Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Côte d'Ivoire

2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Côte d'Ivoire

Significant Advancement

In 2014, Côte d'Ivoire made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government conducted a labor survey which included a subsurvey to determine the activities of working children; issued a decree to implement the Trafficking and Worst Forms of Child Labor Law that was adopted in 2010; and adopted a National Policy Document on Child Protection. The Government also established a National Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons; increased the budget of the Directorate for the Fight Against Child Labor by $800,000; continued to support social programs that address child labor in support of activities under the National Action Plan Against Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor (NAP); and completed the pilot phase of the child labor monitoring system known as Système d'Observation et de Suivi du Travail des Enfants en Côte d'Ivoire (SOSTECI). However, children in Côte d'Ivoire are engaged in the worst forms of child labor in domestic work and agriculture, particularly on cocoa farms, sometimes under conditions of forced labor. Gaps remain in enforcement efforts and in children's access to education.

 

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Children in Côte d'Ivoire are engaged in the worst forms of child labor in domestic work and agriculture, particularly on cocoa farms, sometimes under conditions of forced labor.(1-9) According to a report by Tulane University that assessed data collected during the 2013 — 2014 harvest season, there were an estimated 1,203,473 child laborers ages 5 to 17 in the cocoa sector, of which 95.9 percent were engaged in hazardous work in cocoa production.(10) Table 1 provides key indicators on children's work and education in Côte d'Ivoire.

Table 1. Statistics on Children's Work and Education

Working children, ages 5 to 14 (% and population): 31.5 (1,682,754)
School attendance, ages 5 to 14 (%): 63.5
Children combining work and school, ages 7 to 14 (%): 21.5
Primary completion rate (%): 61.2

Source for primary completion rate: Data from 2012, published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.(11)
Source for all other data: Enquête Démographique et de Santé (EDSCI-III) Survey, 2011-2012.(12)

Based on a review of available information, Table 2 provides an overview of children's work by sector and activity.

Table 2. Overview of Children's Work by Sector and Activity

Sector/Industry Activity
Agriculture Burning† and clearing fields, cutting down trees† to expand cocoa plantations, spraying pesticides,† harvesting, drying, and fermenting cocoa beans, breaking pods, carrying heavy loads of water, and transporting cocoa pods (1, 3-10, 13, 14)
Production of cereals,* pineapple,* bananas,* and coffee, including applying chemical fertilizers,† spraying pesticides,† cutting down trees† and burning† and clearing fields (1, 3-6, 15-17)
Production of palm oil,* honey,*† and rubber,* (1, 3, 6, 16)
Fishing activities, including deep sea diving;*† repairing and hauling nets;* cleaning,* salting,* drying,* descaling,* and selling* fish (16, 18)
Livestock raising* and slaughtering,*† activities unknown (16, 18)
Industry Working in mines, including crushing and transporting stones,*† blasting rocks,*† working underground, mining for diamonds,* and extracting gold* with chemicals*† (1, 3, 14-16, 19-21)
Manufacturing or repairing firearms,*† repairing,* lubricating,* or cleaning* machinery while in operation*† (16)
Brewing alcoholic beverages*†(16)
Production of charcoal*†(4, 16)
Services Domestic work† (1, 3, 14-16, 22-24)
Work in transportation,† carrying goods,† and car washing* (1, 4, 14-16)
Street vending and commerce, including begging and selling pornography,*† (1, 3-5, 15, 16, 25)
Garbage scavenging† (16, 26)
Categorical Worst Forms of Child Labor‡ Forced labor in mining, carpentry,* construction,* domestic work, street vending, restaurants,* and agriculture, including in the production of cocoa, coffee, pineapple,* and rubber* plantations and cotton,* each sometimes as a result of human trafficking (1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 14, 18, 24)
Commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trafficking (1, 3, 14, 19, 24)
Forced begging by Koranic teachers* (21, 27)

* Evidence of this activity is limited and/or the extent of the problem is unknown.
† Determined by national law or regulation as hazardous and, as such, relevant to Article 3(d) of ILO C. 182.
‡ Child labor understood as the worst forms of child labor per se under Article 3(a)–(c) of ILO C. 182.

