In 2020, we started our Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS), with the aim of eradicating all forms of child labour and giving children the opportunity to go to school instead. In our model, children are only allowed to help on the farm within strict limits. They may never be forced and must attend school. Our internal policy defines a clear list of permissible work, based on standards set out by the ILO and the Ghanaian government.
Although we have educated farmers on child labour issues since the association was first founded, we have now decided to intensify this support. Our tried & tested approach helps us identify possible cases of child labour and provides solutions for both the child and their family. Child labour is usually hard to spot for our field officers during normal visits, and simply visiting farms is often not enough. Rather, in-depth household interviews and research techniques are required.
The new approach enables the CAA to better identify and address cases of child labour. We focus on households in communities with the most vulnerable children, based on established risk factors. We will take an active role to support these children and their families in improving their living conditions. All farmers and members of their household are made aware of the different forms of child labour and its consequences during meetings and training sessions.
The CAA works with the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) and our buyers Mars, Sucden, and Ascot to analyse the risks of child labour, which has given us a better understanding of its root causes and possible solutions. Our programme is designed to provide the best possible support by raising awareness, holding community sessions, involving local and national child protection authorities, implementing remediation strategies and child support, and follow-up monitoring of the families.