Combating Forced Labor and Labor Trafficking of Adults and Children in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire

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Project Duration:
December 2017
-
December 2022
Funding and Year:
FY
2017
: USD
3,490,318

This project builds the capacity of the government and businesses to expand and better coordinate ongoing labor trafficking enforcement efforts in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. By putting the right tools in the hands of labor inspectors, business owners, workers, and service providers, the project will advance greater supply chain transparency and accountability to ensure that cocoa production is free of exploitative labor.

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The Problem

Despite a relatively strong national anti-trafficking legal framework, forced labor and labor trafficking have been documented in a number of key economic sectors in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Government anti-trafficking efforts are limited by a lack of systematic data collection, monitoring and analysis. Meanwhile, private sector efforts to monitor labor practices have for the most part focused narrowly on the prevention of child labor in both countries’ high-profile cocoa industry. Companies, governments and others face the persistent challenge of identifying the point at which grueling or poorly paid work becomes involuntary (forced labor) – and thus violates international standards and national laws.

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Our Strategy

The project will help law enforcement, private sector due diligence monitors, social service and civil society organizations including workers’ unions, and workers themselves to prevent, detect and eliminate forced labor and labor trafficking in supply chains. By adopting an indicator-based framework developed by the ILO, stakeholders will share a common vocabulary and set of indicators to coordinate anti-labor-trafficking efforts.  
  
The project will leverage the programming and monitoring infrastructure already in place to combat child labor in cocoa and expand its reach to other sectors known to be at risk of using forced labor. FLIP contributes to the development of a common framework on forced labor indicators through creating educational resources on forced labor; offering trainings on forced labor; consulting on the integration of forced labor indicators into monitoring systems; and conducting a Training of Trainers for labor inspectors,
  
Project partners will also collect up-to-date qualitative and quantitative data on indicators of forced labor currently present in the cocoa, palm oil, gold mining sectors of Ghana and in the cocoa and coffee sectors of Côte d’Ivoire. This data will be fed into piloting a streamlined approach to forced labor monitoring. FLIP integrates this approach into existing efforts, encouraging coordination among stakeholders and providing labor inspectors with the tools and training they need. Through this integrated approach, the project will promote a scalable, streamlined model for monitoring and enforcement.  
  
Additionally, the project will ensure that national and regional data collection, prevention and remediation efforts are aligned between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

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Results

  1. To date, the project has trained 85 civil society and trade union members, 47 government representatives, and 40 private sector individuals in Ghana on how to identify and assess instances of forced labor. 
  2. The project provides ongoing training to members of civil society, the private sector, trade unions, and governments on how the ILO forced labor indicators approach can be used to prevent, identify, and address forced labor. Those engaged include:  
    • The Cocoa Sustainability Team of Olam, Ghana;   
    • A coalition of civil society organizations in Ghana working to support the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 8;  
    • Leaders of the Ghanaian General Agricultural Workers Union;   
    • Staff from the Human Trafficking Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection; and  
    • Journalists as part of a larger training on child labor convened by the International Cocoa Initiative.   
  3. In May 2020, the project launched a free online learning resource featuring two courses: Forced Labor Frameworks and The ILO Forced Labor Indicators. Government ministries, business owners, workers, and organizations providing social services use these resources to build the capacity of their staff in forced labor and related issues.  
  4. Following a 2019 needs assessment of the labor inspectorate, the project developed an innovative virtual, yet interactive, training of trainers curriculum on forced labor in collaboration with the Ghanaian Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations. The curriculum is designed to train labor inspectors on how to identify, address, and prevent forced labor using the ILO forced labor indicators approach and how to in turn deliver training to colleagues. To date, 10 labor inspector trainers have been trained in Ghana, and the project continues to support them as they implement their own trainings of all 168 current labor inspectors.  
  5. Based on the success of the Ghana model, the project is expanding activities into Côte d’Ivoire. Activities in Côte d’Ivoire will complement the project’s original objective by strengthening a common framework for understanding and addressing forced labor risks in both countries, including in the cocoa supply chain.
Grantee: Verité
Implementing Partners: International Cocoa Initiative, NORC
Contact Information:
globalkids@ilab.dol.gov
/
Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)