Child Labour Africa | Sociology

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Child labour is an issue that is detrimental to sustainable development of any society. The underlying cause of child labour has been identified as poverty. The cocoa sector where this practice has been reported to be widespread is the backbone of most economies in West Africa. Chocolate and other cocoa based products are in high demand and so consumers and manufacturers alike are implicated in fuelling this trade.

Corporate Social Responsibility is an important tool which if implemented and monitored properly could eventually lead to the elimination of child labour. This dissertation explores how industry with the support of the governments is engaging in programmes and projects as part of their CSR strategy in tackling child labour.

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Chapter One

“We are the world’s children. We are victims of exploitation and abuse. We are street children. We are the victims and orphans of HIV/AIDS. We are denied good quality education and health care. We are victims of political, economic, cultural, religious and environmental discrimination. We are children whose voices are not being heard: it is time we are taken into account. We want a world fit for children, because a world fit for us is a world fit for everyone.”

(Statement from the Children’s Forum to the United Nations, May 2002).


1.1 Definitions

A: The definition of child labour as derived from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child (CRC) stipulates that “children should be protected from economic exploitation and any work that is hazardous, interferes with schooling, or is harmful to their health and development”. The International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) defines it as “as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development”. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 138, minimum age convention in 1973 which sets the minimum age for admission into employment and ILO Convention182 on the worst forms of child labour refers to child labour as: all work that is harmful and hazardous to a child’s health, safety and development; taking into account the age of the child, the conditions under which the work takes place, and the time at which the work is done. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) defines child labour as “work that exceeds a minimum number of hours, depending on the age of a child and on the type of work”.

B: According to the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), Cocoa Certification is the process of certifying that the commodity has passed the performance/quality assurance tests/qualification requirements stipulated in the regulations/code:

it complies with a set of regulations governing quality and minimum performance requirements:

product certified may be endorsed with a quality mark or display a certification mark:

it involves auditing,

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