Action against Child Labor in Agriculture in West Africa

Project Duration
December 2022
February 2026
Funding and Year

The Problem

In the West Africa region, an estimated 23 percent of all children are in child labor. Of those children, over 80 percent live in rural areas and work in agriculture, primarily in family subsistence and smallholder agricultural production. The informal nature and geographic scope of agricultural production represent a significant challenge for effective action against child labor. Effectively combatting child labor in rural agricultural areas of West Africa requires the active engagement of regional and national organizations with the capacity to mobilize resources, engage communities and stakeholders, and implement effective social protection systems. Action is also needed to support occupational safety and health among agricultural producers and monitor and evaluate interventions for effectiveness. This project will address child labor through technical assistance to address these gaps. Supporting regional collaboration to scale up promising practices by national governments and communities is another means of addressing these challenges.

Our Strategy

The ACLAWA project aims to support the efforts of the Government of Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States in order to combat child labor. The project will conduct activities to achieve two outcomes:

  • Increased capacity of ECOWAS to implement the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to eliminate child labor.
  • Increased mobilization of ECOWAS Member States to implement National Action Plans to eliminate child labor.  

ACLAWA will support ECOWAS in mobilizing resources and conducting advocacy in support of its Regional Action Plan, which encompasses the development and operationalization of the ECOWAS Child Labor/Forced Labor Accountability Tool for monitoring and reporting RAP’s implementation. Additionally, ACLWA will support the broader adoption and utilization of the ECOWAS Peer Review mechanism to facilitate direct coordination between ECOWAS Member States, aligning child labor policies.

The ACLAWA project will also support the Government of Nigeria in improving the legislative, policy, and enforcement enabling environment for addressing child labor. It will support cocoa-producing communities in Ondo State in developing and implementing community action plans to address child labor in the production of cocoa.


  1. The ACLAWA project identified ten communities in which project activities will be implemented based on the prevalence of child labor in the cocoa sector.
  2. The project visited key stakeholders in Ondo State to strengthen collaborative efforts in the elimination of child labor in the state and to develop a project action plan.  
  3. In collaboration with the ACCEL Africa Project, GALAB project, and the National Steering Committee on the Elimination of Child Labor, ACLAWA commemorated the 2023 World Day Against Child Labor with the theme “Social Justice for All, End Child Labor!” Over 200 participants participated in a national walk against child labor led by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment, the National Children’s Parliament, and the Director of the ILO Abuja office.
International Labor Organization (ILO)
Contact Information:
(202) 693-4843 / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)
Child Labor
Agricultural Cocoa
Economic Community of West African States