Côte d’Ivoire: President of children’s parliament pleads for quality education and enhanced protection
On the occasion of the commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL, 12 June) in Côte d’Ivoire, Lath Akaffou Grâce, President of the Children’s Parliament of Côte d’Ivoire, advocated “the right to education” for all children in Côte d’Ivoire. A tribute day was held in Abidjan on July 11th in the presence of the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara and all the organizations working for the protection of children. Grace, aged 15, asked “communities and parents to play their score in order to provide children with an environment conducive to their development and their success”.
Acting as a true advocate for other children and youth, who had come in large numbers to this celebration, Grace argued that: “The place of the child is at school and not at work, and even less on the battlefields”. A wish dear to the president of the Children’s Parliament in Côte d’Ivoire and one of the main objectives of the International Cocoa Initiative. As a step towards these goals in education, ICI has built or renovated 94 classrooms and provided 1,380 school desks in cocoa-growing communities in 2016.
Continuing her plea, Grace recalled the efforts made by the Ivorian government for children’s rights. On the WDACL 2017, the Ivorian government issued two decrees concerning the revised lists of permitted and not authorised tasks for children. These include the list of hazardous tasks prohibited to children in several sectors of activity and the list of light work authorised for children aged between 13 and 16 years.
Mentioning these decrees, Grace asked the government and all actors involved in the fight against child labour to widely disseminate the texts among the population for a better implementation, because, as she said, “children need assistance and protection in all circumstances”. According to her, “in situations of conflict or disaster, the protection of the child must be strengthened” because “they aggravate the precariousness and vulnerability of families and children who predispose them to violations of their fundamental rights”.