WORLD – The International Labour Organization (ILO), in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has launched a new project to tackle the root causes of child labour in coffee and cobalt supply chains. 

The initiative, titled “Ending Child Labour in Supply Chains: Addressing the Root Causes of Child Labour in Supply Chains through an Area-Based Approach” (CLEAR Supply Chains Project), was unveiled at the World of Coffee tradeshow in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

According to the ILO, 70 percent of child labour occurs in agriculture, with the coffee supply chain being particularly susceptible due to multifaceted and complex underlying factors.  

Child labour in coffee and other traded crops is attributed to issues such as fluctuating farm gate prices, food insecurity, price volatility, and the impacts of climate change on production and harvests. 

The CLEAR Supply Chains Project aims to combat child labour in coffee production by developing and testing integrated, area-based interventions in major coffee-producing countries, including Honduras, Uganda, and Vietnam.  

The project will also build on existing efforts in the mineral supply chain, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the world’s leading cobalt producer. 

Additionally, the project will focus on ensuring that the knowledge and experiences gained are shared and scaled up in other countries and supply chains.  

Moving forward, the initiative will work closely with global coffee partnerships and supply chain actors, using insights from country-level work to promote an approach that targets root causes, due diligence, and investment in prevention. 

Earlier, ILO launched the ACCEL Africa Project in Kenya which seeks to protect children from working in tea and coffee farms. 

Through the initiative, ILO aims to combat child labour in Africa’s cocoa, gold, cotton, tea and coffee supply chains. 

In Kenya, the project will focus on coffee and tea value chains in Kirinyaga, Meru, Kericho and Kisii counties. 

The ACCEL Africa Project enters its second phase, following a successful implementation in six countries in Africa. 

The project will be implemented in close collaboration with key stakeholders including the Ministry of Labour, the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU). 

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