Child lab or rises on Ivory Coast cocoa farms – report

2015-07-30 18:23
File: AFP

File: AFP

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New York - The number of children working on cocoa farms in the world's top producer Ivory Coast is on the rise as production climbs, a Tulane University report showed on Thursday, ramping up pressure on chocolate companies to ethically source beans.

Child labour on cocoa farms in Ghana, the world's second biggest producer, has dropped.

"Based on today's numbers, roughly 1.5 million children will have to be removed from hazardous work to reach the 2010 Framework of Action target by 2020," stated the report that surveyed child labor on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast and Ghana in 2013/14.

Roughly 70% of the world's cocoa is grown in West Africa and several in the chocolate industry have been trying to reduce child labour in West Africa for years, but there is no simple solution as cocoa farming is a fragmented industry.

All this comes as the region's cocoa harvests have increased and Ivory Coast suffered from a 2011 civil war.

The number of children in cocoa-growing areas who had worked in cocoa production in Ivory Coast in the prior 12 months surged by 51% to 1.3 million in 2013/14 from 2008/09, when the last survey was conducted.

Meanwhile, it fell by 7% to just under 960 000 in Ghana.

The number of children in cocoa-growing areas doing "hazardous" work, such as carrying heavy loads and using sharp tools, in the previous 12 months in the cocoa sector, rose by 39% to 1.15 million in Ivory Coast and fell by 9% to 879 000 in Ghana.

Based on the International Labour Organisation's standards, child lab or is all work done by those under 12 years, while older children may only work in non-hazardous activities for a specified number of hours that depend on their age, the report said.

Read more on:    ivory coast  |  west africa

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