The First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire Dominique Ouattara has dismissed the eligibility of the findings from the draft report by NORC on progress in the country’s fight against child labor terming the report as “illegible and misleading”
The 2018-2019 survey carried out by NORC is pending publication come June 29, 2020 and it is about child labor in Cocoa plantations in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
The report soughts to draw conclusions from the previous surveys carried out on the prevalence of child labor in both countries.
Looking at the previous surveys carried out by the university of Tulane in 20008-2009 and in 2013-2014, the NORC cited there was a huge progress over the years.
The draft of the report noted that there was “a sharp drop in the number of hours children from households involved in cocoa growing used to spend in cocoa plantations while the number of those attending school significantly increased,”
Much as NORC may be getting ready to publish its report in June, the National committee in charge of fighting Child Labor (CNS) in French acronym has expressed its concerns about the report’s eligibility and relevance.
The committee chaired by the first lady Dominique Ouattara cited some shortcomings, gaps and methods in previous findings by the 2013-2014 Tulane surveys that NORC referred to.
Such gaps are in relation with the sampling methods and data collections periods, the first lady’s team noted.
Others, the First Lady’s team said are the comparison of data from the previous Tulane university and those from NORC’s survey which the committee termed as a “misleading comparison’
“Several workshops were held over the past months in Abidjan and in Washington , DC and we raised concerns and USDOL as regards to shortcomings of 2018-2019 survey methodologies,” reads a statement from CNS.
“Much as errors were acknowledged, NORC remained reluctant to make any corrections,” it added.
As a result, the First Lady who also doubles as CNS President has stressed that her country would not approve the findings from the 2018-2019 survey.
“Côte d’Ivoire cannot approve the current version of 2018-2019 survey as it has some flaws,” the Frst Lady Dominique Ouattara said.
Côte d’Ivoire it is worth noting has made significant progress in fighting child labor spearheaded by CNS as witnessed in the Child Labor Report Book 2018.
The country also ranks among top 12 countries that have put in more efforts to fight child labor worldwide, according to the report by the United States of America on Child Labor.
The American report says that “Côte d’Ivoire got the highest ranks and emerged among the top 12 countries out of 134 countries that were assessed, adding that the African country has held such position for the last successive years.”
The United States’ Trade and Development Act of 2000 states that all countries across the world should demonstrate their commitment to remove any form of child labor if they are to be eligible as beneficiaries of various services.
Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s leading producer of cocoa and it has passed the target of producing two million tonnes in 2019.
The price of Cocoa stands at 825 CFA per kilogram, and the country has committed itself to intensify productivity in a sustainable way geared towards meeting the growing demand while maintaining its global perfomance.
*Ivory Coast Embassy,Washington,DC