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Child labour survey in cocoa production

CNS and NORC sign an agreement
CNS and NORC sign an agreement
CNS and NORC sign an agreement

In a few weeks NORC at the University of Chicago, specializing in social research, will conduct a survey in Côte d'Ivoire on child labour in cocoa production. In view of that, the First Lady, Dominique Ouattara, President of the National Oversight Committee for the Fight against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour (CNS) proceeded to the signing of an agreement with NORC. The signing ceremony of this agreement took place on Friday, February 16, 2018, at the Ivoire Golf Club. This ceremony witnessed the presence of Mrs. Mariatou Koné, Minister of Women, Child Protection and Solidarity and Vice-President of the Interministerial Committee, Mr. Coulibaly Sangafowa, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. M. Kevin Hong, Senior International Relations Officer at the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), and Mr. David Mosby, Chief, Political and Economic Section at the US  Embassy in Côte d'Ivoire.

Before the signing ceremony, there was a validation workshop of the methodology  for the 2018-2019 survey on Child Labor in cocoa growing areas of Côte d'Ivoire.

For Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire, the signing of this agreement allows for a common and consensual approach to assess the prevalence of child labour in cocoa plantations. "This is the third survey financed by USDOL. Through this agreement, both parties agree to work together on all aspects of the survey methodology and to bring their common expertise to each step. I welcome the signing of this cooperation agreement, which  enables our national experts to participate in the conduct of the survey, while respecting the international standards in force, "she noted. For the President of the CNS, this survey will assess all efforts made by Cote d'Ivoire to eliminate child labour. However, she urged all stakeholders to take into account Ivorian legislation, particularly the two decrees determining the list of light or socializing work authorized for children between the ages of 13 and 16 and the list of hazardous work prohibited to children.

First Lady also said that this agreement will enable stakeholders to get more accurate estimates of children victims of child labour. "The results and recommendations of the survey will help us to organise our awareness campaigns to reach out parents in order to explain to them that children can perform light work or socializing work but not hazardous work that endanger their health and their survival.

The president of the CNS stressed that large investments were made to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers and budget lines were granted for the construction of schools in the cocoa growing areas. In addition, she said that awareness-raising campaigns have been conducted to inform the public on the worst forms of child labour ; and  Sub-regional cooperation was strengthened with the signing of several sub-regional agreements.

According to Kevin Hong, Senior International Relations Officer at the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), there is a need to help children survive and thrive.

As for David Mosby, head of the Politics and Economics section of the United States Embassy in Côte d'Ivoire, he encouraged the Ivorian government to build on this momentum. He expressed the hope that the good collaboration between the two countries would be maintained.