Nestlé makes progress in the fight against child labour in Central & West Africa

Jun 18, 2018

 

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Nestlé is making significant headway in its commitment to eradicate child labour in its supply chain.

In 2012, Nestlé was the first company in the cocoa industry to implement a pioneering Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation system (CLMRS) in Cote d’Ivoire in partnership with the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI). As a result, child labour has been reduced by 51% over a three-year period in its supply chain. Based on this success, Nestlé is now rolling out the system in Ghana while continuing to grow it susbstantially in Côte d’Ivoire.

Mathilde Sokoty, the Head of Human Rights for the Nestlé Cocoa Plan in Côte d'Ivoire explains: "At Nestlé, we believe that every child’s place is in school. Understanding the complexity of child labour allows me to better engage with parents and communities and come up with solutions adapted to each situation."

In Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, Nestlé has built and renovated about 46 schools and trains farmers on the importance of children getting a good education. As of 2017, 40,728 children, aged 5-17 years, are being monitored, 7,002 children were identified as working on farms and 5,232 children have been helped in the upstream cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire.

Elvis, a cocoa producer in the village of Yaokro in Cote d’Ivoire, is collaborating with Nestlé and ICI to heIp farmers tackle the issue. He has a good reputation in the village and had the chance to go to school. Today, he wants to see other children have the same opportunity of receiving education.

"I participated in several Nestlé/ ICI trainings, which allowed me to fully understand the dangers of child labour and sensitize everyone in the village,” he says. Now, once a week, he devotes his time to activities such as awareness raising, data collection and farm visits, to identify children at risks and bring solutions.

"I noticed that parents are more reassured when I talk to them about child labor. I am a member of the village and we are one big family. This relationship of trust has helped me change a lot of bad practices here in Yaokro," he adds. He is pleased with all of this progress in Yaokro, thanks to the monitoring and remediation system put in place by Nestlé.

"It works pretty well!” He says with a smile that reveals all the pride in him. By working with Community Liaison Officers like Elvis, Nestlé helps a large number of these kids to find their way back to school.

In line with the company’s purpose: “enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”, Nestlé’s global ambition is to improve 30 million livelihoods in communities directly connected to our business. The company helps to tackle Child Labour under its Cocoa Plan, which aims for better farming, better lives and better cocoa to help build thriving and resilient communities.

Read more about our progress in our first Tackling Child Labour Report , which highlights some of the areas where Nestlé is helping to make a positive impact.