The International Labour Organisation and Alliance 8.7 declared 2021 the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, challenging stakeholders at all levels as well as individuals to shift from commitment to action to tackle child labour and make a Pledge for Action. In response to this call, the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) and its members pledged to scale up systems that prevent and address child labour, in line with human rights due diligence (HRDD) efforts, aiming for 540,000 cocoa-growing households in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana by the end of 2021.

Today, in recognition of the World Day Against Child Labour, ICI is proud to announce the outcome of that pledge. Thanks to collective efforts from our members across industry and civil society, by the end of 2021, 590,000 households across Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana had been targeted with systems that prevent and address child labour.ICI is especially proud, as the realisation of this commitment forms part of a wider goal to help ensure that such systems reach 100% of the cocoa supply chain by 2025.

“We now know much more about what works to tackle child labour in cocoa. Systems that can identify, address and prevent child labour are key in tackling the problem, in addition to an enabling environment of national and international policies, practices and standards that can lead to sector-wide change” explained Matthias Lange, ICI’s Executive Director. “We must now concentrate on scaling up these approaches that we know can work to cover all cocoa-growing households in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and strengthening policies including those that guarantee access to quality education and social protection in cocoa-producing countries” he added.

One example of such a system is the Child Labour and Monitoring System (CLMRS), where community facilitators, trained in the dangers and identification of child labour, visit households, raise awareness on the dangers of child labour, and identify children engaged in hazardous work. If a child identified in or at risk of child labour, they are recorded in the system and support is provided to the child, their family and/or community.

Find out more about ICI’s goal to scale up systems that address and prevent child labour in our 2021-2026 strategy.

Matthias Lange, Executive Director, ICI