U.S. Department of Labor Announces Release of Annual Report Of the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the release of the Annual Report of the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group. This report is released on behalf of the signatories to the Declaration of Joint Action to Support Implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, which was signed by the U.S. Department of Labor, the governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana and the National Confectioners Association, on behalf of the international chocolate and cocoa industry.
"It has been nearly a decade since the signing of the Declaration," said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Martha E. Newton. "We have seen progress through our collective efforts to date. For example, the number of children attending school in cocoa producing areas rose from 59 percent to 71 percent in Côte d'Ivoire and from 91 percent to 96 percent in Ghana. However, our challenge today is to find ways to continue to accelerate action so that no child is exploited in the production of cocoa."
The Framework of Action, which accompanied the Declaration, called for periodic reports to be made available to the public on the work being undertaken in support of the Declaration and Framework. The Annual Report of the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group – a coordinating body made up of signatories to the Declaration – was jointly drafted with input from each of the organizations signatory to the Declaration and describes progress made during the past year in support of the goals of the Declaration and Framework.
The mission of the Department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs is to promote a fair global playing field for workers in the U.S. and around the world by enforcing trade commitments, strengthening labor standards, and combating international child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking. For more information about the Department's work on these issues, visit http://www.dol.gov/agencies/ilab.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.