Children are trafficked to, from, and within Côte d'Ivoire. Girls are internally trafficked for work in commercial sexual exploitation or domestic work, whereas boys are internally trafficked for labor in agriculture or to work in service sectors.(3, 4, 6, 16) Children from neighboring West African countries are also trafficked into Côte d'Ivoire for agricultural labor, especially in cocoa production, and for work in mining, construction, domestic work, street vending, and commercial sexual exploitation.(3, 4, 7, 9, 19, 23, 28) During the reporting period, the Government, in collaboration with the ILO, conducted a USDOL-funded study on employment, which included data on the activities carried out by children in a variety of sectors. (29, 30) This is the first study of its kind in Côte d'Ivoire that collected data on children's activities throughout the country, and it will serve as a baseline for future comparison.(29, 31, 32) The survey estimates that more than 1.4 million children are engaged in child labor in Côte d'Ivoire, with almost half working in the agricultural sector and 37.8 percent in hazardous work.(23) In 2014, there were no reports that the Government recruited or used children in its armed forces.(31, 33, 34)

According to the Law N° 95-696 on Education, education is free, although in practice there are associated fees, which make education prohibitive to many families.(1, 5, 6, 14, 35) The Government has taken measures to increase school attendance by providing school kits to primary school students, lifting restrictions related to wearing school uniforms, and introducing school canteens to provide more affordable meal options for students. However, many children in Côte d'Ivoire still do not attend school due to the cost of textbooks or other fees.(5, 36-39) Since birth registration is often required for enrollment and primary school exit exams, children without birth certificates — including those born in Côte d'Ivoire and those who have migrated to Côte d'Ivoire — may be prevented from enrolling in or graduating from primary school.(1, 18, 40-43) The lack of teachers and schools in rural areas also limits access to education.(7, 14, 18, 44-49) Research suggests some students are physically and sexually abused at school; there is limited evidence that some teachers demand sexual favors in exchange for grades, which may deter some students from attending school.(1, 50-53) Children who are not attending school may be more vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor.

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Côte d'Ivoire has ratified all key international conventions concerning child labor (Table 3).

Table 3. Ratification of International Conventions on Child Labor

Convention Ratification
ILO C. 138, Minimum Age
ILO C. 182, Worst Forms of Child Labor
UN CRC
UN CRC Optional Protocol on Armed Conflict
UN CRC Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons

The Government has established laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 4).

Table 4. Laws and Regulations Related to Child Labor

Standard Yes/No Age Related Legislation
Minimum Age for Work Yes 14 Article 23.8 of the Labor Code (54)
Minimum Age for Hazardous Work Yes 18 Order N° 009 MEMEASS/CAB Revised Hazardous Work List (55)
Prohibition of Hazardous Occupations or Activities for Children Yes   Order N° 009 MEMEASS/CAB Revised Hazardous Work List (55)
Prohibition of Forced Labor Yes   Article 3 of the Constitution; Article 7 of Law N°2010-272 Prohibiting the Trafficking and Worst forms of Child Labor; Article 3 of the Labor Code (54, 56, 57)
Prohibition of Child Trafficking Yes   Articles 10-11 of Law N° 2010-272 Prohibition of Trafficking and the Worst Forms of Child Labor; Article 370 of the Penal Code (56, 58)
Prohibition of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Yes   Articles 9 and 15 of Law N° 2010-272 Prohibition of Trafficking and the Worst Forms of Child Labor (56)
Prohibition of Using Children in Illicit Activities Yes   Article 4 of Law N° 2010-272 Prohibition of Trafficking and the Worst Forms of Child Labor (56)
Minimum Age for Compulsory Military Recruitment Yes 18 Article 82 of The Armed Forces Code (59)
Minimum Age for Voluntary Military Service Yes 18 Article 82 of The Armed Forces Code (59)
Compulsory Education Age No    
Free Public Education Yes   Article 2 of Law N° 95-696 on Education (35)

On May 21, 2014, the Government issued Decree N° 2014-290 to implement the Trafficking and Worst Forms of Child Labor Law that was adopted in 2010.(29, 39, 56, 60, 61) The Council of Ministers has also endorsed a draft law that criminalizes and penalizes all forms of human trafficking offenses, including adults and children.(31, 34) The Labor Code of 1995 is also being revised to include updates, including raising the minimum age of work from 14 to 16 and establishing the minimum age of apprenticeships at 14. The draft law also extends protection to children age 16 and older and requires employers to register all workers under age 18.(29, 31, 32, 34) Additionally, a draft law providing greater protection to domestic workers is under consideration. This law grants more latitude to inspectors in investigating possible labor violations in private homes.(34)

The Labor Code only applies to contractual employment. Children engaged in the informal sector or who are self-employed are not protected by provisions of the Labor Code and are thus more vulnerable to exploitative child.(5, 17) Additionally, education is not compulsory by law in Côte d'Ivoire. However, the President has proposed establishing a compulsory education age of 16 and a law on compulsory education has been drafted.(39, 62, 63)

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The Government has established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 5).

