16 February 2018

Agreement signed: U.S. researchers to conduct study on child labour in Côte d’Ivoire

Group of people in Còte d'Ivoire signing an agreement to tackle the child labour in Africa

The Ivorian National Committee for Action against Child Labour (CNS) – presided by the First Lady Dominique Ouattara – and the NORC Research Institute of the University of Chicago (USA) agreed on Friday 16 February to conduct an assessment of the worst forms of child labour in cocoa production. The aim of the survey, according to the CNS, is to measure the incidence of child labour in cocoa production areas in Côte d’Ivoire.

“The signing of this agreement today reaffirms our commitment to work together and do what is necessary to ensure that children are not exploited or endangered in the production of cocoa,” said David G. Mosby, first secretary of the U. S. Embassy in Abidjan at the signing ceremony of the agreement. For him, this cooperation between Côte d’Ivoire and the United States will enable him to carry out a “technically valid, fair and objective study” on child labour in cocoa farming. The Côte d’Ivoire authorities agree that the results of this survey will enable them to better target awareness campaigns aimed at those affected by child labour.

According to the president of the CNS, the first lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara, the investigation could make it possible to take stock of her country’s ongoing effort to tackle child labour in cocoa. “This agreement will allow us to involve our national experts in the investigation while respecting the international standards in force; it will also allow us to evaluate all the efforts made in our country to eliminate child labour,” she said.

The survey project concerns Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and is supported by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL). Under the terms of the partnership, stakeholders will work together on all aspects of the survey methodology and bring their common expertise to each stage of the research.

This agreement signed between Abidjan and Washington is a logical continuation of the actions already underway. With its cocoa-producing neighbour Ghana, and with the support of the United States, the country had already taken legal and regulatory measures to combat and suppress child trafficking, exploitation and child labour more effectively. On 13 September 2016, a joint declaration of commitment by Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to combat the problem was signed to strengthen the fight against cross-border trafficking and the worst forms of child labour in all sectors of activity or social work, including agriculture, mining, trade, fisheries, handicrafts, domestic work and begging.

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