Towards child labour free cocoa growing communities

Child labour across West Africa is largely concentrated in the informal economy, for the most part in agriculture. A number of socio-economic factors contribute to child labour and the movement of migrant workers and children within and between countries, including some who are trafficked or in conditions of forced labour. Since the signing of the Harkin-Engel Protocol in 2001, particular attention has been paid to eliminating child labour in the cocoa supply chain in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, where, to that end, government, industry and other stakeholders have invested considerable resources through a myriad of initiatives. The rate of decrease in the number of children engaged in the worst forms of child labour (WFCL) in the targeted countries is insufficient to achieve the global goal of its elimination by 2016, much less the ILO African region’s target of 2015.

This project proposes an Integrated Area-Based (IAB) approach in which - recognizing that poverty and decent work deficits are among the primary root causes of child labour - eliminating child labour in cocoa growing communities is managed as a process embedded in the wider national strategies for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour, the promotion of education and decent work and the reduction of poverty.



  • In December 2012, the Social Partners in Ghana (Ghana Employers’ Association-GEA and the Trades Union Congress of Ghana –TUCG) signed a Bipartite Declaration on Child Labour to re-dedicate and commit themselves to the fight against all forms of child labour and acknowledge that both employers and workers have a role to play in combating child labour.
  • A draft report was validated by national partners on 15th May, 2012 and the final report shared with key education and child labour stakeholders including Ghana Education Service (GES) and the 4 Cocoa Community Project District Assemblies.
  • Ghana’s national, regional and district The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) Staff were trained for mainstreaming and sustainability of child labour awareness raising.
  • In Côte d’Ivoire, IPEC.CCP, provided trainings against child labour and various related subjects for different categories of stakeholders. These included: Training workshop for 33 Magistrates on the national and international legal framework against child labour.
  • All the five components of the Cocoa Communities Project (Social mobilisation and community action planning, improving access to quality basic education, enhancing livelihoods of cocoa households, strengthening of Ghana Child Labour Monitoring Systems (GCLMS) and enhancing the capacities of national partners) are contributing to the achievement of the National Plan of Action (NPA) goal.
  • Thus far, a total of 153 key sub-national level partners including District Child Protection Committees (DCPCs), Community Child Protection Committee (CCPCs) were trained on child labour and the GCLMS to enhance the participation, mainstreaming and sustainability of child labour activities in the districts.
  • The final Training Manual on Labour Inspections was submitted by the International Consultant in March 2012, and shared with Labour Department, Dept of Factory Inspectorate, Inspections Division of GES and Cocoa.