The European Union (EU) on Tuesday adopted a resolution to fight child labour in the cocoa plantations of Africa.
In their resolution, parliamentarians of the EU Trade Commission called on political leaders, producers and consumers to intensify the fight against child labour in cocoa plantations across Africa.
They said child labour may have thrived in the plantations because cocoa producers were under pressure to keep labour costs very low.
There are over a quarter of a million children who work in the cocoa plantations of West Africa and the International Labour Organization (ILO) has been working to eliminate child labour from cocoa production and help children return to school.
The EU strongly supports the ILO decent work agenda, which includes the fight against child labour in all its forms as per ILO conventions.
West Africa accounts for more than 70% of world cocoa production (Côte d’Ivoire 38%, Ghana 21%, Cameroon 5% and Nigeria 5%).
Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are the world’s two largest producers, representing 80% of the total West African production.
Cocoa is also produced in Togo, Sierra Leone and Liberia albeit in much smaller quantities