MATE MASIE – Making Advances to Eliminate Child Labor in More Areas with Sustainable Integrated Efforts
The MATE MASIE project seeks to strengthen capacity, connections, and accountability across child labor enforcement and monitoring within cocoa cooperatives and will work to build capacity of cocoa cooperatives to support vulnerable member households directly and by linking their members with other service providers.
Ghana is a major producer of cocoa, with approximately 800,000 families relying on cocoa for their livelihoods. Cocoa production is labor intensive, and working on cocoa farms can be hazardous, particularly for children, whose physical, mental, and psychological capacities are still developing. The informal nature of cocoa production represents one of the challenges to effective monitoring and prevention of child labor.
Gaps persist in Ghana’s cocoa sector, which contribute to pervasive child labor in the cocoa sector. Efforts are needed to improve the capacity of cocoa cooperatives to monitor for child labor, build linkages and cooperation with enforcement authorities, and improve provision of social services to households with children at-risk of child labor. There is also a need to empower civil society and communities to play an active role in efforts to reduce the prevalence of child labor in cocoa production.
The MATE MASIE project aims to increase the number of cocoa cooperatives demonstrating a reduction of child labor in the cocoa supply chain by implementing activities to:
- Improve accountability of cocoa cooperatives to monitor child labor in the cocoa supply chain and facilitate enforcement of child labor laws by the government; and
- Strengthen partnerships to accelerate progress in increasing support to vulnerable households within cocoa cooperatives and providing access to child labor remediation programs.
MATE MASIE will collaborate with cocoa cooperatives and other stakeholders to support a locally developed farm-to-cooperative traceability system for child labor. MATE MASIE’s work will support a replicable pathway for child labor monitoring and service provision by cooperatives in order to pave the way for wider adoption of best practices on monitoring and enforcement. This work involves building capacity among government enforcement authorities at district and community levels; strengthening monitoring systems of cocoa cooperatives with significant and diverse farmer reach; and improving coordination and referral structures among service providers, so that their interconnected roles mutually reinforce one another to become more effective in eliminating child labor in the cocoa sector.