Travail des enfants

ACCEL Africa partners unite to share vital knowledge on combating child labour in Cocoa and Gold Mining value chains in Cote d’Ivoire

The objectives of the knowledge sharing event were to review the project's interventions, share knowledge, lessons, best practices, and challenges related to the implementation of the ACCEL Africa project, and develop roadmaps and recommendations.

Article | 27 January 2023
Grand-Bassam, 25-27 January 2023 – ACCEL Africa in Côte d'Ivoire targets the cocoa and gold supply chains and is designed to contribute to the implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labour (2019-2023). The project's operationalization puts at the centre of its activities the government actors responsible for deploying relevant public policies to combat child labour and its underlying causes.

To assess the progress of the project and plan for its closure, a knowledge sharing event and a knowledge-needs assessment was held. The objectives of the knowledge sharing event were to review the project's interventions, share knowledge, lessons, best practices, and challenges related to the implementation of the ACCEL Africa project, and develop roadmaps and recommendations for the next phase of the project. The knowledge needs assessment aimed at understanding what innovations could support the project’s success in the country through suggesting innovative interventions in other areas, which could be tackled through proposed good practices by other ACCEL Africa countries.

Understanding partner's knowledge needs is essential to design targetted capacity development interventions."

Angelica Munoz, ILO M&E and Knowledge Sharing Officer
Speaking at the workshop, Sophie DE CONINCK, on behalf of Frédéric LAPEYRE, Director of the ILO Office in Abidjan, highlighted the importance of the project and the workshop. She invited all participants to discuss the results obtained, lessons learned, and challenges faced by the project in identifying solutions for the next steps. While, Amani KONAN, National Consultant on the Fight against Child Labour/Cabinet of the First Lady, representing Madame Sylvie YAO Patricia, Chief of Staff to Madame Dominique OUATTARA, First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire, emphasized the importance of the workshop in drawing lessons from the actions taken and results obtained. This will help to improve the fight against child labour in the region.

While a number of African countries have made notable efforts to combat child labour, including spending on social safety nets as a share of income equal to the world average, the region as a whole still has much lower coverage than other regions. In fact, only 17 per cent of the population in Africa is covered by at least one social protection benefit, compared to 66 per cent in the Americas or 43 per cent in Asia and the Pacific. It is important to note that social protection in many cases determines whether or not families resort to child labour. Aware of this issue, Côte d'Ivoire recognized the significance of social protection for eliminating child labour and adopted a National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS) in 2014 that aims to facilitate access to basic social services and extend social security to all in line with the ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No.202).

During the event, a knowledge-needs assessment was undertaken to identify critical areas that require attention to address the issue of child labour in Cote d’Ivoire. The assessment revealed various knowledge gaps, for instance, it was identified that partners could take a comprehensive approach, rather than a sectoral one, to combat child labour effectively. It was also highlighted that the means available to act in all social affairs, as per global commitments, should all be aligned towards supporting the advancements on children’s rights.

Additionally, integrating children's rights at all school levels, having a database about people involved in child labour, and strengthening women's associations were identified as essential areas that need attention. The assessment also highlighted the need to provide capacity development to farmers, intensify North-South and South-South cooperation in agriculture, and promote the certification of sustainable cocoa to reduce child labour. Other critical areas identified include knowledge on wage setting for informal workers, establishing effective health insurance programs for children, and developing public policies to sustain social finance programs.

The workshop served as a foundation for the formulation of new ILO projects and the planning of project activities. The ILO Office in Abidjan recognizes the excellent collaboration between the actors in Côte d'Ivoire responsible for combating child labour and the project.