Ghana and Ivory Coast are among the topmost countries in the world with the highest production of cocoa. However, there is a price to pay for this enticing and economically appealing level of production in these two countries. What if I told you that the cocoa you are probably enjoying at the comfort of your home, is as a result of the hard work put in by a child in Ghana? Or even Ivory Coast? What if I tell you that child labor is most prevalent in these two countries as a result of the cocoa plantations? There is the use of child labor and here are many more details pertaining to the life of a child living in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
Prevailing child labor
A decade ago, companies like Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and Cargill were reported to house the highest number of children working as laborers. This population was expected to be reduced by 70% by the year 2020. Mars has come forward to ascertain of sh.$ 1billion set aside to address the issue. The funds were to be channeled to discourse the root cause of child labor on the west African cocoa farms.
Hershey and Nestle asked Reuters to refer to the world cocoa Foundation (WFA). Cargill remains silent. The four companies were responding to a report by the US labor, who privately conducted a review on the causes of child labor in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Consequently, the released Monday report from the US survey agreed that there was a reduction of the children in labor from 2 million in April to 1.56 million to date.
The kind of work these children are exposed to is perilous. From handling sharp tools without any protective gear to being exposed to work that is too heavy for them conduct. Shockingly, most of the cocoa companies are accounted to have hired children as labor in their firms. The very people who should be advocating for the same children to attend school.
Complexity and scale
Although the report was generally positive, there were some resounding statistics on the findings. In the year 2018/2019, there was a 45% increase in child labor from 31% in 2008/09. Consequently, dangerous works had increased to 43% from 30%. The government efforts to curb this menace were not proving futile. In 2013/14, the report recorded a rate of stabilization that saw children attending school, while cocoa production surged.
Conflicting governments and international organizations
Ghana was adamant in questioning the findings and reliability of the report released by the US officials. WCF president accepted that child labor was a problem in which they had to come up with strong policy measures to help curb the situation. However, the two countries have since accepted that they need to address the issue of child labor. The US government has also chipped in to ensure that no further child labor is experienced in the supply chains.
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