13.02.2011 - The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has announced it will partner with Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in a two-year project to assist the government of Ghana in reducing child labour. The pilot will run in 15 cocoa-growing communities affiliated with Kuapa Cokoo, the only Fairtrade certified cocoa cooperative in Ghana. The project focuses on preventing and removing children from hazardous work on cocoa farms. This includes livelihood support for vulnerable families and setting up a child labour monitoring system.F

Francesco d'Ovidio, ILO technical advisor, explain that Kuapa Kokoo was chosen because of its clear commitment to the eradication of the worst forms of child labour. It is the only farmer-owned cooperative union in the cocoa sector to deal with this issue. Kuapa also already has the structures and systems needed to make this project possible.

The program was launched on Friday 21 January n Juaboso, Ghana. Mr Emmanuel K. Arthur, executive director of Kuapa Kokoo, assured the ILO and all stakeholders that Kuapa Kokoo would make every effort to ensure the program succeeds.

Child labour is still common on cocoa farms in West Africa, according to a US Labour Department-sponsored report released in September. Child labour means work that is hazardous and exploitative or that undermines a child's education or its emotional and physical health. Fairtrade is committed to eliminating illegal child labour in all its forms.

Read about the impacts of Fairtrade on the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Cooperative from the website of the Fairtrade Foundation.