17 August 2019

ICI gives child labour stakeholders a platform for discussion in Suhum

An interactive workshop was held on 16th August 2019, at the conference room of the Suhum Municipal Assembly by the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI). The activity seeked to providing a common ground for stakeholders in child labour and child protection to deliberate and come out with way forward measures towards sustaining impacts made in the fight against child labour in cocoa.

The theme empowering community actors to play their role in eliminating child labour in cocoa. It brought together stakeholder from various institutions and agencies including the Director of the Municipal Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, Head of the Eastern regional office of the Department of Children (DoC), and the Assistant Chief Labour Officer of the Child Labour Unit (CLU), media personnel and other assembly stakeholders as well as the Country Director and other staff members of ICI. Also present to lead the discussion were leaders of the Aponoapono community and the management and members of ABOCFA, a cooperative of organic cocoa farmers in Suhum.

Representatives from ABOCFA made presentations on how the cooperative is implementing the Tony’s Chocolonely Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) with support from ICI. The presentations focused on their achievement towards ensuring a child labour free cocoa community, the sustainability measures they have put in place to facilitate this after ICI’s exit and the challenges they are currently facing in their work for deliberation

Giving her remarks after the discussion, the Assistant Chief Labour Officer of the CLU, Elizabeth Akanbombire stated “The interactive discussion was a great activity. I am confident  that it is one of ICI’s initiatives that, if regularly organized, will go a long way to encourage partners, at all levels, to ensure that they always have some good stories about whatever they are doing to protect children from child labour.”

According to the Supply Chain Projects Manager of ICI, Frank Asuamah Yeboah “the interactive discussion is first and foremost a learning platform for both operational agents and policy makers from all levels of government. It is an venue for the agents to share their practical experiences on the field as we saw in the case of the Community facilitators from ABOCFA. It also gives an opportunity for policy makers to make input into the work on the ground. Now the members and management of ABOCFA know that the issue of child labour in cocoa is not just important to ICI but to the whole nation. I am really looking forward to more sessions of this nature.”

By the end of the activity all stakeholders present agreed on the need for the cooperative to be supported with the needed knowledge and skills from the assembly, regional and national levels to help them realize their target of ABOCFA becoming a child labour free cocoa society.

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