The use of child labour has risen in cocoa farms in Ghana and Ivory Coast during the past decade despite industry promises to reduce it, academics said on Monday, largely supporting earlier findings that were questioned by both states. The prevalence...
child, labour, ghana, ivory-coast, cocoa, farms
The use of child labour has risen in cocoa farms in Ghana and Ivory Coast during the past decade despite industry promises to reduce it, academics said on Monday, largely supporting earlier findings that were questioned by both states.
The prevalence of children doing hazardous work, including using sharp tools, has also gone up in the world’s top two cocoa producers, according to the study funded by the United States government. The levels were higher than in 2010 when companies including Mars, Hershey, Nestle and Cargill agreed to reduce the worst forms of child labour in Ghana and Ivory Coast’s cocoa sectors by 70 percent by 2020.
Currency that never gains gets lifeline from Ghana central bank The two West African countries – which together produce about two-thirds of the world’s cocoa – had both questioned the methodology used in an earlier version of the report prepared by researchers from the University of Chicago.
Ghana again questioned the data in the new report, released on Monday after the US Department of Labor appointed a group of independent experts to conduct a review. Mars said in a statement that it had committed $1bn to a responsible sourcing strategy and called for legislation to address the root causes of child labour on West African cocoa farms.
Hershey and Nestle referred Reuters to the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) industry group. Cargill did not respond to a request for comment. Monday’s report cut the estimate of the number of children currently working in cocoa production in the two countries to 1.56 million, from more than two million in the April study, saying it had changed the ways it weighted its data. It did not give comparative totals from 10 years earlier.