Within the framework of the Harkin-Engel Protocol the International Cocoa Initiative was founded. It is dedicated to combatting child and forced labour in the cocoa-growing sector of West Africa. This challenge is complex and huge and requires a long-term effort.
We would like to give you the example of an ICI project in Campement Paul in Côte d’Ivoire: Campement Paul is a community located in the San Pedro district of Cote d’Ivoire. It was the first Ivorian community to adopt an ICI-sponsored Community Action Plan to eradicate child labour from its cocoa farms.
The community identified the lack of education provision as a key constraint. As a result, they built teacher accommodations and recruited two volunteer teachers. The ICI sponsored the construction of new classrooms and 80 pupils now can attend primary school for the first time.
Today, thanks to these efforts, the number of children using machetes has dropped by 19%, the number involved directly in spraying activities (pesticides and fertilizers) by 26%, and the number carrying heavy loads by almost 34%. It is now forbidden for younger children to be present while farms are sprayed or to help on the farm during school days. Lydie, age 13, says she now fetches water for spraying the day before it begins on her family’s farm, because her mother understands how dangerous spraying can be for her.