Contact: Susan Smith
October 6, 2009
In May 2009, nearly 100 cocoa sector experts met in Accra, Ghana, during the "Knowledge into Action" meeting to discuss the future of data collection and remediation of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Forced Adult Labor. Representatives from civil society, the global chocolate industry and the governments of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire agreed that moving forward, efforts to address Worst Forms of Child Labor and Forced Adult Labor must address the concerns of a broad group of stakeholders in order to better focus on the needs of children, farmers, and cocoa growing communities.
The dialogue yielded an agreement that the creation of a "Joint Working Group," spearheaded by the governments of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, would lead to greater coordination of future work, and present a groundbreaking opportunity to share technical expertise to better address the complex issues of trafficking, Worst Forms of Child Labor and Forced Adult Labor. In July 2009, the newly formed "Joint Working Group on Labor in Cocoa Farming" (JWG) held a preliminary meeting in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire to determine its vision, scope of work, stakeholder composition and operating procedures.
The top priorities of the group are:
Towards the goal of seeking the highest level of issue-based and technical expertise, the JWG has also determined that a major part of its work will necessitate bringing in outside experts to inform its discussion on issues such as trafficking. With its commitment to transparency and a robust multi-stakeholder process, the JWG represents the latest step forward in the fight to eradicate Worst Forms of Child Labor and Forced Adult Labor.
Current JWG members include:
Malick Tohe, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Executive Secretary, SSTE
Djéhiffé Bollou, General Director of Labor, Ministry of Civil Service and Employment
Serge N'Cho, Technical Director, SSTE
Monnet Abi, Expert Consultant Statistician, CGFCC
Dr. Joseph N'Guessan, President, Ivoirian NGO, Fraternité
Honorable Antwi Boasiako Sekyere, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare
Rita Owusu-Amankwah, National Program Manager, NPECLC
Professor Nicholas N. N. Nsowah-Nuamah, Professor of Statistcs at the Institute of Statistical Social Economic Research, University of Ghana, Deputy Government Statistician at Ghana Statistical Services
Alhaji Dramani Egala, Deputy Chief Executive, COCOBOD
Eric Okrah, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF
Jeff Morgan, Director of Global Programs, Mars, Incorporated
Jonathan Atwood, Global Issues Group
Verité was selected as interim Secretariat, with the goal of transitioning to a West African Secretariat in the near future.
To read the full agreements from the preliminary meeting of the JWG, click here. Please check back for future updates as the page is currently under construction.