's website to read a brief write-up of the pilot program in Attobrakrom the community in Ghana featured in the video and a summary of an evaluation of how the pilot program fared in all the communities in which it was instituted.