2012 In Focus Archive: January 23, 2012
Update on Child Labor and Cocoa
On Monday, January 23, 2012, USDOL hosted a Stakeholder Briefing on progress that has been made over the past year towards achieving the goals of the Declaration on Joint Action to Support Implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol. This Declaration and its accompanying Framework of Action aim to support efforts to combat the worst forms of child labor in cocoa producing areas of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. The Stakeholder Briefing included over 80 participants from government, academia, workers, industry, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. There was high-level participation from the governments of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and the United States, including the Ivorian Minister of Labor Mr. Gilbert Koné Kafana and Minister of Family, Women and Children, Mrs. Raymonde Coffie Goudou, Ghanaian Ambassador, Mr. Daniel Ohene Agyekum, Senator Tom Harkin, Congressman Eliot Engel, and USDOL Deputy Secretary Seth Harris. Deputy Secretary Harris opened the meeting and called for translating commitments into action. In turn, he thanked participants for their commitment to the goal of bringing new hope to thousands of children and families in West Africa.
Following opening remarks by representatives of government and the international chocolate and cocoa industry, stakeholders participated in break-out discussions on a range of topics, including promoting transparency and community involvement, assessing impact, utilizing new technology, and linking livelihood and remediation and child labor reduction. Participants provided recommendations for how to enhance ongoing efforts to promote education, livelihoods, infrastructure, and other child labor-elimination initiatives in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.
The briefing was part of a week long meeting of the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group. During the Jan. 23-27 meeting, participants reviewed Framework commitments, worked together on developing child labor monitoring systems, and reviewed industry proposals for new projects that include additional funding for efforts under the Framework. The companies presenting this week include Mars, Ferrero, Nestle and Barry Callebaut.
- Read the CLCCG Annual Report (PDF)
- View the Stakeholder Briefing (PPT)
- View the Stakeholder Participant Organizations (PDF)
- View the Slideshow