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Fight against child labour

Fight against child labour
The First Lady, Dominique Ouattara chairs a forum on the prevention and abolition of child labour in cocoa farming
The First Lady, Dominique Ouattara chairs a forum on the prevention and abolition of child labour in cocoa farming
The First Lady, Dominique Ouattara chairs a forum on the prevention and abolition of child labour in cocoa farming

One week after the Conference of First Ladies of West Africa and Sahel on the fight against Child Labour, the First Lady, Dominique Ouattara, President of the National Oversight Committee for Fight against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour is at the front line to fight against this phenomenon.

To this end, the President of the CNS chaired, together with Princess Astrid of Belgium, on Tuesday 24th October 2017, the opening ceremony of a forum on the prevention and abolition of child labour in cocoa farming, at the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire.

This forum, organized by the Belgian economic mission led by Princess Astrid, representing the King of Belgium, witnessed the participation of Mr. Jean-Claude Kouassi, Minister of Employment and Social Protection, the representatives of the chocolate industry, representatives of the organizations of the United Nations system, representatives of the European Union and Ivorian cocoa producer cooperatives. This forum held a few weeks before the summit of the European Union-Africa, shows how determine Côte d'Ivoire and Belgium are to overcome child labour in cocoa farming.

For the Minister of Employment and Social Protection, Jean-Claude Kouassi, also President of the Interministerial Committee against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour (CIM), poverty remains the main cause of child labour. According to the latter, the Ivorian Government has set out its actions aimed at eliminating the worst forms of child labour in comprehensive programs to promote sustainable human development. In addition, the government is  working to implement a system of social protection such as : free and compulsory schooling up to the age of 16, Universal Health Coverage projects and productive social safety nets. Before that, Mr. Jean-Claude Kouassi outlined the national plan of action to combat child labour in Côte d'Ivoire.

"In Côte d'Ivoire, under the leadership of the First Lady, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, President of the CNS, a national plan of action, has been adopted and is being implemented,"  he said. According to him, this plan takes into account the governance reform and control regarding child labour by re-organizing the institutional framework ; the reform of the Ivorian child labour monitoring system (SOSTECI) ; the  strengthening of the legal framework that differentiates socializing work from the worst forms of child labor ; and finally, the renewal of subregional and regional cooperation.

Mr. Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Belgium thanked Mrs. Dominique Ouattara for her commitment in the fight against child labour. For him, the presence of the First Lady denotes the level of her commitment to address this issue and her will to strengthen the friendly ties between both countries.

Mr. Dramane Haïdara, Director of the ILO Country Office, highlighted the importance of the forum. For him, the role of the private sector in protecting human rights is important. To this end, he wished to recall the ILO's actions in the chocolate industry. Mr. Patrick De Maeseneire, President of Barry Callebaut, presented the actions carried out by his company to fight against child labor in cocoa farming.

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