Table 5. Agencies Responsible for Child Labor Law Enforcement

Organization/Agency Role
Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs, and Professional Training (MESAPT) Enforce labor laws.(14) Implement the child labor monitoring system, Système d'Observation et de Suivi du Travail des Enfants en Côte d'Ivoire (SOSTECI), which enables communities to collect and analyze statistical data on the worst forms of child labor.(2, 14, 36, 64) SOSTECI concluded a 1-year pilot program in July 2014, which included data collection in 19 communities and established 115 community Child Protection Committees to enhance its efforts to monitor, report on, and coordinate services.(2, 14, 36, 64-66) In the case of the Direction of the Fight Against Child Labor, coordinate and implement measures to combat the worst forms of child labor; develop, monitor, and enforce laws related to child labor.(23)
Ministry of Interior Enforce criminal laws against child trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, forced child labor, and the use of children in illicit activities. In the case of the National Police, Decree N° 2006‐11 created an anti-trafficking unit to pursue and arrest perpetrators of child trafficking.(14, 67, 68)
Ministry of Justice Investigate and prosecute crimes related to child labor, including its worst forms.(14, 64)
National Monitoring Committee on Actions to Combat Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor (CNS)'s Monitoring Brigades Conduct trafficking investigations; composed of security forces tasked with dismantling trafficking networks and rescuing exploited children or victims of child trafficking.(1, 23, 67)
Ministry of Solidarity, the Family, Women and Children (MSFWC) Provide repatriation services to victims of human trafficking, including children.(38) Chair both the Technical Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and a coordination committee at the ministerial level which fights against all forms of human trafficking.(31, 32, 34)

Law enforcement agencies in Côte d'Ivoire took actions to combat child labor, including its worst forms.

Labor Law Enforcement

In 2014, the Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs, and Professional Training (MESAPT) employed 251 labor inspectors, an increase of one since 2013.(14, 29, 31) Labor inspectors are employed across the country in 15 regional offices, 10 departmental offices, and 8 units in Abidjan.(14, 29) In collaboration with UNICEF, the Government provided a 40-hour workshop on child protection, which covered child labor issues, to approximately 1,200 police and law enforcement officials.(29) Inspectors benefited from seminars and workshops on ILO conventions, national provisions, and intervention methods led by the ILO; the Interministerial Committee on the Fight Against Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor (CIM); and the CNS.(29) The National Police's Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) indicated that training was sufficient, although it welcomes opportunities for additional training.(29) In 2014, the combined budget for MESAPT's Directorate for the Fight Against Child Labor was approximately $743,000, which included more than $353,000 from the ILO to implement SOSTECI.(31, 32) However, this amount is inadequate to fund all necessary functions.(14, 29, 64) A lack of sufficient staffing, offices, and funding, particularly the absence of vehicles and fuel, continues to hinder labor inspections.(1, 14, 15, 18, 29, 69, 70)

Article 91.5 of the Labor Code allows labor inspectors to conduct surprise inspections of any establishment at any time, but the Labor Code does not authorize inspectors to determine or assess penalties.(29, 54) Inspections target violations of general labor laws rather than of specific child labor laws, although incidences of child labor may be identified during broader labor inspections.(14, 18, 71) However, the Labor Inspectorate does not have access to a reliable list of establishments subject to inspections in industrial and commercial workplaces. Further, labor inspectors primarily focus on formal sector establishments, and enforcement in the informal sector where child labor is most prevalent was extremely limited.(29, 70, 72)

Reports also indicate that some labor inspectors ignore violations. Impunity also remains an issue, since research found that penalties are unlikely to be imposed for labor violations discovered during the inspections.(1, 18, 29, 31) Law enforcement does not have the capacity to investigate all violations due to a lack of resources and staffing.(31) MESAPT reported 861 inspections in 2014, which were conducted through site visits. All the inspections occurred in the formal sector, and no child labor violations were found.(29) Four inspections were conducted in the cocoa sector in the district of Issia as part of the Government's efforts to prohibit child labor in cocoa production. After these inspections, labor inspectors brought together 83 cocoa farmers from around the Issia Department for additional training on child labor issues.(2, 32, 60) No working children were identified during these labor inspections.(32) Research did not find any information related to the type of inspections conducted, labor violations identified, or on whether inspections were unannounced.

