On the 13th September 2016 in Abidjan, Madame Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, and Mrs Lordina Dramani Mahama, First Lady of Ghana, signed a joint declaration committing Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to the elimination of cross-border trafficking and the worst forms of child labour.
The signed statement concerns the fight against cross-border trafficking and the worst forms of child labour in all the major formal and non-formal economic sectors, including agriculture, mining, commerce, fishing, crafts, domestic work and begging.
In this declaration, the First Ladies of the two countries affirmed:
- Their solidarity and their strong willingness to support the efforts made by both States on the elimination of cross-border trafficking and the worst forms of child labour;
- Their commitment to advocate for all the First Ladies of the West African sub-region to engage in actions against cross-border trafficking and the worst forms of child labour;
- Their support for all actions likely to contribute to the elimination of cross-border trafficking and the worst forms of child labour in both countries, including prevention, protection, enforcement and monitoring & evaluation.
The declaration contains various pronouncements on specific measures to improve prevention, protection, and cooperation.
During the ceremony, Madame Dominique Ouattara said: “We will only be able to eliminate, once and for all, the trafficking and the worst forms of child labour in our respective countries if we work together”.
On the 26th April of this year, ICI signed a Partnership Agreement with the National Surveillance Committee (CNS), presided by the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, to promote child protection in the Ivorian cocoa sector. The Agreement extends the pre-existing mutual support between ICI and the CNS into specific priority areas of the National Action Plan 2015-2017 of the Ivorian Government for the Elimination of Child Labour, in particular through the the reinforcement of the National Child Labour Monitoring System (SOSTECI) and through the construction and rehabilitation of schools.
“As an organisation promoting collaboration between many partners to tackle child labour in the cocoa sectors of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, ICI sincerely welcomes this accord between the two countries.” said Nick Weatherill, Executive Director of ICI, “It is a strong signal of the aligned commitment that both governments have to the welfare and protection of all vulnerable children, and particularly of their political will to address, together, the criminality that drives the appalling phenomenon of cross-border human trafficking.”