The First Lady, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, Chairperson of the National Oversight Committee of actions against Child Trafficking, Exploitation and Labor (CNS) officially launched the joint United Nations program to fight against child labor in the Nawa region called: “Together to act on the root causes of child labor in the Nawa” abbreviated as “ENACTE”, on Thursday, April 13, 2023, at the Festivity Hall of the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire.
Child Labor: First Lady Dominique Ouattara urges synergy of action
The launching ceremony was presided over by the First Lady, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara and witnessed the participation of Mrs. Maimouna Koné, wife of the Vice-President of the Republic, Mrs. Florence Achi, wife of the Prime Minister, Mr. Adama Kamara, Minister of Employment and Social Protection, Mrs. Nassénéba Touré, Minister of Family, Women and Children and Vice President of CIM, as well as presidents of institutions, representatives of United Nations agencies, ambassadors and several other personalities.
Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, President of the CNS, after presenting the efforts of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the three (3) National Action Plans for the remediation of child labor, welcomed this initiative which aims at bringing together the efforts of the private sector and the Government to fight against child labor and ensure the protection of children’s rights. Indeed, according to the President of the CNS, many actions have been carried out in the framework of the remediation of the phenomenon. However, these initiatives have been carried out in a fragmented and scattered manner. Which is having a negative impact on the results on the ground and on the resolution of the phenomenon. Unlike these previous initiatives, ENACTE not only supports the actions already undertaken by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and its partners within the framework of the remediation of the phenomenon of child labor in the Nawa region, but also intensifies coordination between the actors involved in the fight against child labor, in order to obtain better results. “This is why I am delighted with the launch of this joint United Nations program to fight child labor, called “Together to Act on the Root Causes of Child Labor in the Nawa”, which I fully support. Indeed, the Nawa is a large cocoa producing region where the risk of child labor is very high. It was therefore urgent to coordinate all these actions in order to get the best benefit for our populations, especially our children threatened by the risk of child labor. This initiative therefore supports the actions already implemented by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and its partners, by increasing coordination between the actors already involved in the fight against child labor, in order to get better results,” urged Mrs. Dominique Ouattara. Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, President of the CNS, called on the actors and partners involved in the fight against child labor to collaborate more for better results.
For the President of the CNS, the objectives are to increase the school enrolment rate for children aged 6 to 16, to continue to facilitate access for vulnerable populations to basic social services and social protection, to continue our fight against household poverty and to improve the living conditions of the poorest, to promote the extension of the child labor monitoring system (SOSTECI) on a national scale and finally to reinforce our actions to fight against cross-border child trafficking and the illicit trafficking of migrants. For the wife of the Head of State, it is through a synergy of actions and commitments that child labor can be resolved in a sustainable manner. “(…) It is by intervening together in all sectors of activity with a high prevalence of child labor, that we will succeed in eliminating child labor in Côte d’Ivoire in the long run,” said Mrs. Dominique Ouattara.
Adama Kamara, Minister of Employment and Social Protection, President of the Inter-ministerial Committee for the Fight against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor (CIM), praised the leadership of the First Lady who, according to him, has qualitatively impacted the process of fighting against child labor. The Minister of Employment and Social Protection took advantage of this meeting to present the actions and achievements of the Government to adress child labor through the implementation of policies such as the SOSTECI and the various National Action Plans (NAP). He maintained that these different commitments have been made possible thanks to the determination of the Head of State since 2011 to make this fight a priority for the Government.
Alain Richard Donwahi, President of the Nawa Regional Council, thanked the UN agencies for this initiative. He also thanked the First Lady and President of the CNS for her numerous actions undertaken in the Nawa region that have positively impacted the process of the fight against child labor.
Jean Marc Vincent, UNICEF Country Representative, on behalf of the United Nations Agencies, presented the program: “Together to act on the root causes of child labor in the Nawa”. He maintained that it is a holistic program that aims to address the structural and root causes of child labor.
Léo Trembley, Deputy Head of Mission and representing H.E. Madame Anne Lugon-Moulin, Ambassador of Switzerland to Côte d’Ivoire, emphasized the importance of producing sustainable cocoa free of the spectre of child labor for his country and the international community.
H.E. Mrs. Francesco-Di Mauro, Ambassador of the European Union, insisted on the synergy of actions to resolve the issue of child labor in a sustainable manner.