Fight against child labor
First Lady Dominique Ouattara granted an audience, on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 May 2014, at her Cabinet in Cocody, a delegation of industrialists from the World Cocoa Foundation (World Cocoa Foundation). Composed of sixteen (16) members, the delegation was led by Barry Parkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mars Incorporated. On the agenda, the tricky issue of child labor. First Lady Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, also President of the National Oversight Committee for Actions Against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labor (CNS) gave an update of the remediation strategy of the phenomenon to her guests of the day. Important point raised. Mrs. Dominique Ouattara asked the leaders of the major cocoa processing industries present to help the government in building schools in cocoa production areas. In fact, she revealed that during the meeting with Côte d’Ivoire coffee and cocoa producers, on Saturday, May 17, 2014 in San Pedro, they have brandished the lack of schools in rural areas as one of the factors explaining the use of child labor in cocoa plantations. "We have a real need of schools. When we organized the meeting with coffee and cocoa producers of the whole country, last Saturday in San Pedro, they were frank with us. They asked us to build schools for children education. (…) Help us build schools for our children," she asked the cocoa industries. In addition, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara told her hosts that the involvement of the CNS in the fight against child labor has brought an increase in value in the process of remediation of the problem. Indeed, for Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, CNS involvement has allowed these structures to undertake concerted actions for the remediation of the problem.
Barry Parkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mars Inc. and spokesman of the delegation thanked Mrs. Dominique Ouattara for her personal involvement in the fight against child labor. "I promise you that we will work together as a team in the cocoa sector," he promised. He reassured the First Lady that the issue of well-being of communities is from now on a prerequisite in the cocoa sector. Thus he revealed that three ( 03) criteria are to be taken into account in productivity. Improved plant seeds; fertilizer and good agricultural practices. In the area of community development, Barry Parkin reminded that education, fight against child labor and gender development are now areas of intervention of chocolate industries. Barry Parkin summarized all these concerted actions in the terminology of "Cocoa action." Thus, "Cocoa action" takes into account both productivity and community development.
The members of the delegation of the World Cocoa Foundation should meet in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 20, 2014, President Alassane Ouattara. And go the next day to San Pedro and Soubré to meet the cocoa producers.