Criminal Law Enforcement

In 2014, the National Police's AHTU employed 11 investigators to enforce laws related to child labor, including its worst forms, which the AHTU acknowledges is inadequate. Additionally, all 11 investigators are based in the capital city and lack adequate resources for transportation, so they are unable to travel throughout the country to enforce the laws.(29) UNICEF, in collaboration with the Government, developed a manual on identifying victims of child trafficking, and an accompanying 40-hour training module for security forces, which began to be implemented in 2014.(34) During the reporting period, UNICEF trained 150 local and national police, 100 judges, and 50 social workers on child protection.(73) Investigators also attended other workshops led by UNICEF and other NGOs, which provided training on human trafficking issues and the rights of children.(29) The AHTU has an annual budget of approximately $7,700 for operating expenses, which is insufficient. It received one vehicle from the First Lady's office in 2014, but it requires additional vehicles, fuel, office supplies, and furniture to carry out its duties.(14, 29, 34) In addition, the laws are not effectively enforced, particularly those governing the worst forms of child labor and trafficking, which the ILO CEACR, multiple NGOs, and international organizations also noted.(5, 14, 15)

In January 2014, the police rescued 40 girls and 9 boys, who were between ages 7 and 12, from being trafficked to work on cotton fields in the Mankono Region. The three adults accompanying the children were arrested.(14) Eight other adults were arrested for human trafficking in February, when police and forestry agents targeted cocoa fields and illegal gold mines in the Soubré Region.(74) In February 2014, law enforcement officials operating with the support of INTERPOL conducted two operations to rescue 120 victims of child trafficking.(39, 74) In total, there were 96 cases of child trafficking, 23 of which were discovered during investigations conducted by the AHTU, and 374 victims of child labor were rescued throughout the year. Of the 96 cases, 33 went to court, which resulted in 18 individuals being sentenced and 5 others either being released or out on bond.(29, 34, 39) Research was unable to find the outcome of the remaining 63 cases.(31) It is not known what penalties were assessed or if the 18 individuals who were sentenced served any time or remained in prison.(34)

The MESAPT and AHTU refer victims of the worst forms of child labor to NGOs on an as-needed basis; however, these social service providers often lack the resources to provide significant assistance.(14, 29, 34) Although SOSTECI is not a law enforcement mechanism, it works at the community level to monitor and prevent children from engaging in child labor, including its worst forms; it also refers victims to social service providers.(2, 75) SOSTECI is being developed and expanded, but it is only active in some cocoa-growing areas, and there are still insufficient means to monitor and identify child labor victims.(2, 14, 29)

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The Government has established mechanisms to coordinate its efforts to address child labor, including its worst forms (Table 6).

Table 6. Mechanisms to Coordinate Government Efforts on Child Labor

Coordinating Body Role & Description
National Monitoring Committee on Actions to Combat Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor (CNS) Monitor and evaluate all government anti-child trafficking and anti-child labor activities in Côte d'Ivoire, including the National Action Plan Against Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor (NAP), make policy recommendations, and initiate awareness-raising campaigns to combat the worst forms of child labor.(38, 39) Comprising 14 international and domestic partners, including UNICEF and Save the Children and chaired by the First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire.(16, 23, 29, 38, 68) In 2014, began the second phase of its nationwide awareness campaign, which involves erecting billboards throughout the country as well as making radio announcements broadcast in French and in five different local languages.(34)
Interministerial Committee on the Fight Against Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor (CIM) Design, coordinate, and ensure the implementation of programs to combat the worst forms of child labor in Côte d'Ivoire. Monitor and evaluate programs implemented by partner organizations related to the fight against child trafficking.(16, 39) Chaired by MESAPT and composed of representatives from 13 ministries, including the Ministries of Justice; National Education; Agriculture; Human Rights; and Youth.(23, 29, 32)
Technical Committee for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons* Dedicated to combatting all issues related to trafficking in persons, including both adults and children.(29, 31, 34) Operate at the working level and chaired by the MSFWC.(31, 34)

* Mechanism to coordinate efforts to address child labor was created during the reporting period.

