18 April 2013, Washington D.C: Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labour who was in Washington D.C. on the invitation of Mr. Gordon Brown, Education Envoy to UN Secretary General for series of events planned in conjunction to the IMF World Bank Development Committee, presented the latest report “Child Labour in Cocoa Farming in Côte d’Ivoire” to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Gordon Brown and several other dignitaries.
This report summarises the findings and observations of Global March’s scoping mission to Côte d’Ivoire that was undertaken in January – February 2013 with the objectives of gaining on ground experiences through interactions with the key stakeholders and community members on the situation of child labour in the country; identifying the strengths and gaps; and proposing comprehensive strategies for tackling child labour in cocoa production in the country.
Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom strongly opines that child labour is one of the biggest obstacles in the way of ensuring education for all children. He adds that “Efforts to combat child labour are failing in the face of inertia, indifference and an indefensible willingness on the part of too many governments, international agencies, and aid donors to turn a blind eye”.
The report notes that child labour is still a serious problem in cocoa farming in Côte d’Ivoire, where traditional beliefs and practices fostering gender disparity prevail and are further exacerbated by poor quality of education. Disconnect between social and community members and the community at large remains a matter of concern.
The active participation of the First Lady of Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the renewed commitment of the country for the fight against child labour is a great advantage for the country that will go a long way in sustainably eliminating child labour was identified as a key enabler in the report.
The report further recommends that is important to strengthen the primary as well as secondary education system and including teachers as partners in the growth story of Côte d’Ivoire. Additionally regular capacity building, sensitization and orientation of stakeholders on trafficking, child labour and forced labour is essential. For sustainable elimination of child labour from cocoa farming it will be necessary to substitute hazardous child labour with decent work for youth and making considerable efforts towards poverty eradication coupled up with income generation prospects and woman empowerment.
To download the report “Child Labour in Cocoa Farming in Côte d’Ivoire” please click here