The German development agency GIZ and the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) will be working together to scale up "Risk-based Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems" over the next 18 months. The project aims to improve the management of child labour risk by cocoa cooperatives in the Côte d'Ivoire and was presented on Monday 2 March by Mr. Brou Allatin, Deputy Country Director of ICI, during a workshop between the two parties.

Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS) are structures embedded in cocoa supply chains or cocoa communities that aim to identify, prevent and remediate cases of child labour. The system is based on the presence of facilitators (such as lead farmers) within cocoa-growing communities and farmer groups who raise awareness on the issue of child labour, identify cases and facilitate prevention and remediation actions. ICI is currently looking at several innovations to make these systems more efficient, cost-effective, sustainable and impactful in order to drive further uptake, one of which is the risk-based CLMRS that will be explored with the support of GIZ.

The first step of the project will be to develop, test and deploy a simple and practical child labour risk index for cocoa cooperatives in Côte d'Ivoire. In a further phase, a mapping of support services and interventions adapted to the identified risks will be developed.

The project will include several different activities. First, a literature review will be completed, and a survey done of child labour prevalence in 5 cooperatives in the regions of Gboklé (Sassandra Department), Nawa (Soubré Department) and San Pedro (San Pedro Department) in the Lower Sassandra district. Then, the project will develop and test the risk index in 10 cooperatives. Depending on the results of the test, a revision of the risk assessment index is planned prior to further roll-out in 30 cooperatives, in collaboration with cocoa companies, certifiers, relevant national and regional authorities and other stakeholders.

A new partnership to support agricultural cooperatives

The Green Innovation Centre for the Agriculture and Food Sector, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Financial Cooperation and Development (BMZ), is implemented by German Development Cooperation in 15 countries worldwide. In Côte d'Ivoire, the Green Innovation Centre is represented by Director Jürgen Koch. "My impressions are very good, because at the end of the 18 months of this project we can expect to have a risk prevention system, an index on the prevention of child labour risks. And if we have been successful with this first phase of 30 cooperatives that we are going to work with, the child labour risk prevention index will be able to be scaled up, with the aim of having an impact in all cooperatives", he said.

A study mission will soon be organized to Burkina Faso, to meet with the partners of the GIZ Pro-Children project, for a knowledge sharing session with stakeholders in Côte d'Ivoire.

The project also aims to present the results of the deployment of the risk assessment index and to develop a dissemination strategy to promote its use in all cocoa cooperatives in Côte d'Ivoire by 2023.