The CNS and the CIM meet regularly.(29) The committees each held their own meetings, and they also met together as part of coordinated working groups. The president of the CNS also held a meeting with coffee and cocoa producers in May 2014 to raise awareness about child labor and exchange informational.(29)

However, both the CNS and the CIM lack sufficient resources.(15, 31, 34) In addition, despite the committees' coordinated working groups, some NGOs and companies continue to indicate that they are unclear about the respective roles and responsibilities of the CIM and the CNS. This undermines effective coordination at all levels and results in disjointed or duplicated efforts.(2, 15, 34, 76, 77) The role of the newly created Technical Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons in coordinating with the CNS and the CIM is also unclear.(15, 31, 34) However, the Ministry of Planning and Development is leading a project to develop a coordinated national strategy that delegates specific responsibilities to the ministries.(77)

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The Government of Côte d'Ivoire has established policies related to child labor, including its worst forms (Table 7).

Table 7. Policies Related to Child Labor

Policy Description
National Action Plan Against Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor (2012-2014) Aims to prevent children from involvement in trafficking and other worst forms of child labor, provide support to victims of child trafficking, pursue the prosecution and punishment of offenders, and implement SOSTECI.(14, 16, 36, 39, 68) Received a budget of approximately $27 million over 3 years.(34)
PRSP (2012–2015) Aims to increase access to effective education, train youth and adults with trade skills, enhance agricultural production and certified agriculture products, ensure food security, and strengthen the country's capacity to combat the worst forms of child labor.(49)
UNDAF (2009–2015)* Aims to increase access to education, with the goal of reducing the number of children without access to primary school by half. Extended for 2 years until 2015 to fully align UN support with national priorities.(78-80)
Medium-Term Plan of Actions for Education (2012–2014)* Aims to increase access to education, particularly in rural areas, provide high-quality universal primary school education, promote vocational education, and restore the educational system in areas most heavily affected by conflict following the 2010 election.(32, 81)
ECOWAS Regional Action Plan for the Elimination of Child Labor, Especially the Worst Forms (2013–2015) Aims to eliminate worst forms of child labor in West Africa by 2015 through the implementation of a regional action plan with 14 other ECOWAS countries.(82) In 2014, met to discuss actions taken since Ghana's 2013 Peer Review, progress of the Regional Action Plan's implementation, and the ILO's Study on "Child Labor and Educational Marginalization in West Africa."(83, 84)
Joint Declaration Against Cross-Border Trafficking Joint declaration against cross-border trafficking signed by the First Ladies of Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.(85, 86) The implementing decree for the Trafficking and Worst Forms of Child Labor Law was passed as part of this declaration. Additionally, the Government has established measures to systematically verify the identities of all children and accompanying adults at border crossings.(32)
2010 Declaration of Joint Action to Support the Implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol (2010 Declaration) and Its Accompanying Framework of Action Under this joint declaration, the Governments of Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, the United States, and the International Cocoa and Chocolate Industry provide resources and coordinate with key stakeholders on efforts to reduce the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-producing areas.(87, 88) The Governments take steps to ensure that all project efforts implemented under the Declaration and Frameworks align with Côte d'Ivoire's national action plans in order to promote coherence and sustainability.(36, 87, 88)
Joint Declaration of Commitment to Combat Child Labor† Joint declaration between regulatory bodies and the media to improve efforts to fight against the worst forms of child labor.(29) In 2014, conducted a capacity building workshop for 100 journalists and media professionals to raise awareness of the role of the media in combatting child labor.(32, 39) As a result of this training, educational materials on child labor issues were broadcasted at the national level.(32)
National Policy Document on Child Protection† Led by the MSFWC; seeks to reduce the incidence of violence, abuse and the exploitation of children.(29)

* Child labor elimination and prevention strategies do not appear to have been integrated into this policy. † Policy was approved during the reporting period.

