December 6, 2012
Drying cocoa beans in rural Ghana (photo by Elke de Buhr)
Tulane University’s Payson Center for International Development has been awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor to conduct child labor surveys in the cocoa-growing areas in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana. The funding is a follow-up to an earlier Department of Labor grant the Payson team received to collect data on West Africa’s cocoa industry.
The survey data collected by the Payson Center will be used to measure trends in the worst forms of child labor in agriculture, including the cocoa sector, in these countries. As part of the new project, the Center also will design and implement training activities for the national statistical offices and other local stakeholders in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana focusing on survey research and data analysis related to child labor in the cocoa sector. William E. Bertrand, Wisner Professor of Public Health in Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, is the principal investigator of the project and Elke de Buhr, assistant professor at the Payson Center, is co-principal investigator.
Between 2006 and 2011, the Tulane-Department of Labor collaboration has monitored progress made in the cocoa sector of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana toward the elimination of the worst forms of child labor and forced adult labor. Such monitoring is part of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, a voluntary agreement signed in September 2001 by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the World Cocoa Foundation and witnessed by the congressional offices of U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).
Tulane's previous research findings have been reported annually to Congress and are made available on the project’s website.
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