The report Combatting child labour in cocoa – investor expectations and corporate good practice is a part of GES Business conduct engagement focused on the child labour issue in the cocoa sector. The purpose of this report is to convey investor expectations on the issue of child labour in the cocoa supply chain in West Africa. The report also identifies areas of best practices that may serve as encouragement for further action towards meeting investor expectations.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Significant efforts are being carried out against child labour in the cocoa supply chain. However, there is indication that over two million children continue to work in hazardous conditions in West African countries, and in particular Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Ghana. Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are also the worlds’ leading cocoa producing countries, together accounting for almost 70 per cent of cocoa production worldwide. Since the Harkin-Engel protocol in 2001, the industry has made pledges to stop such practices. As efforts continue to be strengthened across the cocoa supply chain by the industry, governments and other actors, there is a recognition that a lot of work remains to be done.
The report sets specific investor expectations on cocoa companies to 1) roll-out systems to identify and remediate cases of child labour in the cocoa supply chain, and; 2) provide support to cocoa-growing farmers for them to move towards a living income.