Wednesday, 22 September 2010

US government and chocolate industry pledge $17 million to end child labour

The US government and the chocolate industry have pledged US$17 million (GH¢24.1 million) to help end child labour in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. The Labour Department pledged US$10 million (GH¢14.17 million) and chocolate industry groups pledged US$7 million (GH¢9.92 million) to build schools and help rural families escape poverty so they don't need to rely on their children's earnings.

At a signing ceremony between representatives from the two countries, industry and the US Labour Department, Senators Tom Harkin and Eliot Engel, who drew up a similar agreement with industry in 2001, said that although some progress had been made over the past ten years, much remained to be done, and the pace of change was too slow

The initiative calls for a 70 per cent reduction of internationally unacceptable child labour by 2020. According to the new plan, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire will be responsible for enforcement. The agreement doesn't provide for a certification programme to ensure consumers that their chocolate isn't produced by children.

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