ILO and Kuapa Kokoo partner to combat child labour in cocoa

04 February 2011

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has announced it will partner with Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in a two-year project to assist the government of Ghana in reducing child labour.

The pilot will run in 15 cocoa-growing communities affiliated with Kuapa Kokoo, the only Fairtrade certified cocoa cooperative in Ghana. The project focuses on preventing and removing children from hazardous work on cocoa farms. This includes livelihood support for vulnerable families and setting up a child labour monitoring system.

Francesco d’Ovidio, ILO Technical Advisor, explained that Kuapa Kokoo was chosen because of its clear commitment to the eradication of the worst forms of child labour. It is the only farmer-owned cooperative union in the cocoa sector to deal with this issue. Kuapa also already has the structures and systems needed to make this project possible.

The programme was launched on Friday 21 January in Juaboso, Ghana. Mr Emmanuel K. Arthur, Executive Director of Kuapa Kokoo, assured the ILO and all stakeholders that Kuapa Kokoo would make every effort to ensure the programme succeeds.

Child labour is still common on cocoa farms in West Africa, according to a U.S. Labor Department-sponsored report released in September. Child labour means work that is hazardous, exploitive or that undermines a child’s education or its emotional and physical health. Fairtrade is committed to eliminating illegal child labour in all its forms.

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