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Child Labor & Cocoa Industry SPR14

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Julie Jenkins

on 17 February 2014

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Transcript of Child Labor & Cocoa Industry SPR14

ILO Convention 182 (1999) on Worst forms of child labor:
"1. all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as
the sale and trafficking of children
, debt-bondage, serfdom and forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict
2. the use, procurement or offering of a child for prostitution, production of pornography or pornographic performances
3. the use, procurement or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs
work which, by its nature, or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health and safety or morals of children.
--Reps from Ivory Coast applied to Ghana
--Where circumstances of child labor aren't exactly the same
Ivory Coast--
--lack of empirical & ethnographic data
--problematic statistics
-statistical data in Ghana problematic
--b/c of poor surveying techniques

For the Love of Chocolate
2000- UK documentary "Slavery: A Global Investigation"
2001: US Knight Ridder article series, "A Taste of Slavery"
2001: Nigerian Ship discovered trafficking children for work in West Africa cocoa industry
--highlight child slavery on cocoa plantations of Ivory Coast & Ghana-- harsh/dangerous labor
--trafficking from Mali & Burkina Faso
Results in US:
--3 days after Knight Ridder publication, Rep. Elliot Engel entered bill into House mandating a refusal of cocoa beans in US ports that have not be proven to be free of child slave labor
--Passes House; intoduced to Senate via Tom Harkin
Chocolate manufacturers want to avoid legislation:
--compromise through Harkin-Engel Protocol

Harkin-Engel Protocol (2001)
--to eliminate child slave labor in cocoa production
--"liberate, rehabilitate, and repatriate children & enslaved adults"
--Timeline: 2005....2008....2010
creation of (Amongst others)
--International Cocoa Initiative
--World Cocoa Foundation

International Cocoa Initiative:
--partnership between industry, NGOs (Free the Slaves), Labor Unions
--focus on school enrollment
--problem associated with cocoa growing communities
initial efforts based on media representation, not in-depth research
--no previous studies
--90% statistic as fact

--labor seen as at odds with childhood & education
1st task of Protocol: Research
--Cameroon, IC, Ghana, Nigeria
--extent & incidence
--working conditions
--work histories/migration histories
--reasons for working
--attitudes of children/parents towards school
--didn't include direct contact with children
--13 page questionaire (80 questions)
--same for each country
--only 6 questions re child labor
--conclusions didn't match findings
Ghana/IC with ICI 2008 Research:
-- Côte d’Ivoire
-- 89% of the children surveyed reported undertaking some work in cocoa production.
--53.2% of children living in cocoa farms carry heavy loads
--8.4% spray fertilizers
--5.5% cut trees
--4.6% spray pesticides (but more than 35% are indirectly involved in this activity).
--Less than 2% of children who work in cocoa production are not members of the household.
-- Ghana
-- 46.7% of the children had participated in at least one hazardous cocoa activity during the 2008 cocoa farming season
--Children typically spend 4 to 8 hours each time they go to the farm.
-- All worked during the last cocoa season for their parents.
--Children involve are generally the children of the cocoa farmers.
--not all this activity should be considered child labour.
If you were to do a research project in the Ivory Coast, what research questions would guide your investigation? What would you need to find out to contextualize the problems?
Factors to consider
--Historical context
French colony 1843-1960
--northern boundary not fixed until 1947
--French settlers
--cocoa & coffee farms (owned 1/3)
--use of forced labor (as form of taxation)
Union (SAA) established in 1947
--argued that colonial policy favored French farmers
--advocated for the abolishment of forced labor
Independence - 1960
--"the land belongs to those who make it produce"
--encouraged migration from Mali & Burkino Faso
--Abusan: share-cropping relationship
--gained access to land in return for labor
--able to grow own food and sel portion of crop produced
State Marketing Board: guarenteed price of cocoa no matter price on world market
--subsidized transportation
--used two tier middle-man system sanctioned by gov
economic prosperity till 1980s
--world recession-- fall in commodity prices, increase in food & oil prices
--local droughts

--producers struggle to keep up with falling prices by increasing production
--lands less productive, need more inputs
--increase land used
**taking a loss on production
1989-- start Structural Adjusment programs with IMF
--completed in 1999
--open pricing to world market
--reductions in subsidies
price risk transfered to producers
Houphouet-Biogny dies in 1993
--succeeded by Bedie
--"Ivorite"-- Who is an Ivorian?

--competition in land distribution
--esp as 'migrants' have control over land via share-cropping or sale
Civil War- 2002-2010
2000- world pricing hits record low
--2001-- establishment of a minumum price for producers, but no way to enforce
--What is hazardous & dangerous work? Who gets to define? To what extent does this work occur?
What is the context for cocoa production in Ghana?
Small, family-owned farms
--Gov controlleds
--Cocobod buys from farmers & exports
--Partly liberalized in 1993-- allowed for private cocoa buying companies as 'middlemen' between farmer & government
Fair Trade farmers don't recieve a better price
--but a part of the cooperative Kuapa Kokoo
Is child labor & education in conflict in Ghana? Can you use school enrollment as an indicator of child labor?
Abuses that occur are usually the result of poverty
--when liberalized-- loss of subsidies for cocoa farming
--school fees increasing
--but "culture" often blamed, rather than economic/political factors
"Although globalization has brought a new sense of familiarity with Third World problems, it has not necessarily led to a better understanding of them" (Berlan 2004)
Costs of focusing on a de-contextualized problem:
-farmers reputations as HR abusers
-Ghana's reputation
--monetary costs of efforts
--obscures the WFCL and trafficking that do exist in Ghana
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