A Meeting with politicians, businessmen and representatives of the civil society in Washington to present Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts to eliminate child labour

A round table on the worst forms of child labour in Côte d’Ivoire was held in the early afternoon on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at the Atlantic Council Offices, in Washington DC. Also on the agenda were discussions on Senators Wyden and Brown request to impose an embargo on cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire.

Taking the floor, Dr. Peter Pham, Director of the Atlantic Council’s African Centre, Vice-President of the Atlantic Council’s Research and Regional Initiatives Institution, said he was pleased to welcome the Chairman of CNS for her visit. Before an audience of politicians, senior government officials and men and women from the civil society, the First Lady made a presentation on Côte d’Ivoire’s achievements and new initiatives to combat the thorny issue of child labour.

“The third action plan 2019-2021 has just been adopted with a budget of 127 million US dollars (63.5 billion CFA francs) to tackle, in a holistic approach, the root causes of this phenomenon,” explained Dominique Ouattara. the Chairman of the CNS recalled that: “Surveys conducted by USDOL (the US Department of Labor) show that 85% of children involved in cocoa farming go to school, live with their parents and occasionally work on farm with them during free time”. According to her, the remaining 15% of children engaged in cocoa production do not go to school and do not live with their parents.

“According to Truth and the Walk Free Foundation the estimated number of children engaged into forced labour in cocoa production is 0.17%,” says Dominique Ouattara. “The threat of a US embargo on Ivorian cocoa far from curbing child labour would ruin all efforts,” she added.

It should be noted that the Atlantic Council is an American think tank specializing in international relations. It is a platform for political, business leaders and academics. It manages ten regional centres and functional programs related to international security and global economic prosperity. Founded in 1961, it is based in Washington and led by Jon Huntsman, Jr.,  a member of the Atlantic Treaty Association.