At the International Cocoa Initiative, we recognize the essential relationship between human rights and sustainable cocoa. We work to ensure responsible labour in the cocoa supply chain, where the rights of every individual are respected and protected. 

As part of our work in Ghana, we have organized community engagement meetings bringing together Community Child Protection Committees (CCPCs) and other key government stakeholders and service providers, such as officials from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Social Welfare and Community Development department, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Ghana Immigration Service and the Ghana Police Service.

The primary objective of the engagement was to refresh the CCPCs and the broader community on child and forced labour issues in general, and to acquaint them with various government service providers responsible for mediating and providing support for child labour and forced labour cases. The communities were also enlightened about the CCPCs' role, not only in addressing child protection issues but also in mediating in cases where adult labour rights have not been respected or forced labour risks might be present. 

The CCPCs are composed of community members (representing different actors such as teachers, localized government representatives, traditional leaders, women, religious leaders and farm workers) who undergo training on child labour identification and awareness. These committees play a vital role in responding to child labour and forced labour issues within their communities, referring cases to the appropriate district stakeholders when necessary. 

man speaking to crowd
participants listening at workshop
man speaks in workshop
man speaks in workshop
participants listen in workshop

Communities engaged in the Bia West were Yerepemso, Old Papaase, Mfanteman, Amoakrom, Jericho, Kwamebikrom and Asuopiri. In the Juaboso District, the communities include Eteso, Bremang and Sayerano.  Similarly, in the Bibiani-Ahwiaso-Bekwai districts, the same engagements were held in Lineso, Wenchi, Chirano and Kunkumso.

Speaking in one of the communities, Stephen Etienne Mensah, an investigator for CHRAJ, emphasized the importance of empowering CCPCs. He noted, "CCPC members are within the communities, closely acquainted with farmers and regularly interact with children. This proximity makes it easier for them to identify and address the issues on the ground, ensuring that communities themselves become the guardians of the rights of others."

On this Human Rights Day, ICI reaffirms its commitment to collaborative efforts that empower communities and safeguard of every child and adult in cocoa-growing communities.