Cote d’Ivoire: the ILO supports the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection in the fight against child labour in Cocoa and Gold supply chains

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL AFRICA) project supports the Government of Cote d’Ivoire in strengthening the implementation of its Child Labour Observation and Monitoring System in Côte d'Ivoire (SOSTECI) in Mbato and Soubre regions.

Article | 08 December 2020
SOSTECI operates as a national system for monitoring early warnings, intervention and decision-making in the fight against child labour and its worst forms in Côte d'Ivoire. It is currently operational in 9 departments, 17 sub-prefectures and 47 villages.

The Accel Africa supports the Directorate for the Fight against Child Labour (DLTE) in strengthening the implementation of SOSTECI in Soubré and M'batto, two regions targeted by the project in Cote d’Ivoire, and plans to reach broader coverage by ensuring durability and sustainability of SOSTECI's actions.

SOSTECI monitoring system for child labour in communities was developed in 2011 and officially launched in 2013 by Mrs. Dominique OUATTARA, First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire and President of the National Committee for Monitoring Actions to Combat Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour (CNS) as well as the Minister in charge of Labour and President of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Fight against Trafficking, Exploitation and Child Labour (CIM) and in presence of stakeholders in the fight against child labour.

‘’The SOSTECI system will help optimize system operations and costs by taking advantage where possible, of the technology, digitization of operations, and innovative people-centred approaches,’’ said Mr. Ndepo.

It specifically includes the operationalisation of 2 departmental committees, 2 sub-prefectural committees and 36 village committees to combat child labour, he added.

In Cote d’Ivoire, the Accel Africa project plans to equip SOSTECI with improved tools and guides while strengthening the collaboration between SOSTECI and other child labour monitoring mechanisms.

‘’Through the collaboration with the ILO Accel Africa project, we are expecting to improve the SOSTECI communication and advocacy tools for its promotion among actors who could contribute to its sustainability,’’ said Dr Martin Nguettia, DLTE Director and Alliance 8.7 Focal Point in Cote d’Ivoire.

This support from the ACCEL Africa project is an ILO contribution to the implementation of the national action plan to combat trafficking, exploitation and the worst forms of child labor (PAN 2019-2021) in Côte d'Ivoire adopted by the Council of Government of Côte d'Ivoire in 2019.

The Plan was structured around three (3) strategic areas of intervention that include: Improvement of children's access to basic social services, reduction of the socio-economic vulnerability of families and communities, and improvement of the institutional, legal and programmatic framework to combat child labor.

In Cote d’Ivoire, the project supports capacity-building activities for 120 local actors in monitoring and remediation in child labour cases and the provision of Community Action Plans (CAPs) for 36 villages and communities to build their capacity in addressing child labour cases on their own.

According to the national survey on employment and child labour conducted with the support of the ILO in 2013, 28.2% (just under two million children) of children aged 5 to 17 years are engaged in economic activities with the most affected sectors being agriculture (53.4%) and services (35.6%).

About 20% of children (aged 5 to 17) are involved in child labour, three-quarters of whom are under 14 years of age.

The National Survey on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (2011) conducted by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) found that 73.5% of boys are child labourers in agriculture compared to 35.2% of girls. Both boys and girls are involved in activities related to cocoa production, including transporting large batches of beans.

‘’We are supporting the Directorate for the Fight against Child Labour (DLTE) in generating updated data on children in labour situation, children at risk, and child workers in 36 village communities, 2 sub-prefectures and 2 departments,’’ concludes Mr. Ndepo.