The First Lady continues to lead the Government's efforts to combat child labor and child trafficking through the NAP.(34) The Government held a workshop in December 2014 to begin evaluating and renewing the NAP for 2015-2017. The renewed NAP will train teachers and school administrators on child trafficking issues; it will also place a larger emphasis on training participants to coordinate actions among other stakeholders.(34)

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In 2014, the Government of Côte d'Ivoire funded and participated in programs that include the goal of eliminating or preventing child labor, including its worst forms. The Government has other programs that may have an impact on child labor, including its worst forms (Table 8).

Table 8. Social Programs to Address Child Labor

Program Description
National Awareness Campaign Against Child Labor‡ CNS led large-scale national awareness campaign against child labor that disseminates information to increase public awareness through television and radio broadcasts, billboards, and newspapers in French and in local languages.(14, 29, 36, 39, 64, 66) Created a new strategy for 2015-2017 that calls on national actors to take on a greater role in media campaigns to raise awareness about child labor.(29)
Self-Help Village Initiative‡ Government-implemented initiative that provides villages with funds to combat child labor in the cocoa sector. Builds schools and health centers, train vulnerable households in income-generating activities, and implement a child labor monitoring system.(64, 89-91) Participating villages are provided with service packages worth approximately $60,000, which is funded by taxes and fees on cocoa exports.(14)
Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labor in West Africa by Strengthening Sub-Regional Cooperation through ECOWAS (ECOWAS I) (2009–2014) $7.95 million USDOL-funded, 5-year project implemented by the ILO with direct interventions to accelerate progress on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. Supported Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to strengthen its role in combating the worst forms of child labor in the West Africa subregion by providing policy and capacity-building support for all ECOWAS states.(92) In Côte d'Ivoire, targeted children involved in child labor in agriculture and domestic work for withdrawal and prevention services, including by providing access to education services. By the close of the project in April 2014, had withdrawn or prevented 5,315 children from the worst forms of child labor, and provided livelihoods services to 150 adults.(65)
Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labor in West Africa by Strengthening Sub-Regional Cooperation through ECOWAS (ECOWAS II) (2010–2014) Linked to the ECOWAS I project, a $5 million USDOL-funded, 4-year project implemented by the ILO with direct interventions in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. Supported ECOWAS to strengthen its role in combating the worst forms of child labor in the West Africa subregion by providing policy and capacity-building support for all ECOWAS states.(66, 89) By the close of project in April 2014, had provided education services to 1,251 children, and livelihoods services to 786 households as part of SOSTECI.(66)
Towards Child Labor Free Cocoa Growing Communities in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana through an Integrated Area-Based Approach (2010–2015) $10 million USDOL-funded, 4-year project implemented by the ILO. In support of the 2010 Declaration of Joint Action to Support the Implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, goal was to reduce the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-producing areas in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana by providing direct services to communities.(2, 75, 87) In Côte d'Ivoire, worked with the Government to develop and implement SOSTECI in cocoa-growing areas.(2, 75, 87) By the end of 2014, provided educational services to 2,500 children, and livelihood services to 1,000 families in Côte d'Ivoire.(2)
Survey on Child Labor in West African Cocoa Growing Areas $1.9 million USDOL-funded, 3-year research project implemented by the Payson Center at Tulane University. Supports the collection of nationally representative survey data on child labor in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana to assess the prevalence of the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-growing areas.(91, 93-95) Coordinates with the Government and works with government statistical experts to build the country's capacity to implement future child labor surveys.(36) Collected survey data for the 2013-2014 harvest season.(10, 36, 95)
Industry-Funded projects in support of the 2010 Declaration Aims to reduce the prevalence of child labor in Côte d'Ivoire's cocoa-growing areas, including by improving children's access to education and increasing household incomes.(87, 88, 91, 96) Funding provided by the cocoa industry in Côte d'Ivoire as follows: Nestlé, $1.5 million, and Barry Callebaut, $300,000. Global Issues Group provided $2 million for a project being implemented both in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.(36)
Empowering Cocoa Households with Opportunities and Education Solutions (2007–2015)* $14.5 million World Cocoa Foundation-funded, 8-year project that strengthens cocoa-growing communities by expanding opportunities for youth through education. Focuses on youth leadership and basic education.(97-99)
Council of Coffee and Cocoa Platform Public-Private Partnership‡ Ministry of Agriculture program that aims to improve sustainable development and socioeconomic welfare of coffee and cocoa producers and their communities. Targets improved productivity and the reduction of child labor.(100)
Centers for Vulnerable Children‡ Approximately 110 MSFWC and MESAPT-funded social centers and mobile schools located throughout the country that receive women and children who are victims of crime or violence, including children who are victims of the worst forms of child labor. International NGOs also operate additional centers that provide meals and basic education.(14, 26, 29, 34)
Bas-Sassandra Program (2010–2014)*‡ UNICEF and MSFWC-funded program to protect children in the Bas-Sassandra Region from violence and abuse. In 2014, produced a manual for use in all social welfare centers throughout the country.(29)
Integrated Program for Sustainable School Feeding (2013–2015)* $42.5 million WFP-funded program that aims to raise school attendance rates in rural areas, particularly among girls, through the provision of school meals, conditional cash transfers, nutritional supplements, and training for the National Directorate of School Feeding and local school feeding management committees.(101)

