By Adeline Lambert, Research Associate, International Labor Rights Forum
This week the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group (CLCCG) will wrap up its meetings for 2013. Over the last few days, chocolate companies, the Ivorian and US Governments, and civil society organizations have met to receive updates on the work that is being done by the cocoa industry and the Ivorian government to end child labor and child trafficking on cocoa farms.
The CLCCG has created an important platform for company and government reporting and has been useful in evaluating the commitments of various bodies. The Ivorian government came to the table with solid benchmarks and achievements and specific challenges for the future. We applaud their efforts to seek coordination and evaluation of the myriad projects being implemented in the cocoa fields.
As each of the major chocolate companies gave their status reports for the last year and their projections for the future, it became clear that there has been a significant increase in company commitments under the Harkin-Engel Protocol over the last year. Many companies showed commitment to communities that they source from. But it also became clear that while some companies are leading the charge against child labor, others lag behind.