by Miguel Coleta, Director Sustainability, Philip Morris International
The scene plays out in farming communities all around the world: Children working alongside their parents, harvesting crops or performing other manual labor to help the family business. For some families, the work is tradition. For others, it’s an economic necessity.
The cocoa industry has a dirty secret. Child labor is way too common in West Africa. Over 70 percent of the global cocoa supply comes from two West African countries: the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Farmers supplying companies with the chocolate they use in their products receive little for the cocoa. That means they are unable to hire laborers to harvest the crop, and child labor is widely used as a result. A Tulane University report found that in 2013 and 2014, 2.26 million children in Ghana and the Ivory Coast worked in cocoa production.
MINNEAPOLIS, February 8, 2017 /3BL Media/ -- Cargill, one of the world’s largest food and agriculture companies, and the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), a leader in child protection in cocoa growing, have partnered to expand their joint actions on child labour in Côte d’Ivoire. Scaling up a relationship that has been ongoing since 2002, the two organizations are now establishing a monitoring system in Cargill’s cocoa supply chain to identify and protect children, especially those involved in child labour.
Jan. 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Are Companies Listening?
Companies that adopt comprehensive and assertive ethical sourcing practices reap many benefits, including increased consumer trust and an improved reputation. One of the most vital and visible components of any ethical sourcing program is to ensure that products do not support human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Weeks after an investigative news article detailed the extent of child labor and forced labor being used to mine cobalt – a critical ingredient in widely used batteries for cars and electronic equipment – major technology companies and industry groups are launching initiatives to stop the practice.
The European Parliament is currently under pressure to reject the Uzbekistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, and cease the trade of textiles with Uzbekistan. This pressure stems from strong evidence that forced labor and child labor continues to remain a nationwide practice in Uzbekistan, despite earlier reports of compliance.
Alliance 8.7 was launched on September 21 during the UN General Assembly in support of meeting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.7, to “take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of
The Washington Post’s latest story exposes the often dangerous conditions faced by African workers in cobalt mines, adding to the increasing worldwide attention paid to human rights issues in global supply chains and raw material sourcing.