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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ILAB News Release: [10/25/2012]
Contact Name: Gloria Della or Laura McGinnis
Phone Number: (202) 693-4679 or x4653
Release Number: 12-2111-NAT

US Department of Labor awards $1.5 million to Tulane University’s Payson Center for research on child labor in West African cocoa-growing areas

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs has awarded a $1.5 million cooperative agreement to Tulane University's Payson Center for International Development in New Orleans to carry out research on the prevalence of child labor in cocoa-growing areas of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.

Tulane will develop a baseline estimate of the number of children engaged in the worst forms of child labor in these areas based on survey data from 2008-2009 as well as a new survey of activities during the 2013-2014 cocoa harvest season. As part of this award, Tulane will provide technical assistance to help enhance the capacity of the countries' national statistical offices to conduct similar surveys in the future. Tulane also will develop a manual that can be used to replicate its research design and survey implementation methodology.

This award illustrates the Labor Department's continuing commitment to achieve the goals of the 2010 Declaration of Joint Action to Implement the Harkin-Engel Protocol, which was signed by Secretary Hilda L. Solis, the labor ministers of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, and a representative of the International Chocolate and Cocoa Industry.

The international chocolate and cocoa industry similarly committed itself to funding programs under the declaration. To date, eight companies (Barry Callebaut, Ferrero, Hershey, Kraft, Mars, Nestle, Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill) have allocated another $10 million to reduce the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-producing areas of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana.

All of these programs are designed to reinforce broader efforts being undertaken by the governments of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana to address child labor, including the promotion of educational opportunities for children and economic opportunities for their households, and the expansion of community-based child labor monitoring systems and social protection services. For more information on efforts under the declaration of joint action, read the Oct. 5, 2011, statement of progress on reducing child labor in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/programs/ocft/news.htm.