Towards Child Labor Free Cocoa Growing Communities

Project Duration
December 2010
March 2015
Funding and Year

This project seeks to contribute to national initiatives to combat the WFCL in cocoa producing areas in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

The Problem

In Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, thousands of children are engaged in hazardous activities in cocoa farming, including clearing fields, using machetes, and applying pesticides. While most of the children work alongside their families, others have no family relationship with the farmer and have been recruited through intermediaries or trafficked. Lack of access to education and poverty of the rural families in cocoa producing areas result in a vicious cycle in which children are caught in the worst forms of child labor (WFCL). 

Our Strategy


The project targets at a minimum 5,000 children to be withdrawn and prevented from the WFCL in the cocoa producing areas of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The project targets at a minimum 2,000 families for the provision of livelihood services in order to sustainably withdraw and prevent children from the WFCL.

Immediate Objectives:

  • In selected cocoa growing communities:
    • Children will have improved access to relevant quality education;
    • Households will have enhanced sustainable livelihoods;
    • Communities will develop and implement plans to eliminate child labour in their communities;
  • National capacity to deploy an appropriate child labour monitoring system will be improved; and
  • Partner organizations capacity to contribute to eliminating child labor will be increased.

Summary of Activities:

  • Rescue and rehabilitate children from hazardous and exploitive labor, and prevent new children entering hazardous or exploitive labor by awareness-raising campaigns among groups at risk and through direct action programs;  
  • Provide formal and non-formal education, referral to local schools, catch-up classes, or occupational skills training, for children withdrawn or prevented from exploitive child labor;
  • Improve the quality of education by working with government officials to improve the curriculum, increase vocational training opportunities, reduce teacher absenteeism, and provide relevant extracurricular activities;
  • Provide livelihood services to families, including income generation training, financial management skills development and improved access to credit.
  • Reinforce efforts related to child labor monitoring systems; and
  • Work with communities in cocoa producing areas to integrate sustainably reducing and preventing WFCL into their community development plans. 


As of March 31, 2015, the project has provided education services to 5,403 children and livelihoods services to 2,200 households.

International Labor Organization (ILO)
Implementing Partners:
Government of Ghana and partner NGOs in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire
Contact Information:
(202) 693-4843 / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)
Child Labor