A workshop organised to better coordinate the efforts of governmental and non-governmental actors in the fight against child labour in the Nawa region of Côte d’Ivoire was held on 3 April in Soubré

Initiated by the Nawa region’s Prefecture, all local stakeholders actively participated and were engaged in tackling this issue. Stakeholders included regional directorates for women, families, and children; social protection; education and literacy; the Soubré childcare centre; civil society; cooperatives; and the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), which provided technical and financial support. While numerous initiatives targeted at vulnerable groups, especially children, have been implemented in this major cocoa-producing region, they are often carried out in a fragmented and scattered manner. Kouamé Bi Kalou Clément, the Regional Prefect of the Soubré department, who has prioritised the fight against child labour, convened the meeting to gain a better understanding of the results in his district and, more importantly, to ensure better coordination of all efforts.


During the workshop, various presentations highlighted the achievements of different stakeholders in the fight against child labour. Recommendations were made, and the stakeholders agreed to collaborate across the various localities of the region for more significant and efficient results, and beyond that, to promote Ivorian cocoa. “The threat posed by child labour to Côte d’Ivoire’s image and economy concerns us. It was essential for us in the Nawa region to come together around this theme to coordinate all actions taken to combat child labour,” stated the Regional Prefect. He expressed satisfaction with the commitment made by the various actors present to effectively fight this phenomenon in the Nawa region. “I hope that this meeting will now be held three times a year,” he added.

As a stakeholder in this activity, ICI's Regional Office Manager in Soubré, Daigré Hyacinthe, presented the organisation’s history, activities aimed at tackling child labour on cocoa plantations, and the results achieved to date. ICI's Country Director, Lath Mel Alain Didier, also present at the ceremony and praised the Prefecture’s initiative. “We appreciate the Nawa region’s Prefect’s efforts…ICI's remediation actions yield results that must be supported locally by the public administration and all actors fighting child labour.”

In line with its mission to collaborate with members and partners to improve the lives of children and adults threatened by child labour and forced labour in cocoa-growing communities, ICI positions itself as a major actor addressing all related issues.