World Day Against Child Labour: International Cocoa Initiative, Inspire Today support girls in cocoa growing communities


Close to 1,000 teenage girls in Ayensuano, a cocoa growing District in Suhum in the Eastern Region of Ghana have received support to mark world day against child labour.

International Cocoa Initiative, a non-profit foundation that works to protect the rights of children and adults in cocoa growing areas in West Africa partnered an NGO, Inspire Today, to make this possible. The partnership focused on young menstruating girls between the ages of 12 and 17 in 9 schools including kwaboanta Presby primary and JHS, Kings and Queens College, Kyekyeku Larbi Primary, Ningo preparatory, and several others.

The girls were given two months’ supply of sanitary towels, bathing soap, washing detergents, deodorants, shaving sticks and some educational materials. This is a way of encouraging clean and hygienic menstruation as well as help the girls remain in school.

Country Director for International Cocoa Initiative, Mike Arthur said, the partnership with Inspire Today is key as ICI’s key mandate is to work with the cocoa sector and cocoa-growing communities to address child labour related issues and increase child protection.

“ICI works in Ayensuano District and we have been supporting the community since 2023. Child labour and forced labour are complex problems that can only be tackled effectively through the collective, coordinated and consistent efforts of all stakeholders involved.

On an occasion such as this, we collaborate with key partners to resolve the many challenges of children in cocoa growing communities. We find this partnership with Inspire Today very important because we are determined to bridge the gap between male and female enrolment in schools and giving our girls these pads and all these items will go a long way to help,” he explained.

Inspire Today, an NGO, known for championing the course of women and especially girls in deprived communities has over the past six years partnered corporate institutions whose CSRs are aligned to supporting girls remain in school.

Founder and Executive Director for Inspire Today, Etornam Sey, noted that poverty is one of the major reasons for child labour as parents, in order to meet the needs of the family, allow their children to join them on the field instead of being in school.

“For us, our focus is the girls. We want to ensure that nothing keeps them away from the classroom. We have noticed that lack of money to buy these pads compound the issues of child labour as young girls are made to work in order to be able to afford the sanitary pads.

Although significant strides have been taken in reducing child labour over time, recent years have seen global trends reverse, underscoring the pressing need to unite efforts in expediting actions to eradicate child labour in all its manifestations. Today, we are standing side by side with a global movement to end child labour calling on all leaders to bring children out of harms way and back to their family,” she added.

The partnership between the two institutions will among other things enhance the potential for a coordinated, impactful effort to raise awareness, advocate for policy changes, and work towards eradicating child labour in Ghana especially in Cocoa growing areas.

This year’s World Day will focus on celebrating the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (1999, No. 182). It also presents an opportunity to remind all stakeholders to improve their implementation of the two fundamental Conventions on child labour – Convention No. 182 and Convention No. 138 concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment or Work (1973).

With the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7, the international community made a commitment to the elimination of child labour in all its forms by 2025.

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