We support communities, we reinforce supply chains, we engage with national authorities, and we advocate internationally in support of cocoa sustainability.
Based on the training material developed by ICI and formally approved by national authorities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, ICI regularly trains different supply-chain actors on child labour in the cocoa sector. ICI’s training packages range from two-day workshops for cocoa supplier staff who need to be competent on the legal framework surrounding child labour, to five-day training of trainers for lead farmers who will conduct awareness-raising sessions amongst their peers. Over the past few years, ICI has trained thousands of supply-chain actors, thus increasing the understanding of child labour in cocoa and reducing its risk.
Child Labour Monitoring & Remediation System
The second pillar of ICI’s engagement along the cocoa supply-chain is the setting-up and management of Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS). As a structure embedded in the supply chain of chocolate and cocoa companies, it aims to identify and remediate cases of child labour. The system is based on the presence of facilitators within cocoa-growing communities who raise awareness on the issue of child labour, identify cases and request remediation actions that are implemented by ICI together with the chocolate company and cocoa supplier. All the information is collected via smartphones and gathered on a database from which systematic analysis can be conducted and remediation strategies refined. Started as a pilot in 2012, the system currently assists 127 farmers’ groups and targets over 90,000 cocoa farming households through its implementation in the supply chains of 6 companies.
ICI’s CLMRS explained step by step – click for full view.
In some cases, remediation is highly individualised and focused on the specific needs of a particular child. In others, it can cast its net wider and aim to tackle broader problems that affect the whole community. Broader remediation actions include the development educational infrastructure and bridging classes for children that have dropped out of school, school kits equipped with the necessary class material and birth certificates in order to ensure their entry to secondary education. In addition to that, Community Service Groups enable farmers to acquire affordable adult labour during harvest season – instead of relying on help from their children. Adult literacy and numeracy classes also strengthen communities’ resilience to use of child labour and Income Generating Activities (IGAs) contribute to families’ livelihoods.
Engagement with certification schemes and sustainability standards
Based on its long experience and expertise in the sector, ICI advises certification schemes and sustainability standards on legal frameworks and best practice approaches related to child labour in West Africa. Through its engagement, ICI has contributed to shaping child labour related components of certification code and international sustainability standards, which will eventually contribute to increasing child protection along the cocoa supply chain.