* The impact of this program on child labor does not appear to have been studied.
‡ Program is funded by the Government of Côte d'Ivoire.

Although the Government of Côte d'Ivoire maintains programs and coordinates with industry, international organizations, NGOs, and other governments to help children on cocoa farms, existing programs are limited to a small number of villages due to funding constraints, and the scope of existing programs is insufficient to fully address the extent of the child labor problem.(10, 29, 102) Although SOSTECI concluded a pilot program in five cocoa-growing districts, it has not been expanded throughout the country because of the significant amount of resources required to implement the program.(29, 34) While the Government of Côte d'Ivoire has implemented programs in agriculture and domestic work, the scope of these programs is insufficient to fully address the extent of the child labor problem.

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Based on the reporting above, suggested actions are identified that would advance the elimination of child labor, including its worst forms, in Côte d'Ivoire (Table 9).

Table 9. Suggested Government Actions to Eliminate Child Labor, Including its Worst Forms

Area Suggested Action Year(s) Suggested
Legal Framework Make education compulsory and establish a compulsory education age that is consistent with the minimum age for admission to work. 2009–2014
Enforcement Allocate sufficient resources to ensure an adequate number of inspectors and investigators who can conduct effective inspections, investigations, and enforce labor and criminal laws related to child labor, particularly in sectors in which the worst forms of child labor are most prevalent. 2009–2014
Ensure that law enables inspectors to assess penalties for child labor violations and that penalties are enforced according to the law. 2014
Create a reliable list of establishments that are subject to labor inspection. 2013–2014
Coordination Improve coordination between the National Monitoring Committee on Actions to Combat Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor; the Interministerial Committee on the Fight Against Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor; and National Committee for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons. Clarify the roles and responsibilities of these coordinating bodies. 2012–2014
Government Policies Assess the impact that existing policies may have on addressing child labor. 2013–2014
Social Programs Assess the impact that existing programs may have on child labor. 2013–2014
Improve access to education by:
  • Hiring teachers and building additional schools in rural areas;
  • Ensuring children are registered at birth;
  • Eliminating school-related fees; and
  • Addressing physical and sexual abuse in schools.
2011–2014
Replicate and expand models, such as SOSTECI, for addressing exploitative child labor for effective implementation of the National Action Plan to combat the worst forms of child labor, including efforts to reduce the worst forms of child labor in agriculture and in domestic work. 2009–2014

 

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1.U.S. Department of State. "Cote d'Ivoire," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2013. Washington, DC; April 2014;.

2.ILO-IPEC. Towards Child Labor Free Cocoa Growing Communities through an Integrated Area Based Approach Project. Technical Progress Report. Geneva; October 31, 2014.

3.U.S. Department of State. "Cote d'Ivoire," in Trafficking in Persons Report 2014. Washington, DC; 2014;.

4.Ministere d'Etat de la Republique de Cote d'Ivoire et Ministere de l'Emploi des Affairs Sociales et de la Formation Professionelle, ILO, and Cote d'Ivoire National Institute of Statistics. Etude des phénomènes de la traite et du travail des enfants dans les secteurs de l'agriculture, des mines, du transport, du commerce et du domestique. Abidjan; 2013.

5.ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Côte d'Ivoire (ratification: 2003) Published: 2011; accessed January 31, 2012;.

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