Child labor in cocoa fields has been documented in the following countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, (leading supplier, accounting for around 40% of production) Guinea and Nigeria.
Hundreds of thousands of children work in cocoa fields, and many of them are exposed to hazardous conditions, where they:
- Spray pesticides and apply fertilizers without protective gear
- Use sharp tools, like machetesSustain injuries from transporting heavy loads beyond permissible weight
- Do strenuous work like felling trees, and clearing and burning vegetation
These children are treated with the “worst forms of child labor” (defined by the International Labor Organization), including
-mforms of slavery, the sale of a child and
- trafficking of children (recruiting children to work far away from families)
- debt bondage
- Most children who travel to work in cocoa fields are not accompanied by their parents
- Over 40% of children working in cocoa fields do not attend school
- Children as young as five (5) years old work on cocoa farms
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